The IT Controlling of OeNB knows all cost drivers inside-out
Oesterreichische Nationalbank (OeNB) has brought transparency to the expenses and services of its IT department. To this end, the central bank of the Republic of Austria has implemented the financial management solution anafee. The use of this integrated platform has enabled the IT of OeNB to pinpoint the exact origins of IT expenses and settle them on a usage basis.
Previously, OeNB was using SAP for its IT accounting. The cost accounting module of this software, SAP Controlling CO, proved unsuitable for determining the detailed cost of the individual IT services, however. “As an IT Controller, I was able to settle the costs with SAP, but not to recalculate them,” chartered engineer Wolfgang Pflegerl, IT Controller in the Main Department for Information Technology at OeNB, explains. “I never knew where exactly these expenses were generated. SAP CO does not supply that information.”
Test calculations via SAP not possible
Test calculations are extremely important for IT Controlling and the financial settlement process. SAP works productively with real data, however, which complicates test calculations. As an additional, complicating factor, SAP is one of the National Bank’s most critical systems. “Whenever I changed any data in the system, I had to be extremely careful not to modify other, real values in SAP CO,” Pflegerl continues. “Test calculations were simply not possible.” The use of SAP also entailed that any data changes in the system were the responsibility of the Controlling department. All statements were delivered to Wolfgang Pflegerl in their final state.
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Introduction of a new solution
Wanting to work with a more detailed statement, Wolfgang Pflegerl started looking for a new, more specialised software solution for handling the cost allocation of the bank. The IT Controller envisaged a tool that would highlight the proportional cost per user transparently. The financial-management solution anafee presented Pflegerl with a solution that allowed him not only to recalculate all incurred costs down to the minutest detail, but also to plan future IT expenses more effectively.
Cost allocation at the touch of a button
Today, the OeNB IT Controlling handles the entire IT cost allocation autonomously and, above all, considerably faster. “It used to be extremely time-consuming to put together the necessary information for our customers in the specialist departments. Today, we can take care of that at the touch of a button with anafee,” Pflegerl explains. Twice a year, the IT department generates a so-called cost centre report. This report details the costs of all IT services used by individual customers. The document contains detailed information, including not only the sum of all expenses for PCs, but also information on the location and user of individual PCs. By implementing this solution, OeNB has improved both the internal overview of the individual and total costs of all services and the external overview of the service products and prices. This new transparency in IT allows customers to understand precisely which IT services they have accessed. In addition, the specialist departments are now able to verify whether the listed positions are indeed correct.
Accurate settlement constitutes another important factor in addition to awareness of the cost drivers, as anafee highlights potential accounting errors. In turn, IT Controlling recognises the actual cost drivers, allowing it to control IT expenses accurately. The scope of the solution also fits the concept of OeNB perfectly. “There are many solutions in which cost allocation only forms a small, subordinate part of the software. I do not need a vast system, however – I just want to use the cost allocation functions.
This makes anafee the perfect product for us,” Pflegerl reports.
Settling the costs of comprehensible products with their business users in a usage-based way is an important element of efficient IT cost controlling. The financial-management solution enables OeNB to carry out a considerably more precise calculation of all service prices that is based on the actual scope of the individual services. Test calculations in the system are now possible without the need for working in a productive environment. Scenario simulations and permanent target-actual cost comparisons facilitate the entire planning process by means of automated recalculations, creating higher planning security. “Thanks to anafee, I can run through different cost scenarios with just a few clicks. Settlement and planning have become significantly easier with the new solution,” Pflegerl explains.
Further planning in IT Controlling
In its first step, OeNB has achieved usage-based cost representation at an improved quality. For its second step, OeNB aims to save IT expenses, e.g. for licences, IT hardware or operating systems. Another important factor: key figure generation. “At the moment, I am recording all key figures in Excel. Having reached approximately 50 key figures, however, I am now dealing with a huge table – I need to get all the data from SAP and then capture it manually,” Pflegerl complains.
“It is extremely time-consuming, prone to error, and not very flexible. Simply not user-friendly.” In order to replace the vast Excel sheet, Pflegerl is working together with Serviceware, the producer of anafee, to find a solution that will allow him to extract key figures directly from anafee. His experience of working with Serviceware has been highly positive: “No matter whether we work on site or remotely, cooperating with the anafee consultants has been extremely effective – especially in terms of their availability and support.”