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This week we are profiling Controlling 2014 speaker Elitza Alexandrova. Elitza is the Senior Financial Analyst at SPX Genfare, a leader in providing customized fare solutions to transit agencies of all sizes throughout North America and part of SPX Corporation, a Fortune 500 manufacturing and industrial equipment supplier.
How did you get your start with SAP and SAP Controlling?
I started working for SPX Corporation in their Accounting and Finance Rotational Program in the summer of 2008. During my first assignment, I worked on assisting with the month-end and quarter-end closing procedures for one of our divisions in the UK, whose ERP system was SAP. This was my first main exposure to SAP. Later throughout my other rotations and also during my internal audit work, I used SAP on ad-hoc basis. Once I moved from our headquarters in Charlotte, NC to SPX Genfare in Elk Grove Village, IL is when I got bigger exposure to SAP and SAP Controlling working closely with John Jordan (who is our SAP consultant) on the SAP profitability analysis project.
What is one of the most important trends that you see currently in SAP Controlling?
Attending the SAP Controlling conference last year, there was a lot of discussion on SAP HANA and how that will change Controlling and how HANA will be useful to businesses. The main points I took from those discussions is that HANA is a data platform, which can be deployed either on a traditional on-premise appliance or on the Cloud, that will allow businesses to perform real-time business analytics and that also HANA combines both transactional and analytical processing. HANA allows the processing of data very quickly, which would enable real-time analytics and reporting. Also, I just attended a webinar presented by Janet Salmon, which provided a sneak peak of SAP smart accounting and I am looking forward to learning more about it at the Controlling 2014 conference.
In your opinion, why does SAP Controlling matter?
In my opinion, SAP Controlling matters because Controlling is oriented towards management decision making. We can use Controlling to monitor the business cost centers and compare actual vs. budget spends; we can use CO-PA to get a detailed analysis of what drives business profitability – which customer, what product line, etc. Controlling gives us capabilities and details that we cannot acquire from FI. However, since Controlling can give us those details, the need often arises to be able to reconcile (at least with no material differences) to FI and to bridge both internal and external reporting.
How do you stay on top of Controlling topics? What resources do you regularly use?
I think my best approach is by hands-on experience as I work on different tasks and projects. Also, SAP Controlling 2013 was the first SAP conference that I have attended, which I found very informative and I am looking forward to Controlling 2014 as well. I also check the ERP Corp blog on a regular basis and so far I have attended one of the webinars as I mentioned above presented by Janet Salmon.
What are you looking forward to about Controlling 2014?
I am really looking forward to more of the white-board sessions. Last year they were very interactive and very informative. I am also very excited to hear more case studies by other businesses and also learning more about SAP reporting and SAP HANA.
Where is your favorite place in the world and why?
Traveling is one of the things I enjoy the most. Coming myself from Bulgaria and having lived in five countries, I love getting to know different cultures, traditions, and cuisine. Australia is one of the places I lived for five months during my college junior year and I can say it is one of my favorite places. It combines the good parts of the US with the more relaxed atmosphere of Europe. It has beautiful and very diverse nature – from Ayers Rock in the middle of Australia, which is a desert, to the rain forest and Great Barrier Reef in Northeastern Australia. I was fortunate enough to be there in 2000 during the Summer Olympics Games and I got to volunteer as a Spectator Host, which is certainly once in a lifetime experience I will never forget.