In this post I’ll be addressing some of the most common questions clients have asked in relation to SAP Disclosure Management.
Whilst SAP Disclosure Management has been around for a couple of years, the topic has come up a lot recently as it’s the time of year when organisations have to assemble their financial reports, preparing quarterly or annual statements for statutory and/or regulatory filings. As everyone involved in the process knows, the task is always time consuming, resource heavy, and manually intensive. It requires spot-on accuracy, especially for organisations who publish results on the stock exchange. However, it’s not uncommon that that there are undetected errors, issues with version control, many last minute adjustments and various data origins from multiple sources which have to be compiled together.
Needless to say, the financial cycle close, financial reporting preparation and audit sign off is a huge challenge.
1) What is SAP Disclosure Management?
SAP Disclosure Management is a bundled suite of disclosure management, notes management and XBRL capabilities. It supports “the last mile” of financial reporting preparation and publication.
It enables organisations to extract data from multiple sources in an automated fashion to assist in the review, analysis and preparation of financial data. It is used for financial close reporting, quarterly reporting and even on a monthly basis for reporting purposes. It provides an integrated system which is fundamental to the implementation of best practice.
2) How can SAP Disclosure Management accelerate my financial reporting processes?
The time to produce and or publish financial reports can be significantly reduced with SAP Disclosure Management.
This is achieved via an automated system where the management of processes is smoother and faster. Usually, the main factor causing delays is ensuring the correctness of data from multiple sources. SAP Disclosure Management holds all the data required for the preparation of reports under one hat.
SAP Disclosure is also responsive to last minute changes which often need to be made. Data is updated at once across all reports and or chapters. Roll forward of existing periods can be done at the touch of a button without losing the connection.
3) Can I retain, or improve, the level of control?
Control is applied via workflows which are created in SAP DM. These workflows enable assigning activities, responsibilities and structured approval and review process of the financial statements.
SAP Disclosure Management tracks user activity as every change made to any financial statement in the system is recorded into a log. The log captures the date, the user who made the change and a before and after view of the change in any document.
Users can monitor which reports or chapters are in progress, completed and or ready for submission and who is the person responsible for each of these processes. Once uploaded, financial data is stored in SAP Disclosure Management, not on local machines, which provides transparency across the whole organisation.
Based on access rights some users can only view information while only certain users can edit it.
4) How can SAP Disclosure Management impact my operating costs in financial reporting?
Using SAP Disclosure Management can reduce financial reporting costs, including:
- Reconciliation costs. This is due to the automation of processes
- Ledger maintenance costs. All ledgers are stored under one system
- Internal audit costs. Less resource would be required for the preparation and sign off-of an internal audit
- Costs associated with IT support. These will be minimal as SAP Disclosure Management is a bespoke tool which can be used by financial and business users without support from it department.
5) Which reporting standards are incorporated into SAP Disclosure Management?
SAP Disclosure Management supports the financial reporting production process. It prevents the loss of compliance and instances where an audit trail is missing in throughout the current disclosure process.
It also incorporates IFRS, GAAP, Solvency II, XBRL and other country specific accounting standards.
6) How much configuration is required to incorporate and utilise SAP Disclosure Management?
It contains pre-packaged templates which are designed to comply with regulatory reporting standards and can be used within any industry with little configuration (if needed at all).
Consistent document layouts exists across all report disclosures, providing effectiveness of work flows.
7) I am a non-SAP user; can I still use SAP Disclosure Management?
SAP Disclosure Management can sit on any other configuration tool or set of data and management systems. This provides flexibility and enables organisations to use SAP Disclosure Management regardless of current financial systems or potential new applications they may implement. Loading of flat files from Microsoft Office and pdf files is also fully compatible with SAP Disclosure Management.
The only constraint in such case would be the time to evaluate existing sources, available data, data collection and connection with existing systems.
8) What are the supported formats by SAP Disclosure Management?
SAP Disclosure Management supports any format - Word, PPT, Excel, PDF, HTML, XBRL and can be published directly on web portals and sent to exchanges for filing.
Moreover as SAP Disclosure Management is fully compatible with Microsoft Office, graphical and chart capabilities are exactly the same.
9) What are the benefits of having SAP Disclosure Management post-preparation and publication of financial statements?
The focus of SAP Disclosure Management is on automation, better process management, faster compilation of financial reports and more efficient data collection. This will free up valuable resources to focus more on the important strategic decisions and financial data analysis.