Writer and editor Andy McCue talks to Adrian Li, a finance transformation expert with more than 20 years’ experience in the design, build and running of SAP ERP in both large and small organizations across many industry sectors.

In the podcast, Li explains how many of the IT  and automation challenges can be traced back to the original concept and design for SAP more than 40 years ago and how fundamental it is to finance processes in large organizations today. “SAP was designed to support the activities of people who worked in business in the recording, analysis of data. And process automation was not even thought of back in the day,” says Li.

Listen to the full podcast to find out about:

  • The evolution of SAP from its origins in 1972 when it was originally designed around manual processes.
  • The vital role SAP plays today as the core system for executing business processes and the single data source for financial and other information.
  • How intertwined finance processes are with SAP.
  • How SAP has evolved to deal with some of these challenges, including bespoke coding, tactical add-ons, acquisitions and automation.
  • Some of the technical areas we will discuss in future episodes, such as managing dependencies, touchless batch input processing and multi-level cost and revenue allocations.

Now, SAP is the backbone for finance processes in large organizations today. As Li says: “If you were to turn SAP off, finance departments just wouldn’t operate. The lights would literally go out. That’s how intertwined it is to the finance community in global businesses. Whether it’s the recording of transactions, the restatement and reclassification, the analysis and reporting of financial data it’s really pivotal to the operation of those departments for all businesses.”

Find out how to tackle the finance process automation gaps in your SAP system. Listen to the Redwood Finance Podcast now.

About The Author

Shak Akhtar's Avatar

Shak Akhtar

Shak Akhtar is the Senior Vice President of Finance Automation for Redwood Software. Cutting his teeth as an accountant at IBM before working for leading IT companies such as SAP®, BEA and iTwo, Shak Akhtar combines his abundance of financial and IT experience to fulfill his global responsibilities at Redwood Software. That includes spearheading the adoption of robotic process solutions by enterprises across their back office operations and chairing client led financial transformation workshops.