Former SAP executive Dan Ahlstedt joins Aico

The former CEO of SAP Finland and Head of Sales at SAP EMEA joins Aico board of directors. Dan is an expert in enterprise software and SAAS product management with more than 15 years of experience. Here is a short interview with Dan where he explains his interest in Aico Financial Close automation solution.


Please describe – what is your background within SAP?

I worked at SAP for over 15 years in different executive and international roles like Managing Director for SAP Finland, COO for Nordic and Baltic Countries and Head of Operations in EMEA region. All of the roles focused heavily in customer success, the value of software investments and developing sales efficiency.


How did you first come across Aico?

I was first introduced to Aico by board member Juho Lipsanen, who believed that Aico could benefit from my background and experience. Then I met with chairman Tapani Varjas and CEO Marko Voutilainen. They did a good job in convincing me about the wonderful Aico solution and the benefits it brings to customers. I became extremely interested in Aico and then later joined the board of directors.


What in your opinion are the unique capabilities, which Aico brings to SAP?

Aico helps SAP customers to automate their financial close processes working on one, real-time platform, which is directly integrated with SAP. Direct real-time integration to SAP and other ERP systems is game changing, because instead of performing tasks offline across multiple tools like (spreadsheets and ERP systems) finance departments can finally utilise all their tools from one place and online. Many of the customers have several versions of SAP and other ERP systems and with this setup financial processes tend to be challenging, manual and time consuming. Aico`s solutions really help organisations to speed up their finance processes, ensure data accuracy, save costs and give management more time to conclude on the financial numbers.


Why in your opinion financial close solution with direct integration to SAP is essential for mid to large size companies?

Speed in business is king. The faster you are able to close the books, the more time you will have to prepare for management and board meetings, financial reporting and do decision making. Also automated processes will help to improve financial closing quality and save cost.


What would be your advice to companies in search of financial close solution supporting SAP?

Finance management and in particular financial close process is already too complex and fragmented to add new tools, which help automate separate tasks, but do not support overall end-to-end process. So, holistic approach of managing the whole process with one tool is essential capability to look for.

Secondly – evaluate what is the capability to support your existing finance management IT landscape. Real-time data processing between your ERP systems and any finance management tool is a must in this day and age.

Lastly, think of maintenance and running costs. There are plenty of generic solutions with high maintenance costs. The aim for finance departments here is to pick low total cost of ownership solutions, which don’t require extra development and extensive IT support.

Having said that I would seriously look at Aico. Aico is the most flexible, real time, one platform solution on the market with direct integration to SAP. The implementation time and time to value is fast. The investment pay-back time is extremely competitive. There are also plenty of reference customers available.


Aico integrates to SAP in real-time. Apply for an hour of live demo to see Aico and SAP synergy in action for financial close (account reconciliation, close task management and journal entries).