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Deloitte upgrades to S/4HANA to align global financial processes

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Professional services giant Deloitte is currently in the process of upgrading its SAP professional services system to run on S/4HANA.

Deloitte is in the process of upgrading from R/3 to S/4HANA for its enterprise resource planning (ERP) needs, as it looks to bring consistent finance processes to all staff at the global organisation.

Speaking at the SAP Innovation Forum in London this week, Paul Bray, the system integration partner to Deloitte as it implements S/4HANA, explained how the rollout is going, some of the integration and change management challenges and what benefits the professional services firm expects to see.

deloitte istock poulssen
Deloitte Rotterdam © iStock Photo: Poulssen

Shifting from R/3

Deloitte was an early adopter of SAP’s R/3 ERP system back in 1995 despite it “not really being designed to be used by a professional services firm,” Bray said. “So guess what? We customised the hell out of it,” he added, with more than 33,000 SAP finance customisations made over 20 years.

Over the years Deloitte has adopted some of the professional services-specific editions of SAP software, but was still facing the typical challenges of having an ageing system. Namely, long run times, maintenance issues, little flexibility due to the number of customisations, and outages. Now it is looking to fully upgrade to the next-generation S/4HANA suite, which is built on the software vendor’s in-memory HANA database.

Deloitte hopes that a shift to a fit-for-purpose system like S/4, which comes with integrated analytics, planning and forecasting capabilities, will help its finance staff to move away from a cultural dependence on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets. Bray said that the company currently has a reporting catalogue of more than 6,000 spreadsheets in the USA alone, and “I know we have over 3,000 reports in the UK too”, he added.

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