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AN ERP FOR THE FUTURE

Accenture runs its core financial processing on a single, global instance of SAP® Business Suite on HANA. As Accenture becomes a more diverse business, it needs to operate with more insight, agility, efficiency and compliance across multiple business units, business processes and applications. This means that both the business processes and IT capabilities must contend with a faster pace of change, growth, larger volumes and diverse businesses—all driving the need to evolve Accenture’s ERP to be ready for future needs.

UPGRADING TO SAP BPC 10.1

As part of Accenture’s strategic road map and journey to implement a more powerful ERP, Accenture’s SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) application was identified to be upgraded to version 10.1. The application is Accenture Global Controllership’s primary consolidation tool for external reporting and SEC filings. SAP BPC supports the financial process and regulatory reports, including more than 5.6 million movements for more than 500 companies each period.



Upgrading to SAP BPC 10.1



The project team installed SAP BPC 10.1 on SAP HANA® with the following objectives:

  • Support a broader International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) program with a technical solution for consolidations that enables parallel sets of results.

  • Take advantage of Accenture’s new SAP Business Warehouse (BW) on HANA system to gain efficiencies in the consolidations business process.

  • Reduce report execution time and consolidation runtime.


The installation was carried out following Accenture’s internal IT release schedule and standard methodology. Here’s how the team addressed the three objectives:


Internal IT explored different SAP BPC architecture options to support Accenture’s International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) program.

Internal IT, in collaboration with an SAP consultant, designed a consolidated SAP BPC road map. This road map took into consideration the latest versions, different upgrade scenarios and future direction of SAP solutions.

The road map will be reviewed at future checkpoints to determine when to perform the next upgrade and to which version of SAP BPC. This approach enables internal IT to better understand the state of the art in SAP’s BPC product evolution and determine the most appropriate fit for Accenture.

As part of migrating Accenture’s SAP BW system to SAP HANA, Accenture chose this opportunity to lead in the New and migrate its first major SAP application to the public cloud.

With its SAP BW on SAP HANA on Microsoft Azure, the project team looked to gain efficiencies in the consolidations business process.

Skilled resources in the business and technology were integrated into a very collaborative team that focused on performance improvement.

At the same time, the project team worked closely with global controllership to make sure the results satisfied their needs.

To reduce report execution time and consolidation runtime, the project team designed and executed an exhaustive testing plan.

This testing revealed that the process of obtaining report information from the SAP BPC repository consumed a great deal of time in validating user access. To address this issue, the project team optimized user roles to reduce the time required to perform validation.

Additionally, as part of the implementation, the project team designed an improved Year-to-Date logic with the objective of reducing the amount of records loaded in an SAP BPC cube each period and saving load time.

Instead of loading all records from the SAP system for the current fiscal year, the new logic computes the initial balance for all previous periods into a single set of data added to the current period in month-end close. This in-house development helped Accenture make the close process agile and improved performance.

IMPROVED CONSOLIDATION PROCESS

The implementation of SAP BPC 10.1 on SAP HANA improved Accenture’s consolidation process during month-end close, making it better, faster and more cost-effective.
Improved consolidation process
Better

BETTER

  • The business can now trace data from the original records in SAP Business Suite on HANA to the consolidated information in SAP BPC.

  • Financial information is pre-consolidated five times during the month end before the final consolidation is done.

  • Pre-close consolidation helps leadership to have updated information during the process for closing the consolidated financial statements.

  • A continued vulnerability remediation process provides stronger security, along with strong security authentication access to the system.

Faster

FASTER

  • The delivery life cycle has been reduced.

  • SAP BPC load and consolidation runtime was reduced by 45% and BPC report runtime was reduced by 50%.

  • Through the SAP BPC application, several pre-close loads can be performed during month end, allowing global controllers to have actual financial information at key times during these critical days.

Cost-effective

COST-EFFECTIVE

  • Costs have been reduced because the business operates more efficiently and IT spends less time on fixing issues and has reduced the delivery life cycle.


Cost-effective
These improvements and benefits help to enable accurate and faster business decisions, eliminate financial consolidation errors and report runtime, and improve the efficiency of the Accenture financial information consolidation process. Moreover, the knowledge IT has gained places Accenture in a better position to perform future upgrades faster and with fewer issues.
"Consolidation is one of the most important processes in SAP Finance under the RTR [Record-to-Report] process. This [BPC 10.1 on SAP HANA] solution improves the real-time status of Accenture financial information adjusted to SEC requirements and reduces efforts."

Scott Wilson

Accenture Finance Director – Strategy & Enablement







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