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SAP ERP Software Review

 

An Independent Enterprise Resource Planning Software Review

Finance and Accounting

As one of the most mature vendors in the ERP space, SAP has amassed much specific accounting functionality that might not necessarily be present in other ERP accounting modules. Owing to its target market, namely, larger enterprises, this is one of the few ERP systems that handle multi-company financials well. Many subsidiaries and companies that run either as satellites or using a two-tier ERP strategy can run parallel sets of books while having full consolidation capabilities, and multiple closings by entities can be handled at head office.

Accounting features such as accounts payable and accounts receivable, fixed assets, and other sub-ledgers are integrated into a comprehensive general ledger. Management accounting tools for contract, project, product, profit center, profitability, and cost center accounting, and comprehensive valuation, reconciliation, closing automation, and reporting tools, including master data governance and invoice to pay life cycles, are all supported. Treasury and financial risk management are also included within the accounting portion of the solution. Advanced features such as financial data governance, profitability by SKU or category, and hedge accounting are part of the solution's extensive financial capabilities.

While most of the accounting and financial functions are included, the procedure to automate these financial processes is difficult. Other deficiencies within the accounting and financial modules: procurement approvals are difficult to configure; syncing and input of incoming invoices, light localization for taxes, supplier on-boarding, and net partners are difficult to set up and configure; and travel expense management, sales tax, audit risk, acceptance of credit cards, paybacks and chargebacks, EDI support from an accounting aspect, investment management, labour costing, and matching cost of goods sold are all lacking in detail. In short, extensive configuration and further detail is often required for proper usage of these functionalities.

Human Resources/Payroll

SAP's human resources and payroll module consists of several useful functions. However, some modules are not base functionality, but add-ons. The human capital management (HCM) is sold as a point solution and can be customized by selecting the appropriate functionality specific to the organization's needs.

The HCM and payroll functions included within SAP are payroll automation, core HR, talent management, HR service delivery, strategic workforce planning, workforce analytics, workforce deployment, employee file management, organizational visualization, and HR outsourcing.

The module is deficient in the following areas: time management, resource tracking, resource scheduling, employee self-service, project accounting by resource, and benefit management components. Some of these functions do exist, but the functionality is light and requires extensive customization.

Customer Relationship Management

SAP's CRM functionalities consist of marketing, sales, service, interaction center (strategic delivery channel for marketing), communication management, customization of web commerce through the CRM (personalization of customer preferences through past profile), commissions management, real-time offer management, partner channel management, trade promotion management, and next-gen billing (allows the use of CRM info for billing and offers, for example).

Further marketing functionalities include marketing resource and brand management, segment and list management, campaign management, loyalty, trade promotion, lead management, and marketing analytics.

Deficiencies include sales analytics, service management, mobile management, lack of e-commerce integration to the CRM, sales intelligence, creation of customizable forms through Adobe to reduce data rekeying, and mobilization of asset management. Add-ons from SAP and its partner network encompass over 42 solutions that tie together the CRM functions to deeper sales, services, operations, marketing, and IT technology management through the CRM-leveraged information.

Some add-ons to extend the mobile CRM functionalities include mobile sales order management, mobile sales, leave requests, sales order notification, transport tendering, mobile supply chain, mobile services that extend supply chain functionality through asset management, sales force and claims automation, services, receipt capture, and expense approval.

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