U.S. public companies must find ways to improve the efficiency of their financial processes to offset their increased compliance burden. Our research finds that SAP users in particular have underutilized many of the automation features built into SAP R/3 and mySAP ERP that would allow them to eliminate manual steps and reduce reliance on standalone spreadsheets. Among those underutilized features are those that enable straight-through processing (STP). Many companies' balance sheets are flush with cash and therefore executives must manage and account for the larger transaction volumes associated with investing and hedging those funds.
SAP’s Transaction Manager, which is available to both R/3 and mySAP ERP users, supports STP, in which data progresses from one step to another in any financial transaction. It manages the execution of each step of the transaction's process, performs the accounting, ensures that separation of duties is enforced and captures the audit trail associated with that transaction. Not only does this increased automation save time spent on executing these steps, it eliminates the errors (and resulting investigation and reprocessing) that are a normal consequence of a manual approach. We believe SAP customers underutilize Transaction Manager. We advise those not using it – even companies not covered by Sarbanes-Oxley – to put it to use. Ventana Research asserts that SAP customers, public and private, can use and should be using their deployed systems to enhance the efficiency of their finance organizations.
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