This week we are profiling Controlling 2014 speaker Thomas Bauer. Thomas is a managing partner and solution architect for planning solutions at biX Consulting in Germany, a BI consulting company he formed 5 years ago with former colleagues from SAP Germany.

 How did you get your start with SAP and SAP Controlling?

I started with SAP and SAP Controlling at the end of my university studies - my final thesis looked at Controlling and SAP Controlling in relation to a reporting and planning tool. At that time, I worked as an assistant to the corporate purchasing manager and was responsible for purchasing controlling and the implementation of a controlling tool for reporting and planning: SAP BW. Later I worked for SAP Germany as a consultant and I have been working on these topics ever since. 

What is one of the most important trends that you see currently in SAP Controlling?  

From my point of view as a consultant, I see the following trends: more automation, speeding up automated processes and data retrieval to create more time for controlling core activities, providing relevant information, and coordinating controlling processes. Analysis and planning processes are also evolving: from static reporting and budget planning to user related analysis and rolling forecasts. 

How do you stay on top of Controlling topics? What resources do you regularly use? 

If rely on a variety of resources including FI-CO Forum (http://fico-forum.com), as well as Espresso Tutorials books. For more technical resources, I use DSAG/ASUG and SAP SCN. 

What are you looking forward to about Controlling 2014?

Martin Munzel and I are providing an interactive session on "Which SAP planning tool is the best one for my organization?" I am looking forward meeting the people in our session and discussing their needs and experiences, especially regarding analytics and planning. And the location is pretty interesting, too ;-)

Where is your favorite place to vacation and why?

There are so many interesting places that it is hard to name just one. The good thing is that there are different locations for different occasions: Uluwatu on Bali is a beautiful hidaway, Berlin is inspiring city with history and future, the Dutch seaside is relaxing and I just moved to Vienna where you find a bit of it all.