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SAP integrates workforce planning and finance tools

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SAP on Wednesday is announcing a new integration between its SuccessFactors Workforce Planning tool and SAP RealSpend, its cloud finance application. The integration should help move companies away from using spreadsheets for personnel budgeting and enable them to fine-tune HR and finance decisions throughout the year.

“In any organization, you get the annual budget, and that tells you how many people you can hire and what you’re trying to aim for from a revenue and spend perspective,” Amy Wilson, head of product at SAP SuccessConnect, said to ZDNet. “The people part of that is really important, especially in today’s age when the large majority of spend is people.”

SAP SuccessFactors’ workforce planning tool offers strategic and operational headcount planning. While strategic headcount planning focuses more on mid-term and long-term business goals, operational headcount planning responds to more immediate business conditions. Operational planning benefits more directly from the visibility to financial information that businesses get from RealSpend, which pulls data from the SAP S/4HANA core financial system

“It’s not just setting a plan once a year,” Wilson said. “Throughout the year, you have to keep potentially adjusting it for economic or market conditions — you might have to tighten the belt, for instance, if revenues are expected to go down.”

Moreover, she pointed out that moving away from traditional spreadsheet-based personnel budgeting should help keep information more secure and enable more nuanced decision-making that takes into account factors like global workforces with different currencies.

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