In this installment of our practice director interview series, we’re speaking to David Burns, Director of the SAP Financials Practice at Utegration. Check out the main blog page to find other practice director interviews and get to know Utegration better!
What brought you to Utegration? Can you tell us a little bit about your professional background and experience?
From 1998-2008 I worked at SAP and had the opportunity to collaborate with many people who are now at Utegration. When I heard that Utegration was expanding and adding a new financials practice, this seemed very much aligned with my experience and interest.
Can you summarize the focus of your practice group, in a nutshell?
The financials practice is focused on financial reporting, internal management accounting, and meeting external accounting requirements as well (i.e. finance, accounting, and planning). We are able to provide solutions in these areas to our client utility companies. We want to build and expand our footprint with customers with the use of S/4HANA and our own FINREG solution. We hope to help guide our customers with a clear roadmap to S/4HANA.
What are some of major utility industry trends affecting your practice area today? Thoughts on trends that might affect your practice area in the future?
We’re seeing changes in SAP technologies, and we are going to have to step into the next evolution of SAP solutions going forward. HANA is opening up a whole new set of solutions to customers who need to determine a roadmap of how to upgrade technology and where to go in the next 10 years.
Tell us about your book, "Business User Guide to Financial Accounting in SAP".
My book was written to make the lives of business users easier and make them better informed of SAP Financial Accounting tools available to them.
What is your long-term vision for your practice group?
My vision is for Utegration to become a trusted advisor on the financials side of client businesses, providing consultation services, implementation efforts, and more. Since this is a new practice within Utegration, we have a great opportunity to build a strong team and work with utility customers to expand our footprint there.
Thinking further down the road, a financials practice allows Utegration to expand beyond the utilities sector. GAAP and financial reporting is something all business have to engage in, and we can leverage our years of experience with utilities to key in on similar needs in other industries – the public sector, telecommunications, etc. We’ve also combined core SAP financials with contract accounting, FICA, and business planning solutions. By merging these sectors, we have a more cohesive team and a more cohesive focus.
As new a member of the Utegration family, what do you believe sets Utegration apart, or what drew you to Utegration initially?
The first thing that drew me to Utegration was the people, especially since I had worked with so many of them in my role at SAP. Secondly, I recognized Utegration as a company that respects, encourages, utilizes peoples’ entrepreneurialism, which is unusual in a company. Finally, Utegration promotes and strives for innovation. It has recently become an SAP development partner, working to develop and implement the latest technologies in S/4HANA.