How to Achieve Speed, Control, and Compliance during an Entity Close Using SAP GRC 10.0

  • by James Chiu, GRC Solution Management, SAP
  • Sid Parakh, Director, Risk Assurance, PwC
  • December 28, 2012
Learn how to use SAP GRC 10.0 to improve control and accountability while automating manual activities and providing centralized access to documents during a closing cycle.
Key Concept

An improved closing cycle benefits the entire organization. A truly successful closing cycle focuses first on control and accountability as a means to achieve acceleration, thereby empowering companies to make the most of valuable resources. An effective closing cycle also enables companies to spend less time compiling information and more time providing insight and analysis. As a result, these companies are able to make better, faster, more informed decisions, allowing them to be more agile and profitable. Meeting regulatory requirements, minimizing financial surprises, and improving transparency in the external message build confidence in analysts and investors. This reduces their perceived risk of forecast returns and ultimately lowers the cost of capital.

A successful closing cycle includes the following actions:

Focus on accuracy as opposed to speed

  • Improve accountability and control throughout the cycle
  • Simplify and standardize processes to eliminate unnecessary complexity and inconsistencies
  • Streamline and optimize the entire cycle by appropriately sequencing work steps while eliminating bottlenecks, duplication of effort, and non-value-added activities
  • Align with stakeholder needs to provide effective decision support and regulatory compliance
  • Focus on process and effectively use technology

SAP Solutions to Manage the Closing Cycle

SAP supports core entity accounting and close-to-report activities. Internal controls play a key role in each of the accounting and financial close activities. SAP GRC 10.0 can help you improve control and accountability while automating manual activities and providing centralized access to documents. SAP GRC 10.0 can be customized to:

  •  Improve internal controls and promote accountability
  •  Provide real-time status and increase visibility for management
  •  Serve as a repository for support material and accounting documentation
  •  Enhance communication and coordination throughout the organization
  •  Support document storage and version control
  •  Further accelerate the closing cycle

Align SAP GRC 10.0 with Strategy

To ensure that processes and SAP GRC 10.0 align with your company’s overall strategy, you need to keep these three points in mind:

  • Use key drivers to monitor performance. An organization’s strategy drives closing activities through key performance indicators (KPIs) defined and monitored through SAP GRC 10.0. To measure performance and provide decision support, companies can link financial and operational KPIs to the corporate strategy, market conditions, and competitive environment. Eliminate non-value-adding activities that are not in line with the KPIs or corporate strategy.
  • Achieve consistency in planning, reporting, and analysis. Leading companies are using standardized processes, technology, and data models across the enterprise to improve financial planning and reporting and decision-support activities. SAP GRC 10.0 survey, workflow, and control performance functionality can be used to enforce consistency to be sure the entire closing cycle is efficiently linked with organizational strategy.
  • Improve collaboration throughout the organization. Optimal closing cycles require a strong degree of interaction between finance, operations, IT, and business unit managers. Without coordination, it is difficult to align strategic objectives. SAP GRC 10.0 can help your company improve collaboration among all its business units.

James Chiu

James Chiu has held a number of product management and marketing roles in SAP's Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) business unit with responsibility for product strategy, product development, solution management, field enablement, sales and customer relations. In addition to his work at SAP, James has 10 years of public accounting and internal audit experience.

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Sid Parakh

Sid Parakh is a director in PwC’s Risk Assurance practice. Sid’s experience focuses on SAP business process consulting, controls design and optimization, and compliance management via implementation of GRC technologies.

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