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What They Say about SAP

Still nervous about HopkinsOne? Worried about how long it will take to get the hang of SAP, the new software system? Take a deep breath and relax. Some of your colleagues have used SAP before. They’re saying it was easy to learn and made their jobs much simpler.

Steven Rum, senior associate vice president for development and alumni relations at the Fund for Johns Hopkins Medicine, was with Duke University Medical Center four years ago when that institution adopted SAP. “Using the software program made it a lot easier to track expenses,” he says.

“Development teams are constantly on the road, traveling across the country and even internationally,” Rum explains. Because SAP allowed Duke’s development officers to file their expense reports electronically from any location, “we knew instantaneously what our expenses were,” he says. “We didn’t have to wait a month for paper reports to be filed. It gave us a handle quickly on that data, and if necessary, we could easily transfer dollars from one account to another.”

Nancy Murphy, a staff accountant for the Health System’s comptroller’s office, learned the functions of SAP five years ago when she worked in accounting and information technology for Crown Central Petroleum Corp. “I liked it,” she says. “It reduced lots of the extra work I had to do.”

While she was writing financial reports, Murphy says, SAP allowed her access to real-time data. She could also pull a financial journal entry and see who entered the data and when. SAP also made it easier for her to research financial information.     

Murphy’s colleague Pamela Wockenfuss, a Health System accountant, learned SAP on the job at Black & Decker, where the system was already in place. Even without formal training in the software, Wockenfuss says she found SAP easy to learn. It made day-to-day work much simpler. “You can run multiple files and not have to jump back and forth between programs like Excel and Access,” she says.

So what about the prep work involved in launching Hopkins One? Implementing the software program does require “a tremendous amount of work,” Murphy says, “but the end result is worth it.”      

Like anything else, says Rum, change is difficult but can be dealt with. “You have to go in with the right attitude. There are going to be some kinks, and you’re going to make some mistakes at first. But we all have to be committed to this, because it’s a terrific program.”

Karen Blum

 

 

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