Cash Management and Visibility – Benchmark Research Report

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Key Takeaways

⇨ The SAPinsider research from 2023 reveals a growing focus among finance leaders on accurate cash flow forecasting due to increasing economic complexities.

⇨ Organizations are shifting towards technology-driven solutions, including AI-based tools and third-party cloud solutions, to enhance cash management processes and decision-making capabilities.

⇨ Many organizations are considering implementing new SAP technologies like SAP S/4HANA to improve their cash management and treasury functions, emphasizing the importance of modern technology in navigating the evolving economic landscape.

In 2023, finance leaders at SAP customer organizations face ongoing challenges in an evolving economic environment. Key among these is the need for accurate cash flow forecasts. With the importance of cash rising, these organizations are revamping strategies to make well-informed financial decisions amidst increasing borrowing costs, inflation, and currency fluctuations. SAPinsider’s latest research highlights significant obstacles in cash management: only 5% of organizations have a complete view of their cash and liquidity, a decrease from 11% in 2022.

Between May and July 2023, SAPinsider surveyed 128 finance community members to understand the dynamics influencing cash management and visibility strategies among SAP customers. The survey revealed a heightened demand for precise cash flow forecasting, with 31% citing it as a priority, up 6% from 2022. This underlines a shift towards agile decision-making for navigating economic uncertainties and boosting profitability.

The study shows an increased adoption of third-party cloud solutions (32%) to address inefficiencies in the cash-to-cash cycle, affecting cash flow visibility and forecasting accuracy. Companies are want to adopt AI-driven solutions and tools to automate manual tasks, improving operational visibility and decision-making. Enhanced reporting tools (31%) and better collaboration with vendors (21%) are key strategies to tackle cash management challenges, indicating a move towards technology-driven solutions.

Key findings of this year’s study on how SAPinsider organizations are handling cash management and visibility include:

  • The most challenging cash management processes to optimize in 2023 are cash forecasting (29%), working capital management (28%), and credit management (24%). These areas highlight the focus on improving cash flow predictions, financial efficiency, and credit risk management. Cash forecasting remains a priority, but working capital and credit management are gaining importance, reflecting the need for optimized cash management in a dynamic economic environment.
  • The main goals for SAP customer organizations in 2023 are streamlined end-to-end processes (40%), enhanced transparency (37%), and real-time information access (30%). These aims center around improving operational performance, increasing visibility, and using digital data and processes for immediate insights and analytics. Building resilience (25%) to manage uncertainty and developing skills readiness (22%) to upskill staff and attract modern talent are also priorities. Managing business risks (20%) and preparing finance teams for remote work (18%) are additional objectives.
  • Many organizations want to adopt new or updated SAP technologies, solutions, or services for better cash management and treasury functions. SAP S/4HANA is the leading choice, with 49% planning its implementation. Interest in GROW with SAP (28%) and RISE with SAP (24%) is also notable. Other options like SAP S/4HANA Public Cloud (18%), SAP BTP (11%), and SAP Signavio (10%) are being considered to enhance these operations.
  • For cash management, the most used SAP products in 2023 are SAP S/4HANA Finance (30%), SAP Cash Application (19%), and SAP Ariba (19%). SAP Invoice Management by OpenText (17%) and SAP Cash Management (15%) are also popular. Emerging solutions like SAP S/4HANA Advanced Payment Management (11%), SAP Analytics Cloud (11%), and SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity (10%) are being explored for more comprehensive cash management strategies.

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