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Financial Close Transformation 2023 – Benchmark Report

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Key Takeaways

⇨ Explore how leading companies accelerate financial closes with SAP S/4HANA and automation in our SAPinsider report.

⇨ Gain insights into tackling intercompany accounting challenges with advanced solutions.

⇨ Learn about overcoming manual process inefficiencies in the closing cycle with cutting-edge digital tools

In this report:

SAPinsider findings reveal how top-performing companies achieve accelerated financial closes, a critical component for enabling data-driven decision-making in today’s dynamic business environment. While striving for closing efficiency remains a core objective – with a slight decrease in prioritization from 60% in 2022 to 55% in 2023 – some companies appear to be nearing their efficiency goals. Remarkably, 20% of survey respondents have reduced their close duration to an average of 3 days, down from 4 days in 2022. In contrast, the average close time remains eight days for the second consecutive year of this study.

Between July and October 2023, SAPinsider surveyed 145 finance community members to understand the primary factors shaping financial close transformation strategies for SAP organizations in 2023. A core challenge for many SAP customers is the manual orchestration of closing processes across various business units, especially in larger companies with complex ERP systems spanning multiple regions. These challenges often result in prolonged, error-prone closing cycles and pose significant risks to data accuracy, thereby intensifying the controllership’s responsibility to ensure accurate financial reporting.

Moreover, the findings reveal a heavy dependence on manual processes in financial close and record-to-report activities, with 82% of participants recognizing this as a significant issue. The report also points to an increase in the complexity of intercompany accounting, a concern that rose from 41% in 2022 to 55% in 2023. This highlights potential challenges in maintaining financial controls amidst organizational changes such as business transformation, increasingly complex legal structures, or mergers and acquisitions.

The research uncovers clear trends regarding the leading financial close transformation strategies: top organizations in terms of closing performance are adopting financial close management solutions and technologies more comprehensively than their peers. This includes modern ERP systems like SAP S/4HANA, which are increasingly favored as companies consider cloud options and look to advanced financial tools to enhance process reliability and efficiency.

To access the full benchmark report with insights, strategies, and best practices from industry peers, complete the form below.

  • Learn how efficiency and automation drive strategic priorities to transform financial close cycles.
  • Understand the complexities and bottlenecks in financial closing due to manual processes, and how top-performing companies are tackling these challenges.
  • Gain insights into the challenges faced by controllership in orchestrating efficient closing cycles across organizations.
  • Discover how leading organizations adopt comprehensive financial close management solutions to improve closing performance, as evidenced by the significant decrease in close duration among top performers.

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