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Over the years, we have been asked by CCH Tagetik customers to help them find ways to maximize the value of their existing CCH Tagetik investments. In doing this work, we found that, in many cases, decisions made during the setup of the product were limiting its use – and the customer’s return on investment.
This post describes the 5 most common factors limiting CCH Tagetik’s use. If you recognize any of these, you also may have untapped potential.
1. AN ABUNDANCE OF CONSOLIDATION SCENARIOS
Tagetik stores entity data in an original scenario. When consolidating a certain scope of entities, this data is copied, translated and consolidated in a consolidation scenario. We noticed that some CCH Tagetik users were creating and maintaining dozens of consolidation scenarios per calendar year. We advise customers to refrain from using consolidation scenarios unless there is the explicit need for external disclosure, for example in an annual report.
The real power of CCH Tagetik lies within the original scenario as it supports on-the-fly currency translation and management consolidation through its segment reporting functionality. We have many clients that only maintain a single consolidation scenario per calendar year; other information needs are addressed by the original scenario.
2. FINANCIAL ACCOUNT AND MANAGEMENT ACCOUNTING: FRIENDS OR FOES
Every corporation is looking to scrutinize and manage financial performance from different angles – understanding cost by nature as well as cost by function and understanding segmental contribution margins. Only in rare situations do these financial views originate from a single source.
Transactional systems often separate financial accounting from management accounting. Think about how SAP clearly separates the SAP FI module from the SAP CO module. This raises the question, “How wise is it to combine both sources in a single income statement view in CCH Tagetik by applying custom dimensions on the income statement accounts?”.
Though this approach may sound like an attractive and efficient setup, the impact on data quality, ETL, elimination and consolidation postings and ultimately performance can be significant. In specific cases it could be more prudent to capture management accounting needs in a set of dedicated, statistical accounts.
3. UNDERESTIMATING TRANSACTIONAL THINKING IN THE DATA MODEL
An integrated design concept unifies income statement, balance sheet, balance sheet movements and cash flow statement for a single entity as well as for a consolidated group of entities. In our work, we have seen set ups which showed a lack of integrated design thinking.
Based on our experience, we know that a profound understanding of transactions and how those are processed in journal entries delivers a very different data model compared to a data model created only on the back of reporting needs. Typical indicators that demonstrate a lack of integrated design thinking include movement schedules not being applied across all of the balance sheet accounts and elimination and consolidation postings only being captured at the level of the trial balance rather than at the level of the individual movement type.
The consequence of a poorly integrated data model is often a consolidated cash flow statement that needs ad hoc manual overrides in order to be completed.
4. STORED PROCEDURES
CCH Tagetik allows the office of finance to own the corporate performance management solution without the need to rely on IT consultants or external resources. The software features rich built-in functionalities and business rules that can be simply activated or de-activated.
For more complex business requirements, MDXscripts can be applied – though in most cases, this already goes beyond the capabilities of many in the office of finance. For even more complex business requirements, stored procedures can be applied, scripting directly at database level.
When stored procedures are the only option left, it may be worth asking the question, “Should the software adapt to the business process, or should the business process adapt to the software?”. This is a fundamental question. In this case, when the software is forced to adapt to the business process by introducing stored procedures, the office of finance loses the ability to overseeapplicationbehavior, giving rise to a lack of transparency that results in an increasing feeling of unease with the data and a permanent reliance on IT consultants or external resources.
Keeping a long-term perspective in mind, it may be wiser to actually have the business process adapt to the software.
5. REPORTS: BURDEN OR BLESSING
The CCH Tagetik reporting client and its advanced capabilities give customers the ability to create a handful of powerful standard reports that can feed the needs of an entire reporting factory. Offering the user flexible report parameters and automating cross-dimensional dependencies – why ask the user to select an Amount Type when we can assume he needs TIP_O for Original Scenarios and TIP_CV for Consolidation Scenarios – brings many advantages. It reduces user driven errors and consequently reduces incorrect output; as such increasing the comfort feeling users have with the data. It furthermore reduces the need for redundancy in terms of reports; as such limiting maintenance efforts when metadata changes.
If reporting is considered a burden, chances are reports are not set up properly.
CCH Tagetik wants every customer to realize full value from its CPM investment. If you recognize any of these factors, we’d be happy to work with you to eliminate any set up obstacles that are compromising or constraining your use.
Please meet up with us @ Tagetik In Touch May 2017 in Lucca or register for our free Tagetik quickscan tombola by filling in the registration questionnaire.
Casper van Leeuwen is a partner at Satriun Group, a European consultancy specialized in Corporate Performance Management and the practical application of CPM with enterprises.
Would you like to receive more information or exchange thoughts about the subject?
Please contact Casper on +31 6 13 08 49 72 and firstname.lastname@example.org