S/4HANA – the latest and greatest Rolls Royce offering from the most powerful business ERP software company in the world….SAP. Well over 80% of the fortune 500 use SAP, it is integral to a vast majority of the worlds business operations, simply put…..the best businesses in the world, run SAP.
So what’s new, and why would a company move to S/4HANA? Well, S/4HANA is bringing the latest best practices to businesses around the world, offering a cloud hosting option to lower overall TCO, and last but not least offering HANA, a real time database experience for SAP.
Although SAP covers the whole suite of a business’s operations, most would argue that the finance module of SAP is integral to get the most out of the SAP investment. Even with a real-time database, there will always be restrictions due to the fact the SAP system is not receiving real-time data. That is where Finlync comes into the picture. With real-time financial data coming into the SAP system via API connectivity from a customers bank, the benefits of real-time become actualized. A real-time system being fed with real-time data.
Real-Time Bank Data
So what can we do with real time banking data via Finlync’s API aggregator… the answer is endless. Companies today on S/4HANA struggle to see their global cash position. Why might you ask? The problem is businesses have just got too large too quick without the technology to keep up with the demand of a global expansion of business. Many global MNCs still wait upon bank statements, perhaps daily for their main cash management bank accounts, but for those obscure countries where they do business, this can be a black hole where little information is difficult to find. Globally, payments need to be made, how do treasury departments get clarity on funding requirements? The answer today is a cumbersome process of extracting statements and balances into excel.
Finlync has built SAP native apps to allow finance and treasury teams to leverage underlying API driven real time banking data inside of their SAP environment. SAP Native apps are a plug and play experience which allows corporates to leverage pre-built SAP certified apps within weeks. That’s right, no lengthy implementation project, very much a download and go approach. So what apps are available and what business outcomes can be expected from leveraging a real time database with real time banking data.
Viewing Global Cash Position in Real-Time
Firstly, would be the FinLync Balances app, one single view of a corporates global cash position in real time. Eliminated are the bank statements and banking portals, dragging balances into excel, the FinLync solution allows for real time visibility into balances across the corporate’s global operations in one simple screen. With this insight at a click of a button inside the corporates SAP system, comes business decisions that can be made based upon this data. Funding for payments is an obvious business use case, cash concentration visibility, and fx funding are just a few business scenarios which are vastly enhanced when a corporate has the power of real time banking data.
Reconciling in Real-Time
When SAP has real time banking transactions being fed, other processes can be sped up too. Leveraging the FinLync transactions and Reconciliation apps, on the fly real time bank reconciliation via FinLync’s Machine learning assistant Astrid can be done in real time as the bank transactions are polled via the API. The benefit here, is a real time reconciled bank account. Gone are the days, waiting for month end to reconcile the bank account and this manual mundane process is now done via Astrid. This alleviates capacity to finance resources to go and work on more value-added tasks.
In global business, many transactions are carried out from both vendors and customers on credit limits. Top customers that have transacted for many years are given credit lines which help their cashflow and add operational efficiencies to their supply chain. When S/4HANA is fed real time banking transactions, credit and debits on account are recorded and reconciled in real time. This alleviates credit limits on customer accounts, allowing for more business transactions to be executed from customers quicker. In high volume businesses like FMCG the speed in which credit limits can be alleviated and new orders processed can have a significant material impact.
Payment Traceability in Real-Time
Payment tracking in S/4HANA with FinLync’s status app can bring material operational efficiencies to corporates around the world. From within the SAP environment, finance team members can track a payment in real time to the desired beneficiary. In today’s legacy world, corporates can only provide a proof of payment, not a proof of receipt the funds have reached the intended beneficiary. Many businesses leverage real time status updates from the FinLync status app, to provide a proof of receipt to a beneficiary.
There are many industries which have urgent payments effecting business operations, one example would be the shipping industry. Ships cannot leave port until all port charges / demurrage have been paid, leveraging FinLync’s status app within S/4HANA finance teams can see when a payment has made it to the shipping ports account and notify them the payment has been credited to their account, no more waiting for the port to verify funds have been credited. This is just one example of how real time payment tracking can have a material impact on the operational side of a business.
Businesses in this era are looking to cut cost at every corner, along with driving efficiencies to maximise profits and make business decisions on the fly. Running SAP S/4HANA along with FinLyncs native apps help leverage the power of real time financial data into the ERP along with displaying the data in a digestible format in which business decisions can be made, in real time.