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Executive Round-table on Financial Transformation in Boston on Nov. 8

Mon, Oct 22, 2018 @ 10:22 PM / by Bramasol Financial Transformation Team posted in financial transformation

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FinancialTransformation-HotTipHere's a great opportunity to join a select group of Financial Executives and Leaders for an information-filled day on November 8, 2018 at the SAP Offices in Burlington, MA, where Bramasol, SAP and special guest from Monotype will discuss key challenges and solutions for Finance, Analytics and Compliance.

Bramasol-SAP-Monotype

This is a unique opportunity for Executives from companies in the New England area to hear the latest on key finance, analytics and compliance issues, along with a great chance to network with your peers. Experts from SAP and Bramasol will provide insights on strategies for both near-term compliance and long-term financial transformation.

The agenda for this complementary one-day event includes:

  • Overview of issues facing finance executives
  • Using analytics to drive Insight to Action for Compliance and Financial Transformation
  • Demonstration of SAP Cloud Analytics for compliance and reporting
  • Understanding key SAP S/4HANA innovations, adoption scenarios and tools
  • Case study by Monotype detailing their journey to compliance success

This is definitely an event that you don't want to miss!

Register to Attend  Executive Round-table November 8 in Boston

ExecutiveRoundtable 

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According to Compliance Week, RevRec Still Has a Ways to Go

Tue, Oct 16, 2018 @ 05:59 AM / by Bramasol RevRec Team posted in revrec hot-tips, revenue recognition, ASC606

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RevRecReady-HotTip-12-1A recent article in Compliance Week paints a different picture from people who think that adoption of Revenue Recognition per ASC 606 is behind us.  Even though the new standard took effect on January 1, 2018, the issue of compliance as seen by auditors and the SEC is now just ramping up.

Public companies on calendar year accounting have now completed two quarterly filings under the new standards but the first year-end filing under the new standard is still some months away.


Some highlights from the article include:

According to Eric Knachel, a senior partner at Deloitte and Touche, the two most commonly used words appearing in SEC comment letters thus far are "expand and clarify". 

For those companies that implemented RevRec using ad hoc spreadsheets as expedient "shortcuts" the words expand and clarify can be pretty frightening.

Sean Prince, a senior manager in the national office at Crowe, says the general message he’s hearing is that companies need to improve their disclosures, especially around significant judgments under the new standard. Comment letters seem to suggest the SEC staff is not clear on how companies are arriving at their conclusions, he says.

Here again, the lack of an integrated RevRec compliance methodology that leverages flexible analytics capabilities can make it very difficult for companies to "show their work" to help the SEC understand how the conclusions were reached.

SEC staff reported to audit firms via the SEC Regulations Committee at the Center for Audit Quality that they hope to see better disclosures at year-end than they’ve seen so far in first- and second-quarter reports. 

Companies that have already taken advantage of an advanced solution such as SAP Revenue Accounting and Reporting (RAR), will have the agility to adapt and expand their reporting relatively quickly, but those that are using off-line ad hoc methods will not.

Read the full article in Compliance Week here. ComplianceWeek

While the article carries an important message, it doesn't have to be frightening, even if you haven't yet implemented an integrated RevRec solution. 

At Bramasol, we've been leading the industry in adoption of sustainable RevRec solutions that use RAR along with integrated SAP Analytics Cloud functionality to provide agile and adaptable disclosure reporting.  Ranging from extensive custom functionality to very targeted and affordable purpose-built disclosure applications, we span the gamut of requirements.  We've even created targeted solutions for companies that previously took the "spreadsheet shortcut" and now need to get on to a more sustainable compliance path.

Check out the links below for a look at these pre-built offerings.  Don't hesitate to contact us if you need something more or just have questions about how to move forward.

Get Bramasol's RevRec Analytics and Disclosure App Now Available on SAP App Center

Learn about Bramasol's RevRec Ready Rapid Compliance Solution

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eBook - S/4HANA is the Future: Understanding Why and How to Get There

Fri, Oct 12, 2018 @ 07:46 AM / by Bramasol Financial Transformation Team posted in S/4HANA, CFO, financial transformation, Financial Innovation

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This eBook provides a brief overview how S/4HANA represents the future for companies currently using SAP platforms, as well as many other companies looking for a sustainable path to finance innovation.  It also lays out some of the key considerations in developing a roadmap to implement and get the best results from S/4HANA.

S4HANA is the FutureThe focus of this piece is to provide a roadmap for planning and carrying out implementation of SAP S/4HANA and Digital Core environment, with an emphasis on the Why, How, and Key Steps for Success.

If you ever had a question, Why Financial Transformation? This is the must read eBook meant for you, As most conventional finance management technologies have been in existence for decades and, while they offer a familiar environment, the lack of unified solutions create significant limitations when it comes to keeping pace with today’s complex and dynamically changing corporate challenges. 

This eBook addresses nearly all of your S/4HANA related questions starting from what really is S/4HANA, Key benefits of the S/4HANA architecture vs. Legacy Systems, How it can transform the Enterprise Finance Landscape and a roadmap for S/4HANA success.

Here is the quick  Index of the this value eBook;S4HANA eBook Content-1

Instead of always grappling with reassembling disparate pieces of the picture this enables CFOs and staff throughout the company to see a holistic real-time view that encompasses all operational data sets and analysis capabilities within a single unified architecture.

In addition to improving both the access to and the ability to manipulate information, S/4HANA also dramatically improves real-time analytics performance because nothing must be moved, massaged or reconciled before the analysis.

Download our eBook to learn more

S/4HANA’s data compression and immediate accessibility capabilities have enabled a single source of truth and shared decision-making environment for everyone, the financial transformation approach radically changes how people interact and collaborate to solve problems and improve performance.

Download our eBook Now

You may also be interested in our recent Thought Leadership blog-The Financial Transformation Maze – Developing A Roadmap To Help CFOs

New eBook: S/4HANA is the Future: Understanding Why and How to Get There Download Now

 

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Celebrate AP Recognition Week by Learning How Concur and S/4HANA can Streamline Expense Management

Tue, Oct 9, 2018 @ 09:40 AM / by Bramasol Financial Transformation Team posted in S/4HANA, FinancialTransformation-Hot-Tips

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FinancialTransformation-HotTipThe Institute of Financial Operations sets aside a week every year to celebrate the dedication, drive, and accomplishments of Accounts Payable staff as key financial operations professionals.

AP-recognition-week

As you celebrate, why not take a little time to prepare for the future of AP and expense management by learning more about how the combination of SAP Concur with S/4HANA and other best-of-breed apps can transform and streamline your AP operations.

Control your finances with end-to-end, automated data synchronization between SAP Concur and your SAP
business applications on SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA. Integrating the world’s most powerful spend
management tool with your SAP business applications means you can more effortlessly and accurately manage expenses to get a complete view of your finances in one place. SAP Concur automates and connects the entire spending process—from pre-spend approval to reconciliation, reporting and analytics—right into your SAP systems.

SAP Concur is a key element within the overall intelligent SAP Digital Core that forms the heart of business optimization going forward. 

As a leader in helping companies with their overall Finance Transformation initiatives, Bramasol has been developing a range of specific entry-point methodologies, such as expense optimization with Concur, that can provide "on-ramps" to S/4HANA without taking on too much in the beginning.  By integrating with SAP Analytics Cloud and other best-of-breed applications, companies are able to streamline this key operational area while also laying the foundation for broader transformation opportunities.

 

SAPIntelligentDigitalCore

To help you get the complete picture and lay out a road-map forward, we're offering these two important ebooks in one download.

  • Native Integration of Expense Management with S/4HANA, Concur and SuccessFactors
  • Integrate best-in-class SAP Applications with SAP Concur Expense Professional

 Two eBooks on Concur, S/4HANA and Integration of Expense Management Download Here

 

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New RevRec Analytics and Disclosure App Debuts at TechEd

Tue, Oct 2, 2018 @ 03:07 AM / by Bramasol RevRec Team

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Bramasol, the leader in compliance and finance innovation solutions, is pleased to introduce a new, purpose-built application, Analytics for Revenue Recognition Disclosure Reporting.  This application is being introduced at SAP TechEd in Las Vegas, NV on October 2, 2018 and will be available for purchase starting on October 6, 2018 through the SAP App Center.

AnalyticsforRevRecDisclosure

This complete Revenue Recognition Disclosure solution is comprised of both reports and analytics to streamline compliance with ASC 606 and IFRS 15 while also providing companies with valuable insights to manage revenue in relation to overall business goals.

The pre-defined report package includes 11 Revenue Recognition Disclosure reports developed in either ECC or BW.  These reports include disclosure quantitative, qualitative, and mixed report data. Quantitative reports for compliance are available out-of-the-box and custom Qualitative reports can be tailored to the specific needs of each company.

aggregated-revenue

The Analytics for Revenue Recognition Disclosure Reporting application includes highly-flexible analytics that provide companies with the specific quantitative information needed to fulfill statutory reporting requirements and are designed to visually surface any set of relevant information needed to support accurate understanding and timely decision making.

Features of the app include:

  • Overview page showing total deferred revenue rolling up from short term and long-term deferred revenue to total deferred revenue.
  • Indicators for Posted Revenue, Deferred Revenue, and Recognized but not Posted Revenue.
  • Disclosures of Impairment Loss per Contract and Revenue by Contracts and POB Type. 
  • Interactive page allowing drill down and drill through on different POB Types and Contracts.
  • Revenue page showing aggregated POBs with a POB Details report.
  • Schedule page showing Deferred Revenue and Posted Revenue by contract as well as a Contract Revenue Schedule.

 Get Bramasol's RevRec Analytics and Disclosure App Now Available on SAP App Center

 

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Changing Roles and Responsibilities for the Office of the CFO

Wed, Sep 26, 2018 @ 06:08 AM / by David Fellers posted in CEO perspective, S/4HANA

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As companies grapple with accelerating changes across most global markets, they face critical challenges for staying ahead of competitors, sustaining growth, maximizing profitability, complying with regulatory requirements and establishing organizational agility to respond quickly to the unexpected.

In the face of these important forces, the Office of the CFO is evolving beyond a traditional focus on accounting, controlling and reporting and is now taking on a much broader scope within most organizations. 

CFOresponsibilities

In addition to the traditional short-term, quarter-to-quarter pressures of closing and reporting financial information, CFOs are increasingly responsible for strategically important existential issues and business innovation programs.

Some of the Key forces driving change for CFOs:

  • Compliance with regulatory mandates
  • Unification of data sources and legacy data
  • Asset management, utilization and financing
  • Machine Learning
  • Cybersecurity and privacy issues
  • Movement to Cloud Solutions

Let’s take a brief look at each of these forces.

Compliance Requirements – New Mandates and Reassessment of Existing Regulations

Recent and impending regulatory changes to Revenue Recognition (ASC 606 and IFRS 15), Lease Accounting (ASC 842 and IFRS), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and others are forcing companies to undertake significant changes to their accounting and reporting processes.  In addition, each of these major changes to accounting processes also will generate reassessment of Internal Control over Financial Reporting (ICFR) procedures and Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) compliance.

Beyond the accounting issues, these waves of regulatory change are also having major impact on overall business performance and investor relations, such as the income statement impacts of RevRec and the balance sheet impacts of Lease Accounting changes.  CFOs need to help guide their companies through these issues to assure compliance while mitigating or avoiding any negative business impacts.

Unification of Data within a Single-source-of-Truth

One of the most important challenges that companies must overcome to effectively compete in today’s fast-moving environment is the ability to make better and faster decisions.  In this effort, data is our friend, but it doesn’t always seem like it.  For most companies, the explosion of big data is happening across a diverse landscape of disconnected legacy data structures that are not conducive to fast or easy decision-making.  All too often, participants in the decision-making process are operating on separate sources of information that must be reconciled before they can even understand the issues that they’re trying to address.

Here again, CFOs are at the center of the financial transformation process that is vital for solving these “disagreeable data” issues.  By proactively moving to advanced platforms such as SAP’s S/4HANA that can bring together all data and transactional operations within a unified and highly scalable environment, CFOs can provide a “single-source-of-truth” to streamline the decision process and use data to bring people together rather than keeping them apart.

Asset Management, Utilization and Financing

Accounting organizations have always been responsible for the numbers related to corporate assets but in too many cases the actual acquisition and management processes for many leased and purchased assets take place in widely dispersed and often autonomous organizational units.  This has made it difficult to get a clear picture of asset deployment and utilization processes throughout the company.

In this case, one of the big regulatory changes around lease accounting (ASC 842 and IFRS 16) can have a positive and transformative effect on overall asset management processes.  Compliance with these changes requires companies to get a better handle on their assets inventory and conduct appropriate assessments for financial reporting.  A major side benefit of implementing ASC 842 & IFRS 16 will be the unification of information on assets within a single end-to-end process that not only meets the accounting mandates but gives decision-makers and line managers at all levels a shared view and standardized criteria for asset acquisition, financing, utilization and lifecycle management.

Machine Learning

This is an exciting arena that is destined to impact companies across a wide range of functions, including within the accounting group and beyond.  Machine learning uses statistical techniques to give computer systems the ability to “learn” and to automatically improve performance based on data.

Within the CFO’s domain, machine learning can significantly improve productivity and processing speed in transactional areas such as procurement, order-to-payment, cash management, etc.  By leveraging a unified data-and-transactional environment such as S/4HANA along with integrated analytics, new initiatives in machine learning can automate many of these repetitive processes and free up staff to more effectively manage the bigger picture.  In addition, machine learning is destined to transform many front-line processes in operations and even sales – so CFOs can act as a vanguard and guide for helping optimize these machine learning initiatives throughout the organization.

Cybersecurity and Privacy Issues

Everyone knows that cybersecurity is a major risk area that all companies need to continuously address. In addition, heightened focus on privacy issues such as GDPR in Europe along with similar initiatives in the US and around the world are spurring companies to improve controls over their collection and usage of other people’s data. 

Because of these external driving forces from the compliance side, in many companies the primary responsibility for privacy and security is shifting more toward the CFO rather than being handled solely within the IT department. While the implementation responsibilities and duty to safeguard information will continue to be shared across many functional areas, the overall mandates for cybersecurity and privacy compliance are most often landing in the laps of CFOs.

Movement to Cloud Solutions

This last area of change for CFOs is perhaps the most wide-ranging and is interrelated with all the issues discussed above.  Moving applications to the cloud enables companies to gain many benefits, such as lower infrastructure and capital expenditure costs, improved scalability, increased collaboration between users, consistent user interfaces, shared data structures, and easier upgrades.

Most companies have been moving toward the cloud already but in many cases it has been a piecemeal process of using targeted Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications for specific functions, such as CRM, marketing automation, sales support, etc.  Many enterprises are already running parts of SAP in the cloud as well with solutions such as SuccessFactors for human resources and Ariba for procurement.

CFOwordcloud2What is needed going forward is a more comprehensive approach to cloud migration that addresses the strategic issues relating to cloud solutions.  Here again, CFOs need to take the lead on defining the overall goals and laying out the roadmaps for implementation. 

With S/4HANA’s unifying approach and options for either on-premise or cloud deployments, CFOs have an excellent opportunity to chart a course for their companies that includes both near-term incremental opportunities and an overall vision for cloud across the organization.

The bottom line for CFOs is the need to step up and lead their organizations in all the six areas discussed above and to provide the enterprise-wide perspective to pull all these transformational pieces together. 

At Bramasol, we only have one question for you: “How can we help you get there?”

New eBook: S/4HANA is the Future: Understanding Why and How to Get There Download Now

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New S/4HANA version 1809 Released to General Availability

Tue, Sep 25, 2018 @ 12:56 AM / by Bramasol Financial Transformation Team posted in S/4HANA, FinancialTransformation-Hot-Tips

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FinancialTransformation-HotTipToday marks a key milestone in the evolution of S/4HANA with the release to general availability of SAP S/4HANA 1809.  As a co-innovation partner with SAP, Bramasol is pleased to offer our help and expertise on mapping out and fulfilling your journey to SAP S/4HANA.

S/4HANA embodies these four characteristics that are the basis for a digital core:

  1. An architecture that delivers a scalable foundation to transact at highest possible automation
  2. A system that supports and steers the business using real-time embedded analytics, simulation, prediction, and decision support to run live business
  3. An end-to-end experience that allows to be faster implemented, consumed, and adapted
  4. An open architecture to allow connectedness and adoption of micro-services

S/4HANA 1809 continues to build out these three ingredients to make the digital core intelligent:

  1. A digital age UX, or more precisely a conversational user interface and natural language interaction which allow us to target a hands-free ERP by 2020
  2. Automation of business processes: We strive for an automation of 50 % of all ERP business processes within the next three years. This automation mainly addresses companies´ bottom lines and helps saving costs.
  3. The next generation of business processes: While providing a streamlined architecture and technology that did not exist before, we want to target the top line increase by providing the infrastructure to completely rethink value creation and service tasks.

S4HANA_IntelligentSuite

 

Watch this brief video to learn more.

Read the full blog post from SAP here.

To learn more about S/4HANA, read the latest eBook from Bramasol.

New eBook: S/4HANA is the Future: Understanding Why and How to Get There Download Now

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New App from Bramasol Provides Analytics Solution for RevRec Compliance

Mon, Sep 24, 2018 @ 01:49 PM / by Bramasol Financial Transformation Team posted in revrec, SAPappcenter

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Bramasol is pleased to announce the release of our new app: "Analytics for Revenue Recognition Disclosure Reporting" that is now available for purchase in the SAP AppCenter.

Companies world-wide rely on Bramasol to help them comply with and benefit from Revenue Recognition regulations ASC 606 and IFRS 15. Our IP, Reporting Tools and Experts can help you to meet them. Bramasol is the Revenue Recognition leader and a recognized SAP Revenue Recognition services partner for companies seeking to comply with and benefit from the new Rev Rec standards. 

This new solution includes highly-flexible analytics that provide companies with the specific quantitative information needed to fulfill statutory reporting requirements and are designed to visually surface any set of relevant information needed to support accurate understanding and timely decision making.

Click here to View the Bramasol Analytics for RevRec Disclosures App in the SAP AppCenter.

AnalyticsforRevRecDisclosure

 

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The Financial Transformation Maze – Developing A Roadmap To Help CFOs

Tue, Sep 18, 2018 @ 09:11 AM / by Trevor Lovegrove posted in S4HANA, s4/hana cloud, Financial Innovation, financial transformation, CFO

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By 2020, corporate finance professionals are going to have some pretty big challenges on their hands. Compliance requirements are changing, and the inherent limitations of existing legacy finance and ERP systems are going to be at threat.

There’s a maze of complexity that’s becoming ever harder to navigate, but your competitors are finding smart ways to get through it.

And that’s a problem for CFOs who need to get up to speed on new-generation systems and best practices for business transformation. Doing nothing isn’t an option. You need to start moving – and fast.

The financial transformation maze – developing a map to help CFOs

1-CFOCommon challenges for CFOs

There are a couple of main challenges I see CFOs having to get their heads around in the next couple of years:

  • It takes too long to reconcile, analyze and report on financial data.
  • The accuracy and consolidation of financial data difficult and time-consuming to achieve.

 

In other words,

  • You’re grinding your gears just to pull together the basic financial data needed for month-end & year-end close processes.
  • You’re wasting time reconciling reports because of conflicting data sets.
  • You’re stuck when you need quick ad-hoc and agile reporting to support operational decision-making.
  • Your current data infrastructure makes it almost impossible to predict business performance.

 None of this is satisfactory. And that’s not the end of it.

2-compliance

Compliance and regulatory changes

On top of the challenges of getting timely, accurate data, you have to think about looming compliance changes, such as:

  • Revenue Recognition Changes (ASC 606 and IFRS 15) 
  • Lease Accounting Changes (ASC 842 & IFRS 16) 
  • Financial Instruments Impairments & Disclosures (IFRS 9) 

 

While you wrestle with all this, you have to keep your business imperative in mind: to provide the strategic and tactical thinking that supports growth while keeping your competitors from edging you out.

Before you give up in desperation, don’t lose sight of what financial transformation can help you achieve: better client engagement, increased service profitability and lower costs, and streamlined processes.

These are things all ambitious CFOs want to deliver for their organizations. But you need a plan.

3-action-plan

Developing a plan of action for financial transformation

Getting out of this maze of transformation isn’t quick or easy – but the map is at least simple in construction.

Here are my suggested steps:

 

  1. Think about your starting point – take stock of your current capabilities. What are the pain points holding you back?
  2. Plot the roadmap – work out which platform or solution can help you make progress, and assess the funding needed.
  3. Start moving – proceed to implementation now. It can take 2–3 years for a financial transformation plan to march to completion.
  4. Monitor, manage and adjust course continually - A well-planned implementation should yield incremental benefits throughout the process.

Download Bramasol's newest eBook to learn more.

4-plot

How to plot the roadmap

You’ve already been feeling the pain of not having accurate and timely data. Now you want to draw up your plans to sort it out. What to do?

Good news: there’s a growing set of tech solutions that will help you keep on top of regulatory requirements while also cracking the chronic pains of dealing with inconsistent data.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Real-time and predictive analytics – engage with your customers and optimize cashflows.
  • Combined core ERP and finance systems – use a modular approach to provide best-of-breed capabilities in multiple streams.
  • In-memory consolidation of data and transactions – dump the islands of disparate data and make month-end and year-end closing easier.
  • ‘Single version of the truth’ – end the era of letting opinions overrule data. Get data that everyone can agree on to help you speed up and improve the way tactics are decided.
  • Intuitive user interface – access your data through unified systems (including mobile) that are built to support regular reporting but that also cater for ongoing management and ad-hoc decision-making.
  • Cloud-based implementation – reduce time-to-operation, keep costs down and scale easily.

You could spend a long time researching financial transformation solutions and tie yourself up in knots working out what’s right for your organization - or you can work with a partner that knows the landscape.


Many of those solutions tackle some of the above issues to a greater or lesser extent. But do you and your staff really have the time to research multiple pieces to the puzzle and to assembly them for your specific needs? So, what’s right for you?

S/4HANA – a trusted route through the financial transformation maze

At Bramasol, we collaborate with busy CFOs at companies with revenues in nine figures (hundreds of millions) or above.

We’ve found that they want a reliable partner that looks to simplify processes and supports them throughout the financial maze described above. We give our clients simple real-time and embedded analytics, all built on the cloud and with intuitive interfaces that support the modern mobile user.

This is where the Digital Core embodied by S/4HANA comes in – it addresses all of the above needs and more besides. And we think it’s the best roadmap available for today’s forward-thinking CFO.

Many clients have trusted us to help them overcome their financial transformation challenges.

Download Bramasol's newest eBook to learn more.

 

New eBook: S/4HANA is the Future: Understanding Why and How to Get There Download Now

 

 

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Webinar Video : ASC 842 Leasing Disclosures: More Than Compliance – Insights To Action

Mon, Sep 17, 2018 @ 06:07 AM / by Bramasol Leasing Administration Team posted in leasing, ASC 842

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If you thought ASC 842 Disclosures were just to make the SEC happy, think again. Leveraging Bramasol’s Disclosure reports and analytics on SAP S/4 can provide you with insights into your lease portfolio. Manage costs, understand interest rates and view your portfolios globally so you can have real insights into your leased asset portfolio.

Recorded on September 27, 2018 for this timely webinar:

ASC 842 Leasing Disclosures: More Than Compliance – Insights To Action

September 27, 2018

27-sep-webinar-banner-ASC 842 Leasing Disclosuresp- more than compliance-social-2-new

Note: video recordings of all Bramasol webinars are made available so you may want to check our resource center if you're unable to attend the live sessions.

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New eBook: S/4HANA is the Future: Understanding Why and How to Get There Download Now
Download the eBook: Transitioning to ASC 842 using the Portfolio Approach to Group Leases

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