Looking Back on 2017: Increasing Global Business Complexity, New Regulation Concerns, Payment Fraud and Robots!

As we hurtle towards the end of December, it is hard to believe that 2017 is almost over. It has been an eventful year for us at Dolphin. In May, we joined the Hanse Orga Group and we began the transition from being a North American-based company to a truly global enterprise. We are very excited about the possibilities that the future holds as part of this larger organization as we bring our data and process solutions to the rest of the world. However, as the year winds down, we thought we would take some time to review the biggest trends we saw over the past 12 months.

SAP HANA and S/4HANA Still Dominate the Conversation for SAP Customers

For those of us in the SAP ecosystem, SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA continue to be the main topic of conversation. In 2017 we had several customers share their stories about the move to HANA both at ASUG events including the ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando and at SAP TechEd. One thing we learned from these customers is that whether you are moving quickly to SAP HANA (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) or taking a few years to make the transition (Lanxess), good data hygiene, including data archiving, is an important prerequisite for moving to the next generation of SAP systems. Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Sr. Solution Architect Rob Jackson both had events this year discussing various strategies for making the transition to SAP HANA easier. We also received SAP Certification for the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable. Dolphin is very proud of our dedication to keeping our products aligned with the latest SAP technical innovations so we can help our customers make the transition to SAP HANA or S/4HANA as seamless as possible. Learn More ...

Corporate Mergers and New Regulations Require New Strategies for Managing Data and Documents

The trend for large companies that run SAP systems to acquire new companies or divest divisions that are not part of the company’s core business continued in 2017. This rapid onboarding or separation of businesses requires companies to re-evaluate the way they manage and retain data and documents across the new enterprise. Both Lanxess (formerly Chemtura) and Nexeo Solutions discussed the impact of recent corporate changes and the benefits of selectively retaining or carving out data that was no longer required by the new company. New regulations also pose a challenge for many of our customers. In 2017 many companies became aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May 2018. This regulation will require any company that does business with an individual in Europe to protect the privacy of the data it collects from that individual whether they are a customer, supplier, or employee. Unsure if the GDPR will affect your organization? Learn More ...

The Robotic Revolution is NOW

Robots, which seemed like science fiction only a short time ago, are now a reality in many companies. The Robotic Revolution, which started with robots automating tasks on the manufacturing floor have moved to the back office and are quickly taking over. According to Hanse Orga Group CEO, Sven Lindemann,

“We are witnessing a strong trend towards process automation. Robotic process automation, for example, is a term that started to become popular about a year ago. Today you cannot avoid it, because digitization increasingly dictates how we work. That’s why it is so important for companies to stay on the ball here and maintain their edge through technological innovation.”

This is especially true in the Finance department where Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Blockchain are being rapidly adopted to improve the speed and accuracy of invoice processing:
  • RPA can be used to capture information from inbound documents – such as invoices and goods receipts – providing the AP team with much greater insight into the “back story” of the transaction. RPA can also be used to automate many simple tasks, freeing users to do more complex and valuable work.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning help extend the automation provided by RPA into decision making support and can suggest next steps to users based on past behavior, further reducing the time and effort required to process an invoice.
  • Blockchain is a relatively new technology for enterprises that will enable companies to quickly and securely conduct transactions on shared ledgers with suppliers and other business partners.
Finance leaders must quickly educate themselves about these technologies, so they are prepared to help their companies grow in the coming years. Learn More...

Payments Fraud

Another rapidly emerging business requirement we saw this year is fraud prevention. According to the Association of Finance Professional’s Payments Fraud and Control Survey (2017), almost three-quarters of organizations (74%) have experienced actual or attempted payment fraud in 2016. In response to this high level of fraud, many organizations are urgently introducing new process controls, including supplier information management and supplier scoring. However, until organizations move to completely digitized and transparent business processes it will still be very easy for a savvy criminals to continue this pattern of massive payment fraud. Learn More ...

Emergence of New Roles: Global Process Owners and Chief Data Officer

As many companies deal with rapid changes and increasing business complexity, they are creating new roles to provide the company with enterprise-wide oversight of data and processes. These Global Process Owners and Chief Data Officers require a broad understanding of both business process and technology as well as specialized solutions to help them meet their company’s strategic goals. We spent a lot of time this year speaking with Global Process Owners at SAP conferences and other specialized events about the importance of digitizing processes across SAP and non-SAP systems to provide global view that increases efficiencies, lowers costs, and reduces risk. We were thrilled when our customer Adient, was able to speak at the Hanse Orga User Group in Hamburg this year to discuss how the company was able to manage its global invoice processing operations, handling over 25 languages across 40 countries from its in-house Shared Services Center in Brataslava, Slovakia. While the role of the Chief Data Officer is relatively new, it is becoming more common as new regulations such as GDPR require companies to make data stewardship a corporate priority. We attended several events this year where we were talking about the importance of managing the lifecycle of data and documents, to comply with legal, fiscal and industry regulations and to provide greater transparency across the organization for analytics and reporting and were pleased to have our CEO, Dr. Werner Hopf introduce the topic at the Hanse Orga User Group this year. Learn More ...

Conclusion

Whatever 2018 will hold remains to be seen, but we are very proud of the success our customers have been able to achieve in 2017. For now, we are looking forward to the continued opportunity to provide our customers with the solutions and strategies necessary to meet the constantly changing needs of global business. All the best for the New Year! The entire Dolphin team wishes you a very happy holiday and peace, joy and prosperity in 2018.  

Looking Back on 2017: Increasing Global Business Complexity, New Regulation Concerns, Payment Fraud and Robots!

As we hurtle towards the end of December, it is hard to believe that 2017 is almost over. It has been an eventful year for us at Dolphin. In May, we joined the Hanse Orga Group and we began the transition from being a North American-based company to a truly global enterprise.

We are very excited about the possibilities that the future holds as part of this larger organization as we bring our data and process solutions to the rest of the world. However, as the year winds down, we thought we would take some time to review the biggest trends we saw over the past 12 months.

SAP HANA and S/4HANA Still Dominate the Conversation for SAP Customers

For those of us in the SAP ecosystem, SAP HANA and SAP S/4HANA continue to be the main topic of conversation.

In 2017 we had several customers share their stories about the move to HANA both at ASUG events including the ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando and at SAP TechEd. One thing we learned from these customers is that whether you are moving quickly to SAP HANA (Dr Pepper Snapple Group) or taking a few years to make the transition (Lanxess), good data hygiene, including data archiving, is an important prerequisite for moving to the next generation of SAP systems.

Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Sr. Solution Architect Rob Jackson both had events this year discussing various strategies for making the transition to SAP HANA easier. We also received SAP Certification for the Dolphin Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable. Dolphin is very proud of our dedication to keeping our products aligned with the latest SAP technical innovations so we can help our customers make the transition to SAP HANA or S/4HANA as seamless as possible.

Learn More …

Corporate Mergers and New Regulations Require New Strategies for Managing Data and Documents

The trend for large companies that run SAP systems to acquire new companies or divest divisions that are not part of the company’s core business continued in 2017. This rapid onboarding or separation of businesses requires companies to re-evaluate the way they manage and retain data and documents across the new enterprise. Both Lanxess (formerly Chemtura) and Nexeo Solutions discussed the impact of recent corporate changes and the benefits of selectively retaining or carving out data that was no longer required by the new company.

New regulations also pose a challenge for many of our customers. In 2017 many companies became aware of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect in May 2018. This regulation will require any company that does business with an individual in Europe to protect the privacy of the data it collects from that individual whether they are a customer, supplier, or employee. Unsure if the GDPR will affect your organization?

Learn More …

The Robotic Revolution is NOW

Robots, which seemed like science fiction only a short time ago, are now a reality in many companies. The Robotic Revolution, which started with robots automating tasks on the manufacturing floor have moved to the back office and are quickly taking over. According to Hanse Orga Group CEO, Sven Lindemann,

“We are witnessing a strong trend towards process automation. Robotic process automation, for example, is a term that started to become popular about a year ago. Today you cannot avoid it, because digitization increasingly dictates how we work. That’s why it is so important for companies to stay on the ball here and maintain their edge through technological innovation.”

This is especially true in the Finance department where Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML) and Blockchain are being rapidly adopted to improve the speed and accuracy of invoice processing:

  • RPA can be used to capture information from inbound documents – such as invoices and goods receipts – providing the AP team with much greater insight into the “back story” of the transaction. RPA can also be used to automate many simple tasks, freeing users to do more complex and valuable work.
  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning help extend the automation provided by RPA into decision making support and can suggest next steps to users based on past behavior, further reducing the time and effort required to process an invoice.
  • Blockchain is a relatively new technology for enterprises that will enable companies to quickly and securely conduct transactions on shared ledgers with suppliers and other business partners.

Finance leaders must quickly educate themselves about these technologies, so they are prepared to help their companies grow in the coming years.

Learn More…

Payments Fraud

Another rapidly emerging business requirement we saw this year is fraud prevention. According to the Association of Finance Professional’s Payments Fraud and Control Survey (2017), almost three-quarters of organizations (74%) have experienced actual or attempted payment fraud in 2016. In response to this high level of fraud, many organizations are urgently introducing new process controls, including supplier information management and supplier scoring. However, until organizations move to completely digitized and transparent business processes it will still be very easy for a savvy criminals to continue this pattern of massive payment fraud.

Learn More …

Emergence of New Roles: Global Process Owners and Chief Data Officer

As many companies deal with rapid changes and increasing business complexity, they are creating new roles to provide the company with enterprise-wide oversight of data and processes. These Global Process Owners and Chief Data Officers require a broad understanding of both business process and technology as well as specialized solutions to help them meet their company’s strategic goals.

We spent a lot of time this year speaking with Global Process Owners at SAP conferences and other specialized events about the importance of digitizing processes across SAP and non-SAP systems to provide global view that increases efficiencies, lowers costs, and reduces risk. We were thrilled when our customer Adient, was able to speak at the Hanse Orga User Group in Hamburg this year to discuss how the company was able to manage its global invoice processing operations, handling over 25 languages across 40 countries from its in-house Shared Services Center in Brataslava, Slovakia.

While the role of the Chief Data Officer is relatively new, it is becoming more common as new regulations such as GDPR require companies to make data stewardship a corporate priority. We attended several events this year where we were talking about the importance of managing the lifecycle of data and documents, to comply with legal, fiscal and industry regulations and to provide greater transparency across the organization for analytics and reporting and were pleased to have our CEO, Dr. Werner Hopf introduce the topic at the Hanse Orga User Group this year.

Learn More …

Conclusion

Whatever 2018 will hold remains to be seen, but we are very proud of the success our customers have been able to achieve in 2017. For now, we are looking forward to the continued opportunity to provide our customers with the solutions and strategies necessary to meet the constantly changing needs of global business.

All the best for the New Year! The entire Dolphin team wishes you a very happy holiday and peace, joy and prosperity in 2018.

 

What to Expect at SAP TechEd 2017: Customization, Content Management and the Move to HANA

Next week, thousands will descend upon Las Vegas for SAP TechEd 2017: “The Technology Conference for the Truly Curious.” Dolphin will be there this year, along with Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and Dolphin CTO Vishal Awasathi. We’ve attended for years now and are always excited for what the conference will bring.

The SAP TechEd conference, held at The Venetian – Palazzo Congress Center in Las Vegas from September 25-29, focuses on technology with an emphasis on collaboration and hands-on workshops, going beyond technical education. For those who are attending for the first time, or perhaps are just interested in what to expect, here are my predictions for what will be top of mind for attendees.

The Future of SAP Systems: Customization

We all know that preparing our SAP Systems for the future is critical. As SAP moves away from on premise and more toward the SAP Cloud platform, companies will need to reconsider how they think about customizations or unique features in the future.

Customization is going to look very different in the new SAP landscape. Companies must start thinking about how they’re going to keep their unique business processes, in a world that’s increasingly SaaS and managed off premise and in the Cloud. Solutions available on the SAP Cloud Platform help companies leverage the power of SAP systems and provide the flexibility and enhanced capabilities necessary to make a successful transition to the SAP HANA platform.  The challenge is going to be how to retain their unique custom processes in this new environment.  TechEd attendees can expect to hear more about ways to protect and expand upon these unique features.

The Move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP HANA: Data and Document Management

To truly lower costs when making the move to SAP S/4HANA or SAP HANA, companies must know how to manage the information in their systems before, during and after the transition. At SAP TechEd, attendees will learn practical strategies to reduce the volume of data in existing systems now using data archiving and system decommissioning. By connecting with people at the conference who have already completed this journey and asking questions for real-life insight, companies can learn how to reduce the cost and complexity of future transitions to this new in-memory platform.

Attendees will also learn how modern content management can reduce IT complexity. With business knowledge of legacy content management systems diminishing, and new license and maintenance fees being cost prohibitive, lean architecture can reduce the impact on IT infrastructure while simplifying ongoing maintenance and backup. Significant savings from this migration will be realized in a little over one year.

Want to learn more about the future of SAP Systems as it relates to data management? Join the Dolphin team at SAP TechEd at booth 710, and at the following sessions:

Fast Path to SAP HANA with Dolphin Data and Document Management Strategies

Networking Session 1, Show Floor | Tues. 01:30 p.m. – 02:00 p.m.

Nexeo’s Multi-Phased Approach to Data Retention and Compliance

HBD143 | Wed. 11:45 a.m. – 12:45 p.m.

Pepper Snapple Group Speeds Move to SAP HANA with Data Management

HBD218 | Thu. 05:45 p.m. – 06:45 p.m

Top Trends from SAPPHIRE 2017

 

We’re finally back from SAPPHIRE NOW 2017 + ASUG Annual Conference and we wanted to give everyone an update on what happened. First, let’s start with a few words from Dolphin CEO Dr. Werner Hopf and CSO Brian Shannon from the show floor.

There were several trends that we saw at this event that will impact our customers – here are five things you need to know.

SAP HANA and S/4HANA are No Longer Just for Early Adopters

The biggest trend we saw this year is that SAP HANA and S/4HANA have moved out of the “early adopter” phase and these platforms are now being widely adopted by many companies. According to the ASUG Member HANA Adoption Survey, 33 % of companies have purchased SAP S/4HANA and 28% plan to purchase S/4 in the next 12-18 months. Approximately 8% of these customers are currently live on S/4HANA – but this number is growing quickly.

In addition to companies that are upgrading their existing SAP systems to S/4HANA, we talked with many people at SAPPHIRE who were net new SAP customers, moving to SAP S/4HANA from other legacy solutions. For our customers, we know that many of them are just starting on their own journey to HANA – so hold on to your hats people – from now until 2025 things are going to get interesting!

Digitization is Transforming SAP from the System of Record to the System of Innovation

Anyone who heard Bill McDermott’s keynote speech knows that the move to HANA is all about enabling the digital business of the future. New technologies such as cloud, mobile, internet of things, blockchain and more are opening up a new world of business opportunities and SAP wants to ensure that companies can leverage these technologies as soon as possible. To this end, McDermott used his keynote to introduce the world to SAP Leonardo which is a platform that will enable companies to harnesses the power of the Internet of Things. This is just one of many new developments available with SAP HANA that, as McDermott said, are helping transform SAP from its current position as the enterprise system of record – to becoming the system of innovation.

Audit & Compliance is on Everyone’s Mind

The rapid introduction of new regulations had many companies worried about Audit and Compliance. We had a lot of discussions about how to support emerging compliance requirements in Europe and Latin America such as Standard Audit File -Tax (SAF-T) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

As Dr. Hopf says “Companies really need to get their arms around where they store data, how they manage data and information over the residual lifecycle in order to be compliant with those requirements.”

The SAP Community is Hungry to Hear Real-World Success Stories

As always the ASUG Education Zone was buzzing with activity and Dolphin was extremely proud to support our customers who were sharing their stories about their recent experiences.

Our data customers presented several different ways to tackle the migration to SAP HANA.

  • Dr Pepper Snapple Group talked about how they were able archive terabytes of data from their 24TB ECC system in only 4 months so they could move to HANA before their competitors.
  • Chemtura (now Lanxess) spoke of the importance of using data management to reduce system size to controls the costs associated with the move to HANA.
  • AbbVie spoke of the broad set of information management solutions and techniques they employed on their journey to HANA to ensure their systems were lean and still compliant with strict pharmaceutical regulations.

Our process customers presented different stories about improving processes in a rapidly changing business and technology environment.

  • Adient spoke about its experience standing up a global shared services center to process 3 million invoices a year from a single global accounts payable invoicing hub running the Dolphin Process Tracking System.
  • Collier County talked about the ease of rolling out a Cloud-based invoice approval solution to its users. The county discussed its plans to expand the use of apps on the SAP Cloud Platform to provide their constituents with greater access to information.

Companies Still Need to Solve Immediate Business Issues and Improve the ROI of SAP Systems

While the simplified applications on S/4HANA provide companies with new and exciting capabilities, we continue to see a strong need for solutions that solve immediate business problems and improve the return on investment from SAP systems. As companies begin the transition to the new digital core, they need to make their existing environment as effective and as low cost as possible. Choosing SAP-Certified solutions such as those provided by Dolphin and our trusted partners PBS Software, TJC Software, and Hanse Orga will help companies weather the changes to the business and technology that will come their way in 2017 and beyond.

These were only a few of the topics people were discussing at SAPPHIRE this year. Did you see something we missed? Let us know!

Dolphin and Hanse Orga Group: A Winning Combination for Employees, Customers and the Industry

 

By Dr. Werner Hopf

Today I am very proud to share the news that Dolphin has joined the Hanse Orga Group, a highly-regarded, award-winning global financial automation solutions and consulting firm. This is a huge and exciting opportunity for everyone at both organizations, as Dolphin becomes a substantial and valuable addition to this growing entity and will jointly deliver our leading technology and process solutions to enterprise customers across the globe.

Since our founding in 1995, Dolphin has continuously evolved. As an employee-owned company, we built a unique company culture and we established a steadfast commitment to work-life balance. These two initiatives were just as important as ensuring that our valued customers were successful in implementing SAP solutions for accounts payable and accounts receivable processing and data volume management. For the past 22 years, we have adhered to a blue print for “smart growth” and we’ve worked hard to earn and maintain our reputation as a strategic business partner to both SAP and our customer base.

As we looked to continue our growth – both globally and in terms of the solutions we are able to offer our customers – we realized that in Europe and Asia Pac, Hanse Orga Group had built and grown its organization in remarkably similar fashion, albeit on a larger scale. It proved itself in financial supply chain management and in 2004, created a subsidiary model to foster and support international growth. This model was very attractive to Dolphin.

So today, we combine two highly respected and like-minded software and consulting firms in the SAP space, with highly complementary offerings.  We are joining forces because it is our desire to grow and be able to serve our customers with a broader set of financial automation solutions. We now have a much broader footprint across multiple geographies, with more scale, expertise and experience. Being part of this group makes us more valuable to our respective and joint customers and further sets us apart from our competitors.

As part of the Hanse Orga Group, we envision some terrific career and “cross training” opportunities for current and prospective employees of both organizations. We also anticipate significant cross-selling opportunities for both companies in the areas of Treasury, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, and General Ledger.  The Data and Document Management solutions that Dolphin delivers today will continue to provide an important platform upon which our joint customers can better manage system performance, ensure governance and compliance needs are met, and reduce the overall cost and complexity of the IT infrastructure.

While Dolphin and Hanse Orga have known each other from being in the SAP ecosystem for many years, we’ve also shared a mutual respect, as well as a common vision for ensuring employee, customer and partner success. As part of Hanse Orga Group, Dolphin is able to instantly increase both agility and scale and we look forward to many more years of continued growth and success in creating value for customers.

Today marks a major company milestone, and I receive great satisfaction in now being part of a vibrant, committed and growing group of more than 450 professionals working in offices around the world.  Under the Hanse Orga Group umbrella, Dolphin will continue to serve as a leading business performance improvement partner for companies running SAP.

To each and every Dolphin employee, customer and partner, I cannot thank you enough for your support and dedication to our company.  I am proud to have led our company to this point. I am incredibly excited to continue in my role as head of Dolphin as part of Hanse Orga Group and also happy that our leadership team remains intact.

The journey we have taken has been thrilling and at times unpredictable.  Today, it continues with a new infusion of energy, talent, ideas and opportunities. I am glad to have each of you by my side as we take these next new steps.

 

GDPR and the Impact of New Privacy Regulations in the European Union

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (http://www.eugdpr.org/) is a new privacy regulation in Europe that protects the personal data for any individual “based” in the EU, regardless of citizenship or, where the data is being held.

This regulation will be enforced in May 2018 and outlines strict fines for those companies found to be out of compliance.

GDPR applies to any organization located inside or outside the EU if they offer goods or services to, or monitor the behavior of, EU data subjects.

GDPR is different because it is much more comprehensive and carries more regulatory weight and fines than the previous 95/46/EU directive on data privacy, which it replaces.

How will it affect companies doing business with EU residents?

With GDPR any global enterprise that collects or processes information about individuals in the EU is legally responsible for protecting that information while it is under their stewardship. If information is retained, it must be purged when it is no longer needed.

This regulation will impact information collected in sales orders, invoices, receipts, delivery slips and many other day-to-day business activities. Types of data that may fall under the regulation can include:

  • contact information (name, address, phone number, email)
  • credit card information
  • personally identifiable information (gender, social security number, etc.)

Organizations must have a risk team evaluate exactly how the regulation will apply to their business.

What does it mean if I run SAP Systems?

Once enterprises understand what data falls under GDPR, they must understand how to apply the regulation to the information processed and stored in SAP systems. This can be very complex, as information about individuals can be contained in both data and documents that are stored across multiple environments, systems, locations and countries. Organizations must ensure that this information is protected and properly discarded.

How Dolphin can help

Dolphin has a set of SAP-certified audit and compliance solutions that enable companies to comply with GDPR by managing data in online SAP systems and archive repositories. Our solutions enable companies to:

  • Identify information on EU residents across SAP environments (ECC, SRM, HR, etc.) and systems (Production, QA, etc.)
  • Protect information according to regulations through encryption or masking
  • Automatically purge data according to retention rules when it is no longer needed.
  • Maintain a centralized audit log of data protection activities that demonstrates compliance with GDPR

Contact Dolphin today for more information on how you can ensure you’re ready to meet GDPR regulations in 2018.

 

Digitization is the Future for Grocery Retailers, But Don’t Forget To Manage Risk

Grocery retailers, are rapidly adopting new technology to meet the needs of consumers. While many of these technology updates are visible in the stores themselves, grocers need to think about digitizing the back office as well.

In a recent article in Progressive Grocer, Brian Shannon, Chief Strategy Officer of Dolphin, discusses a how digitization is the future of grocery retail, but he cautions that companies should not forget to manage risk throughout the supply chain. An excerpt from the article is below:

The retail space is continuously evolving, and innovations in technology are transforming the grocery environment as digitization of customer-facing and back-office processes increases. To process and move inventory quickly and respond to changing consumer preferences, grocery companies require real-time access to all of their information to make swift business decisions. By moving away from paper and going digital, companies can gain greater visibility and respond quickly to shifting consumer preferences and new regulations.

Mitigating risk in the supply chain is essential, and grocers must be able to quickly trace products from producers through the entire distribution chain to individual stores. Responses to these problems must be thoughtful yet timely, with due consideration for all constituents and long-term strategy. Ensure that there’s a strategy in place to retain product data according to policies and regulations – and don’t forget to ensure data can be retrieved quickly when required.”

For more information on the future of process optimization in the food and beverage industry, read the full article on Progressive Grocer.

Which Key Performance Indicators Are Used by Best-in-Class AP Teams?

As Management Consultant Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets improved.”

Benchmarks and key performance indicators (KPIs), enable organizations to streamline processes and maintain a strong competitive advantage. They not only inform your team on how to improve productivity and lower costs; they demonstrate how your team and processes are supporting your company’s strategic goals.

To ensure the success of your Accounts Payable team, metrics should be designed to improve the speed, accuracy, and transparency of processes. Here are a few key performance indicators that best-in-class organizations are already measuring.

Cycle Time Metrics:

  • Time from Invoice Receipt to Post
  • Time to Approve Invoices
  • Time to Handle Exceptions

Process Accuracy Metrics:

  • Invoice Exceptions by Vendor
  • Master Data Exceptions
  • Price-Quantity Match Exceptions

Process Transparency Metrics:

  • Invoices Received
  • Blocked Invoices
  • Invoices Waiting for Approval

Financial Impact:

  • Total Invoice Processing Costs
  • Total Spend by Vendor
  • Total Captured Discounts
  • Total Missed Discounts

The benefits of using metrics is clear, especially for global organizations with remote teams. As Jim Ferguson of IMS Health states “We can see how many invoices are being posted by each team member, which is a very strong tool to use when managing a remote team and outsourcing.”

Monitoring metrics continuously will ensure processes are maintainable, predictable and profitable, and that variances can then be identified and corrected in a timely manner. Over time, using metrics will help increase your understanding of where the business stands and where it can improve.

Yet, despite the benefits of using metrics, many companies struggle because collecting the necessary data can be time consuming and cumbersome, particularly if their accounts payable processes are paper-based and manual.

Digitized solutions such as Dolphin’s Process Tracking System for Accounts Payable solution are much better suited to establishing AP metrics. The solution digitizes the entire Accounts Payable process from initial invoice receipt to payment, so organizations can establish the metrics they need to track the process from start-to-finish. KPIs available with the Dolphin Accounts Payable solution include:

  • User Productivity
  • Work Performed by Date Range
  • Exception Analysis
  • Number of Exceptions per Day
  • Invoices Processed per Day
  • Invoices Processed Daily
  • Volume of Invoices by Vendor
  • Dollar Amount Invoice Analysis
  • First Time Match Rate/Auto-Post Invoices
  • Cycle Time: Exception Handling
  • Cycle Time: Scan to Post
  • Processing Time Analysis
  • Days Payable
  • Invoices for Accruals
  • Discounts at Risk/Discounts Captured
  • Current Status Analysis
  • Invoice Source Analysis
  • Spending Trend
  • Vendor Business – All Vendors
  • Vendor Spend Analysis

Want to find out more about valuable AP metrics that your organization can use?

Contact Dolphin today or take a look at the following case study.

ResourceImages

IMS Health gains insight into best practices of a global, distributed accounts payable process, by enabling metrics to view the status of invoices throughout the entire process lifecycle.

 

 

 

What Global Organizations Running SAP Systems Need to Know About SAF-T Reporting

This blog is a summary of information provided by the TJC Group

In an increasingly global business environment, most multi-national enterprises have one or more subsidiaries operating in the European Union or one of the 35 countries that belong to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

Standard Audit File -Tax (SAF-T) is a standardized tax reporting format that is recommended by the OECD and is rapidly being adopted by its member countries.

This blog explains a bit about SAF-T reporting and talks about the need for multi-national enterprises to have an efficient process for producing these compulsory government tax reports using a standardized software solution for SAP systems. .

What is SAF-T?

The Standard Audit File -Tax (SAF-T) report is an OECD-recommended electronic accounting file to use for tax audit. Download our country-specific solution sheets to learn more about how to comply with SAF-T Tax Requirements in these EU countries. This standard is now mandatory in the following countries:

  • France

As country tax administrations continue to apply pressure on corporations for better accounts transparency and internal control procedures, they are quickly following and/or adopting the SAF-T standards. The OECD, which is an intergovernmental economic organization comprised of 35 countries, developed the standard for tax compliance reporting and released the latest guidance notes in 2010. This is standard is part of a larger OECD initiative to eliminate Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) or transfer pricing.

In plain language this unified standard provides a way for auditors to “compare apples to apples”, and look at the same tax data for any country that uses the standard.

However, it is important to note that each country that decides to impose the SAF-T reporting requirement has the ability to create a country-specific version of SAF-T reporting for their  particular tax needs. Some countries, such as Portugal, use the complete SAF-T report. Others such as France use only a sub-set of the data required by SAF-T. Still other countries such as Poland require a customized version of SAF-T reporting with additional information.

So even though SAF-T is a reporting standard from the OECD there is still a LOT of variation in how those reports are generated in each country.

How Does SAF-T Reporting Work in SAP Systems?

SAP provides built-in capabilities to support SAF-T reporting. Take Poland for example. Users have the “means to extract relevant transactional data into Extraction tables” but they do not have the ability to deliver the five JPK (SAF-T Poland or JPK: Jednolity Plik Kontrolny) structures themselves nor produce the XML report directly from within SAP systems. Details on this format can be found on the SAP JPK FAQ document available from the SAP website.

A similar limited functionality had been built-in by SAP for companies to address their SAF-T Portugal reporting requirement. Most of these companies have experienced extensive time and resource cost to both their IT and Audit teams before successfully obtaining a workable data set to generate their mandatory report.

This means that to complete the reporting the company will still need to do a lot of work:

  1. Ask an external auditor to validate the data,
  2. Make some changes to ensure it ties back to the results of their filed tax reports,
  3. Store the data into the extract tables,
  4. Generate the XML report for submission.

In light of the short timeframe required to produce the JPK report in Poland, companies need a more robust, automated reporting solution.

Why SAF-T Workspace?

TJC started developing the SAF-T workspace solution back in 2010 when the OECD introduced the latest version of the SAF-T reporting standard (SAF-T Schema v2.0). In working with many multi-national enterprises on our other archiving and audit solutions, we have always worked upon the principle of creating a complete solution that would make life easier for these companies to meet these requirements. Our development partnership with one of the Big4 audit firms, gives us access to timely information on any upcoming country requirements for SAF-T report and provides the tax and audit competence needed to validate the SAF-T schema mapping to the SAP tables for our solution.

Our customers choose the SAF-T workspace solution because it:

  1. Lessens the number of steps needed to generate an audit-ready XML report with a pre-validated mapping of the SAP tables to the SAF-T schema for a specific country
  2. Extract large data volume from any source type and into any output format (note: XML is the official OECD format but it works poorly as a working format for preparation and auditing step, so we offer several additional formats.)
  3. Provides autonomy for your auditors to extract the data and prepare for the report submission within your security parameters
  4. Is SAP certified ABAP Add-On that gives you the stability of a plug-in and the benefits of an ongoing maintenance of the software
  5. Saves time and resources for your IT team by setting up a single solution for all country SAF-T reports.

Using a commercial off the shelf software solution such as SAF-T workspace is more advantageous than building a custom solution as it can: work for all SAF-T country requirements, stay current with changing legislation, reduce the training and support requirements.

How Do I Get Started with SAF-T Reporting?

Having had numerous conversations with different customers on SAF-T solutions and their issues. Here are four tips for getting started with SAF-T reporting:

  1. For better resource planning and budgeting include SAF-T report submission requirements into your business and IT strategy.
  2. To work closely with your auditors to ensure the SAF-T reports submitted can be reconciled to the results of the tax reports filed within the required timeframe.
  3. Use a solution such as SAF-T workspace to help reduce the time, effort and expense of SAF-T reporting. Using a commercial off the shelf software solution is more advantageous than a custom-built solution as it can: work for all SAF-T country requirements, stay current with changing legislation, reduce the training and support requirements.
  4. For easier tax audit reconciliation and longer term data access: implement fiscal archiving using a consistent formula.

Want to learn more?

Dolphin is the exclusive reseller of the TJC Group in North America. Contact us for more information or see the following resources:

4 Ways to Outpace Competitors in the Order-to-Cash Race

With many different ways to improve processes, it can be difficult for organizations to decide where to start. For those that want to be able to outpace competitors in global process improvement, even small changes to existing processes can deliver significant benefits through lower costs, greater productivity and reduced risk. Based on case studies, here are 4 ways organizations have successfully improved order-to- cash processes.

1. Automated order handling reduced processing costs by 72% for a leading worldwide manufacturer of electrical products, tools and hardware.

2. Digitizing order and deliver documents reduced buyer inquiries from days to minutes for a global designer and maker of communication and navigation products.

3. Templated-based process simplified payment from large retailers for a world leader in imaging, precision equipment and instruments.

4. Centralizing payment processing quickened time to payment for a leading maker of medical devices for home, hospitals and laboratories with multiple distributed locations.

If you are looking for ways to drive improvements in O2C, read Brian’s blog on Shared Services Link or read the case studies linked above.