Outline the SAP S/4HANA business benefits to achieve CFO buy-in

26th November 2019 Written By Edenhouse

You’ve analysed the data and can now articulate the benefits of S/4HANA from a business perspective, but one person you now need to win over is your chief financial officer.

CFOs are under immense pressure to deliver the visibility and transparency businesses need to satisfy shareholders and stay ahead of the competition, but traditional financial processes mean it can take weeks to put together reports. Regulatory compliance, e.g. GDPR and digital tax, can also add to the workload, without delivering tangible benefits to the business.

Near real-time reporting could help transform the way your finance team operates — and it’s likely to be a winner with the CFO. So how can you achieve his or her buy-in?

Why not  do a simple RoI calculation?

Return on investment (RoI) is, and will continue to be, a valid tool for evaluating the financial consequences of a particular course of action. And when it comes to financial decisions, it can be a quite simple calculation.

Business decisions have several extra layers of nuance, however, and that’s most definitely the case when considering the business benefits of S/4HANA. First of all, there is the cost of doing nothing in a fast-moving business market. Failure to migrate to safer, more fertile ground might not just impact future profits, it could pose an existential issue that puts your organisation’s entire future in doubt.

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On top of that, modern ERP systems like S/4HANA enable new ways of working, beyond simple efficiency and productivity gains — flexible working might contribute to a happier, more motivated workforce, for example, while real-time reporting helps you to be more strategic — but it’s not so easy to put a financial value on these kinds of benefits even though there almost certainly is one.  

“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

Put the CFO in the driving seat

Our experience is that presenting the CFO with a plan and asking them for a go/no-go decision just won’t work — they’re too busy dealing with the day-to-day demands of heading up the finance function to wade through the arguments for and against and come to a decision.

That’s why we work closely with CFOs to modernise their processes and put insights — not just data — in front of them. This way, they understand the full business benefits of technological change. In effect, we’re making them the drivers, not followers of innovation.

If you’d like to learn more, please check out the our Innovation Watch video series, where experienced CFO, Oliver Vaughan, talks about how to articulate the full business benefits of systems like SAP’s S/4HANA, and achieve that all-important buy-in from the head of finance.