The community for leaders in finance shared services

Maximising SAP to enhance finance shared services excellence

Conference18.10.2011 - 20.10.2011 London, UK BookmarkDownload programme

The secrets to success with SAP

Maximising SAP to enhance finance shared services excellence

18th-20th October 2011, The Waldorf Hilton, London

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Register today for Maximising SAP to Enhance Finance Shared Services Excellence. This conference will help you discover how to:

  • Exploit the latest SAP HANA and in-memory technology for real-time reports
  • Organise governance between IT and finance to optimise your SAP user base
  • Fill the knowledge gap when IT support leaves and your SAP systems are being utilised
  • Train your users in the most effective way to use SAP (without the exorbitant training costs!)
  • Support a global roll out
  • Optimise your financial close and financial reporting processes
  • Successfully automate your accounts receivable
  • Easily manage your service delivery across multiple instances of SAP
  • Successfully interface e-invoicing providers with your SAP system

Who is coming this year?

This year’s event brings you open discussions led by pioneering end users, such as AstraZeneca, Microsoft and Rolls-Royce. It is the perfect platform for benchmarking your activities and sharing ideas on how to solve the challenges you face.

Some of the organisations attending this year include:

ABB Engineering Services, ABN AMRO Bank NV, Airbus, Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals, Alstom, BAE Systems, Boston Scientifics, EDF Energy, GSK, Kingfisher, Kraft Foods, Lyondellbasell Industries, Recticel, RS Components, SAP Business Objects, Tommy Hilfiger, Vodafone and more.

To get a feel of what you'll get from this event, download a selection of the best presentations from last year’s conference:

  1. Edda Media case study: Implement a new general ledger functionality with one person and no consultants!
  2. Airbus case study: Transforming travel and expenses
  3. Unilever case study: How to regionalise your SAP landscape and then optimise on your SAP ERP backbone
  4. SAP presentation: Squeezing out the functionality gaps: what’s new and coming up with SAP?

We are confident that the time you spend at our SAP event will pay for itself. We are so sure of this that we offer you a money-back guarantee if by the end of the event you  don’t feel you got the value you expected.

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ABB Engineering Services
Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals
BAE Systems
Boston Scientifics
EDF Energy
Kraft Foods
Lyondellbasell Industries
RS Components
SAP Business Objects
Tommy Hilfiger

Day one: Wednesday 19th October 2011

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09:00  Key strategies to consider for making sure SAP meets the needs of today’s finance professionals
When investing in SAP we all have the same goals in mind – to provide business intelligence through improved visibility of data, process elegance and performance excellence. But the deployment of SAP is not a simple one. It requires massive change and crucially, alignment between the IT and business functions. This session will give you an overview of what SAP users within finance shared services are doing to ensure they are getting the most from their investment.

Susie West

09:45  Seven winning strategies for Europe-wide SAP improvement
Airbus is working towards its long-term objective of achieving a single SAP platform in 2017. Instead of simply waiting for its end objectives to be attained, it is capitalising from a lot of quick wins along the way. Discover how Airbus is capitalising off SAP to improve efficiencies immediately for short-term gains. This session is a must if you are looking to harmonise processes and tools between different projects and systems. Philipp Visotschnig will be looking in particular at how he has:

  • Overcome cultural and language differences to streamline processes across the organisation
  • Identified short-term wins that can increase efficiencies and reduce confusion
  • Harmonised Airbus’ way of working whilst keeping legacy systems

Philipp Visotschnig
Head of Finance, Transformation and Improvement Program

10:30 Morning coffee

STREAM A: Purchase to pay

11.00 How to harmonise P2P processes and reporting
without harmonising your systems landscape With every country often managing their own individual P2P process and their own local finance system, one company had very little visibility or influence over spend internationally. How confident can you be that you are getting the right management information (MI) when disparate systems across Europe don’t talk to each other and you don’t have a single version of the truth? This insightful session will show you how to:

  • Quickly roll out a standardised purchasing platform that works across differing finance platforms
  • Achieve control over P2P processes and visibility over spend to ensure you get the trust and credibility you need
  • Get disparate systems to liaise with each other in the short term, whilst working towards the long-term groupwide programme for a common SAP platform

Undisclosed company

11.45 Leveraging your Europe-wide SAP platform with accounts payable scanning implementation
Like many of you, RS Components was manually posting all invoice documents to SAP. It just didn’t make business sense to have a Europe-wide SAP platform with such cumbersome and expensive processes associated with it. This session reveals exactly how RS Components was able to:

  • Embed a best-in-class scanning solution
  • Automate invoice input and approval processes
  • Achieve over 50% resource reduction
  • Increase productivity by 100%

Mary McNeish
Project Coordinator
RS Components


STREAM B: Reporting

11.00 Interactive session: How to master SAP to provide information
that will drive intelligent business decisions and increase competitive advantage SAP is a powerful tool when used in an optimum fashion. The problem is, not many of us are following the ‘best-practice’ rules that will allow us to see this power. This session will look at how SAP needs to be mastered so that you are able to give information to the business that will articulate choices and drive intelligent decisions. Whether you use a single version or multiple versions, this session will serve you.

11:45 Interactive session: Getting to the roots of our reporting challenges
How do you report today? In a reporting cube? Inside SAP? Outside SAP? And how reliable is the data extracted? What kind of a story does it tell? This interactive session will give you an invaluable chance to highlight what reporting challenges you have with your peers and to discuss what strategies are being taken to solve them. This session is a must for benchmarking and learning drawing on the wealth of knowledge your peers have to share.

12.30 The speaker clinic

13.00 Networking lunch



Managing change

14:00 Implementing change: how can we ensure that people fully take on new working procedures after a major upgrade?
SAP promises to be an outstanding tool for competitive advantage within your organisation. Once you have trained your shared services users on new processes, how can you ensure that you will engage everyone’s commitment to making the new systems a success?

This session highlights real ABB case studies outlining how its change processes enabled it to move from seven ERP systems to one in the UK, with delivery on time and within budget. If you want to discover key tips on how to gain the full support of employees to maximise the benefits to your organisation then don’t miss this insightful session. 

ABB Engineering

15:00 What new SAP technology developments are there and how will they affect your work?
You might have heard the terms ‘in-memory technology’ and ‘SAP HANA’ mentioned more and more frequently recently. Not sure exactly what they mean, or what the new technology can do for you? Find out straight from SAP – exactly what the new  developments from SAP are and why hours of sifting through old data might soon be a thing of the past. Join this session and discover:

  • Some of the newest case studies and early use of SAP HANA
  • How to rapidly increase your ability to pull out data and reports in seconds
  • Revolutionise the way your finance departments use SAP

Colin Sharp
Senior Director
SAP Business Objects

15:45 Afternoon refreshments

16.15 How to bridge your SAP users’ knowledge gap once your new system has been rolled out and the technical support team has left
The expensive roll-out of your much-planned and long-awaited new system is complete. The technicians have been and gone, and now it’s down to your people to get up-to-speed on the intricacies and intention of the new system. Many of us struggle to fill that knowledge gap. Once the support team has gone though, what choices do we have if we don’t want to pay exorbitant prices for lengthy and time-consuming training? Microsoft came up with a very smart solution that meant its SAP users required no such training. This session reveals how clear communication of the finance specifications meant that IT could deliver exactly what was needed in a language everyone could understand for maximum functionality in SAP.

Srinivas Krishna
Director Finance Operations

Toning up your financial close process

17:00 Interactive discussion: how to identify and root out backlogs and inefficiencies in your financial close process
There is an increasing pressure to reduce close cycles. So what tools can you use to find out where unnecessary steps exist in your process? And once you have made these process changes, how do you configure SAP as quickly as possible to reflect these?
Facilitator: Robert Watson
Global Process Owner

Philipp Visotschnig
Head of Finance, Transformation and Improvement Program

17:45 The Speaker Clinic

18:00 Chair's close

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Day two: Thursday 20th October 2011

08:30 Morning coffee

09:00 Top-ten take aways from day one

Susie West

09:45 Driving effective processes that leverage SAP for best-in-class g lobal
transaction processing
Vodafone, winners of the Gold Award for new business application implementation at the 2010 SAP Quality Awards, will talk about how it is driving excellence in processes across finance, HR and supply chain by leveraging SAP. Focusing on the finance transformation and the resulting efficiency improvements, this presentation will explore how Vodafone has:

  • Leveraged global processes for improved efficiency and effectiveness
  • Deployed shared services to support a broad range of finance processes
  • Established a single finance operations organisation encompassing local markets and shared services
  • Optimised its use of SAP standard processes and process governance to drive further efficiency improvements

Simon Oddie
Finance Strategy and Transformation Leadements

10.30 Morning coffee

Complying with regulatory requirements

11.00 Successfully using portals internally and externally in the P2P process
Kingfisher recently set up a wireless supplier portal that integrates fully with SAP. Its entire journey – from sourcing, procurement, invoice and dispute management right up to payment will be discussed in this eye-opening session. Michael will offer insights into the way in which the project was implemented at Kingfisher and what lessons were learnt along the way for internal business partners, procurement, finance, and suppliers. If
you are looking to improve collaboration with your suppliers for improved mobility of cash flow, then this session will prove really useful for you.

Michael Hyltoft
Finance Transformation Manager

11.45 How to organise governance between IT and finance to optimise your SAP user base
Changes in the external environment (such as new legislations) often highlight fragility in our business processes and business systems. This was the case for Rolls-Royce’s VAT arrangements. This session addresses how they set up proper governance processes across the business and identified how SAP could be exploited to meet VAT regulatory requirements. It is a must-attend for anyone wanting to increase control across IT and finance departments.

Charles Grant
ERP Process Specialist

12.30 The speaker clinic

13.00 Networking lunch

STREAM A: Order to cash

14:00 Integration secrets to improve your order-to cash cycle by leveraging sales and distribution and financial accounting functionality
This detailed session provides a close look at the integration between SAP Financial Accounting (FI) and Sales and Distribution (SD) functionality. Find out how to:

  • Understand the integrated order-to-cash business process making full use of the SD and FI modules
  • Identify important integration points such as sales orders, billing documents, accounting invoices, and customer payments
  • Familiarise yourself with the fields on the key master data objects, including Customer & Material Master
  • Step through the account determination process and see how to convert the billing document into the accounting invoice
  • Identify ways to use the FSCM Dispute Management component to support your debt collection strategies
Naeem Arif
EDF Energy


14.45 Merging companies and consolidating SAP systems: key strategies to achieve a stable system
Consolidating your ERP systems is always going to be a challenging process. When LyondellBasell merged two of its chemicals companies in 2007 it had two very different legacy SAP systems in place. This session addresses how to navigate through the most difficult of situations to achieve a stable ERP system.

  • Investigate and explore your existing legacy systems to identify a plan for consolidation
  • Ensure your customer master data is accurate before going live
  • Key lessons learned for LyondellBasell
  • The future: looking at planned enhancements to improve the order-to-cash processess
Elke Willekens
Process Owner Order to Cash
Lyondell Basell Industries



STREAM B: Process mapping

14.00 How to intelligently master process mapping systems to improve consistency and visibility of data, facilitating intuitive strategic business decisions
Many of us use several accounting solutions for our accounts payable teams and so getting an instant picture of your services can be an difficult task. BAE Systems realised this and has installed a process mapping system that allows it to link various processes and get a clear view of its finance operations. Join this session to find out:

  • The importance of standardising services to customers and how to extensively map your processes
  • How to maximise the use from your shared services through standardisation and enhanced visibility
  • How to achieve true visibility and control of your finance processes

Guy Keough
Finance Operations Manager
BAE Systems

14.45 Interactive discussion: How to integrate process mapping tools with SAP to drive continuous improvement
No matter what processes you run in your shared services operation, having visibility of these processes fuels continuous improvement. Shared services need to understand transactional traffic, bottlenecks and their causes, the metrics surrounding each step of this traffic and how this aspect of your business is complying with your KPIs. Process mapping is a tool that can help you get this visibility. But how can you deliver the process mapping, and its powerful results quickly? This session investigates
and promises to deliver robust answers.

15:30 Afternoon refreshments

16.00 Tackling the complexities of master data management for enhanced business insight
Managing master data to create a database of reliable information is at the top of everyone’s agenda. This will help shared services to standardise the processes and secure end-to-end finance flows. Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals has made huge progress in this space, and with an imminent merger on its doorstep, further measures will be in place to improve on the work it has already done. This enlightening session will investigate:

  • Challenges for Akzo Nobel in a shared SAP system environment
  • The path from ‘traditional’ to ‘advanced’ master data management
  • What supportive tools are available and what selection criteria you should use to drive your decision
  • Ensuring your governance of master data for long-term success
  • What lies ahead for Akzo Nobel on a corporate level: a balancing act between independent businesses and harmonised processes

Peter Palm
Information Manager - Control Accounting
Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals

16.45 Chair's summary

17.00 The speaker clinic

17.15 Close of conference

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Tuesday 18th October 2011

Choose up to three learning labs from A or B, then C and/or D

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08:15-11:15 Learning Lab A: How to maximise SAP automation to enhance purchase to pay, master data management and order to cash processes

As a shared services director or manager running your shared services operation off SAP, you will be very familiar with limitations that can impact daily activities. Processes like purchase to pay, order to cash and master data management rely heavily on the set up and functionality of SAP. Issues such as fragmented communications with subsidiaries, suppliers, customers and internal functions, or poor visibility and auditability of your process management can lead to a shared service under delivering.

In this fascinating learning lab, you will learn how you can:

  • Automate the bulk of your shared-services processes and transactions
  • Significantly reduce transaction costs across finance operations
  • Set up SAP to enable a world-class financial transaction process flow
  • Accelerate the speed at which you standardise your vendor master data, financial processes and reporting

Learning Lab facilitator
Adam Chapman, Readsoft

08:15-11:15 Learning Lab B: How to exploit SAP functionality to ensure automated and accurate VAT reporting

A focused and interactive learning lab demonstrating bestpractice techniques to exploit standard SAP functionality to drive accurate and fully-automated VAT determination. Complying with European VAT legislation across multiple legal entities and reporting jurisdictions is an increasingly complex and costly burden. However, with little enhancement to its core VAT determination functionality over the past 25 years, SAP provides business with no out-of-the-box solution to manage complex
VAT flows found in almost all multinational companies.

However, there is way to modify your SAP system to cater for all VAT complexities, in a flexible and future-proof manner. Join this learning lab to discover:

  • What complex business flows typically occur across multinational businesses
  • Limitations in how standard SAP handles such flo ws which in turn forces many business to introduce high-risk, manual workarounds
  • Various solutions and techniques to overcome these limitations
  • A best practice approach that harnesses SAP functionality to drive compliant, automated VAT determination
  • A session rich in content that has real, tangible benefits to both VAT and SAP professionals.

Learning Lab facilitator
Roger Lindelauf, Meridian International VAT Consulting Limited

11:30-14:30 Learning Lab C: How to get the most out of SAP
Many finance organisations are happy to have chosen SAP but under-whelmed by the reality. What should be operational excellence enabled by the power of SAP is often operational disappointment. Many wish that they had paid more attention to change management, governance and training to avoid the consequences that often come from an IT-led project.

This workshop is about how Nimbus Control enables an organisation to leverage SAP to deliver its full potential. Nimbus Control enables an SAP implementation to be
business-led. Post implementation, it underpins operational excellence and continuous improvement. It provides a collaborative and governance framework for stakeholders
involved in change – business, IT, compliance and Lean teams.

This powerful learning lab will show you how to:

  • Attain visibility of end-to-end processes and their performance
  • Secure a personalised ‘intelligent operations manual on every desktop
  • Meet the needs of process stakeholders especially in IT and compliance
  • Enable continuous improvement
  • Accelerate finance transformation
  • Integrate with SAP Solution Manager

Learning Lab facilitator
Mike Gammage, Nimbus Partners

14:45-17:54 Learning Lab D: Extending SAP for e-invoicing to drive collaborative commerce and ensure global compliance
SAP optimises business processes within an organisation, but the business advantage today often comes from networked enterprises that collaborate with suppliers and other
business partners outside their firewall and outside SAP. In this excellent learning lab, you will discover how to extend your SAP environment for e-invoicing and collaborative business commerce, so you can:

  • Support VAT, GST, PST and other sales tax methods to ensure e-invoicing compliance within SAP
  • Ensure orders generated by SAP or other systems are matched to preferred suppliers by commodity type, region and other variables
  • Ensure that invoices consistently meet your defined price, quantity and related line-item variances for each order or contract
  • Automate the matching of orders, invoices, goods receipt and contracts for touchless processing within your SAP environment
  • Address the compliance requirements of invoices billed against blanket POs
  • Authenticate your supplier’s electronic signature
  • Comply with local regulatory mandates such as Sarbanes-
  • Oxley and the EU’s e-Invoicing Directive
  • This interactive lab will showcase how organisations are achieving results today by extending their SAP environment for collaborative commerce.

Learning Lab facilitators
David Wolstencroft and
Richard Downs Ariba

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David Wolstencroft - Richard Downs, Ariba

The Waldorf Hilton, London

Aldwych. London, WC2B 4DD, United Kingdom
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7836 2400
Click here to view the special rates we have negotiated with the Waldorf Hilton and additional hotels in the area.

Prices available for this conference

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conference + 3 Learning Labs

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** Book accommodation at the Waldorf Hilton: we have negotiated a special rate for conference attendees. Click here for more details. This offer expires on 29th August 2011 ** 

Bring your team! understands the value of team knowledge sharing. Groups booking at the same time from the same company receive the following discounts (discounts apply to the full price only and cannot be applied retrospectively). Only one discount is applicable per non-member. In order to qualify for the early bird discounts, bookings must be received with payment before stated date. UK VAT is charged at 20% - (Events held outside the UK - France VAT is 19.6%). We do not combine discounts but we will honour the discount that is better for you.

To make a group booking call +44 (0)20 3176 2623

Bring your team!

Teams of 2 10% discount
Teams of 3 15% discount
Teams of 4 20% discount
Teams of 5 25% discount
Teams of 6 30% discount
Teams of 7 35% discount
Teams of 8 40% discount

Satisfaction Guarantee At

We are absolutely confident that you will receive value for money. To give this belief credence we are offering a money-back guarantee if you feel you have not experienced value for money from attending our events. There is no catch. To qualify for this you need to ensure you liaise with Susie West directly before the end of the conference, and that you attend all conference sessions over the two days. Learning Labs are not included in this guarantee. All refunds will deduct a 10% administration fee.


Registration fee includes:

The fee includes conference documentation, lunch, refreshments, participation in the networking events and administrative expenses. When you register, you will receive an acknowledgement and your invoice. Any discounts offered (including team discounts) also require payment at the time of registration. Payment must be received prior to the conference, and within 30 days of registering. If payment does not arrive less than 10 working days prior to the event, a credit card payment will be requested.

Payments made with American Express credit card will have a transaction surcharge of 1.5% the total value.

Registration Policy

Please view our registration policy for full information about payment, cancellation, postponement, substitution and discounts.

Payment Terms:

Payment is due in full upon completion and return of the registration form. Due to limited conference space we advise early registration and payment by credit card to avoid disappointment. Your registration will not be confirmed until payment is received. Admission to the conference will be refused if payment has not been received.

Cancellation and Substitution Policy:

Provided the fee has been paid in full, substitutions at no extra charge can be made up to 7 business days before the start of the conference. Cancellations must be received in writing or by emailing, more than 7 days before the conference is to be held in order to obtain a full credit for any future conference. Cancellations received 7 days or less (including the seventh day) prior to the conference will not be credited. If you cancel at any time after registering and before payment has been made you will be charged a cancellation fee or £100. In the event that SHAREDSERVICESLINK.COM cancels an event, payments received at the cancellation date will be credited towards attendance at a future conference, or in the event of postponement by SHAREDSERVICESLINK.COM, a rescheduled date. Credit notes remain valid for twelve months. SHAREDSERVICESLINK.COM reserves the right postpone or cancel an event, to change the location of an event or to alter the advertised speakers for an event. SHAREDSERVICESLINK.COM is not responsible for any loss or damage as a result of substitution, alteration, postponement, or cancellation of an event due to causes beyond its control including without limitation, acts of God or public enemies, civil war, insurrection or riot, fire, flood, explosion, earthquake, sabotage, accident, change of law, strike, labour trouble or work interruption, terrorism or any cause beyond its reasonable control ("Force Majeure Event").

Speaker Changes:

Occasionally it is necessary for reasons beyond our control to alter the content and timing of the programme or the identity of the speakers.

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Personal data is gathered in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. Your details may be passed to other companies who wish to communicate with you with offers related to your business activities. If you do not wish to receive these offers, please tick the box.

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Event Sponsors

Nimbus Tibco

Meridian Global Services

Oversight Systems

Ariba, an SAP company