The Advantages of a Familiar Interface for Financials Users
For the majority of financials professionals, the familiar Microsoft Excel spreadsheet has always been their product of choice. To allow these users to continue leveraging their Excel skill sets while still using the powerful SAP ERP Financials system, Z Option offers GLSU.
GLSU provides a flexible and intuitive spreadsheet interface for collecting and posting transactions to the SAP ERP back end. Far more than a simple batch upload program, GLSU uses a combination of a configurable spreadsheet interface with a custom ABAP load program. These two items work together to deliver:
- The ability to build data-entry applications. Users can help automate form inputs, monthly close packages, complex allocations, rebates, and accruals with GLSU by creating different spreadsheet templates, storing them on the SAP server, and distributing them to the workforce.
- A configurable workspace. Users can customize their spreadsheets with dialog boxes that let them choose and order fields from picklists. Adding, changing, or deleting fields takes seconds.
- Pre-verification of data accuracy. GLSU can check a user’s input data against live (or offline) SAP master data to warn of potential errors before posting.
So what does all this mean for users? Let’s look at a few examples of the advantages GLSU users have experienced.
A Rapid Training Cycle
Because users can continue to work within the Microsoft Excel interface, it takes less effort to train them on how to use GLSU. As Avocent Senior Accountant Amy Broadway says, “Typically, it takes very little time to train new users on GLSU — usually less than an hour — because the solution is very user friendly. GLSU has helped us become much more accurate and efficient. It gives us time to focus on other things that benefit the business.”
Whether a user is posting more than 900 lines at once or posting just two line entries, GLSU can handle the details and is flexible enough for use in various business situations. PQ Corporation’s Lead Business Systems Analyst SteveHenderson says, “It wasn’t that we were unable to do this work before, it’s just a lot easier with GLSU. It simplifies processes for almost anything that is high volume or very repetitive.”
GLSU allows end users to customize their own templates and attach the source document within the SAP application. End users save valuable time in providing supporting documentation to managers or auditors. As Catalyst Paper’s Senior SAP Functional Analyst Janet Lawrance says, “Accountants no longer have to provide an explanation of the information found in the spreadsheets. The spreadsheets are self-explanatory and provide drill-downs for further information. There would be a revolt if we ever took GLSU away from our users.”
No Need for Development Work
The user-friendly nature of GLSU also means that end users can do much more for themselves, rather than having to depend on a developer. Steve May, an SAP Business Analyst from Southco, says, “We like the fact that GLSU lets us do things ourselves rather than having to work with a developer. While other programs require a high level of technical knowledge, Z Option’s Excel-based GLSU perfectly fits our needs.”
To discover more Z Option customer GLSU success stories, visit www.zoption.com/myfiles-c8-Case_Studies.aspx.
Shari Alexander is the Director of Channel Partnerships at Z Option, an SAP partner that provides Excel-based spreadsheet integration tools for SAP ERP Financials. After graduating with her BBA with a focus on marketing and CIS, Shari joined the Z Option team in 2004 and has been instrumental in global sales expansion.
April 01, 2012