Q&A: Find Out About the New Functionality Available with SAP S/4HANA Finance

Q: What are the new tables available with S/4HANA Finance?

A: For FI/CO, It is ACDOCA. At the same time, many old tables are made obsolete. These are the index tables like BSIS/AS, BSIK/AK, BSID/AD and so on.

Q: What is the impact of S/4HANA Finance functionality on period closing?

A: S4 HANA Finance helps to cut down on the period close timelines. SAP itself was able to cut more than 400 hours from its month end close. It improves the performance of transactions, some transactions can now be executed during the month and many reconciliation steps are made obsolete. So overall, it helps to close books faster.

Q: Is New GL migration necessary for SFIN, for the customers still on classic GL?

A: New GL Migration is not mandatory to migrate to SFIN.. But post migration to SFIN, Document Splitting and Parallel Ledger cant be activated. So, for customers intending to use those features, New GL Migration must precede SFIN Migration.

Q: How different is Simple Finance from S/4HANA Finance?

A: Simple Finance was the earlier name, it is now renamed to S4 HANA Finance... It must be noted in Finance in S4 HANA 1511 is different than S4 HANA Finance.

Q: What is Central Finance?

A: It is an approach to merge multiple systems of record into one, for Finance Transformation.. Applies to companies having heterogenous landscapes.

Q: If a business is able to close the asset period with errors, what about data accuracy and reporting?

A: Yes, businesses can close the period with errors. However, it must be done if the impact is not material (huge).

Q: What if a user forgot to enter the asset/assets(which had errors) in subsequent months?

A: No need to worry, you can run the depreciation AFAB at Co. Code level - SAP will take care of it automatically.

Q: What are the changes on the New Asset Accounting Area? Heard that the delta depreciation is no longer part of the AA. How will the new AA take care of clients who are using the Delta depreciation area?

A: Yes, Delta Area is no longer needed in the New AA. For the clients already having it, it will remain, though its posting indicator would change to 0 (Statistical).

Q: After SFIN do we need to perform CO month end process like RA, WIP or settlements as FI and CO in same bucket?

A: Yes, that process remains same.

Q: What are the month end transactions that can NOW be executed during the month?

A: Inter-Company reconciliation is one such transaction.. Matching of GR/IR items is now more comprehensive with the help of Fiori Apps.

Q: We are looking at the Central Finance component to bring transactions from several different ERP' int one instance.  Is this an official book of record?  A recommended use of central finance?  for a large company, how long would this take?

A: Yes, that's right.. the Central Finance would become the system of record, as far as FInance is concerned. Timelines would depend on the no. of source systems to be integrated and the master data harmonization required. If all source systems are SAP, timelines would be less, as compared to non-SAP source systems

Q: Is 'Consolidation' functionality covered under "Embedded BPC"?

A: Yes. Consolidation works like earlier, in BPC.

Q: I've heard of something like a virtual close that can be done during the month, how does that work and how good is the information from it?

A: Inter-Co reconciliation is what can be executed during the month. Earlier it used to be a period end process. 

Q: If month-end remains same than what we mean by universal Journal and how it helps?

A: Universal Journal is merger of FI and CO document. Now in SFIN, you wont have separate FI and CO documents. Imagine classical BSEG with all COPA Chars now in it - that's Universal Journal. It gives combined view of Management reporting and Legal View. But stores data only once, at one place.

Q: What is the concept of Parallel ledger under the new AA?

A: If you have to report based on IFRS and Local GAAP, you will only need 2 depreciation areas, each integrated to Leading OR Non-leading Ledger. You wont need a Delta Department Area now. Both the dep areas will have posting indicator 1.

Q: What is the impact on SAP BW if the customer is heavy custom extraction from ECC?

A: If you were using BW only for performance reasons, you can actually discard it now, as HANA can handle voluminous data. But if BW was used for data conversion and harmonized reporting, you can continue to use it.

Q: I heard Secondary cost elements are going to be GL accounts..What is the reason?

A: Yes, you are right. Now FI and CO will be ever reconciled with this - no need for any reconciliation separately.

Q: What if you are using EC-CS for consolidations?

A: That can still be used.

Q: Can clients still use EC-CS consolidation in SFIN?

A: Yes. It is possible.

Q: Do you still need the CO-FI Reconciliation account and secondary cost elements?

A: No. CO-FI reco feature is no longer needed, because Secondary cost element is posted in FI now.. Secondary CE is now at par with GL account

Q: Regarding the New GL migration in order for document splitting to be performed, does a full blown New GL implementation need to be performed or is there a skinny down version of a New GL implementation; what are the steps?

A: If you are an existing SAP Customer not having New GL active, you must activate document splitting before migration to SFIN... After migration to SFIN, it cant be activated as of now.. But you can expect the same in 2017.

Q: After S/4 HANA is it right to say that we can get rid off of BI and BO as reporting will be faster from ECC itself?

A: Both Yes and No... If you were using BI for performance reasons alone, then answer is YES.. If you were using it for harmonized reporting or if you have BPC, then you need BI.

Q: Has anything changed in the product costing area in SFIN?

A: Activity Based Costing with Parallel Delta Version is not supported.. Otherwise, everything else is supported. Many new transactions are offered which are faster than earlier ones, like KKSIH, KKAOH, etc.

Q: So Universal Journal=BSEG+CE1* correct not FAGLFLEXA+CE1*?

A: Universal Journal is BSEG CE1* ANEP Material Ledger Tables and COEP as well.

Q: If you don't use new GL is the PCA ledger still there as a separate module?

A: Yes, Classical PCA can still be used.

Q: How good is the use of Appendix Ledger? What purpose will it solve under S/4 HANA

A: Appendix Ledger is where you have to make very very few adjustments for a parallel reporting.. Hence, every doc need not be replicated in it from Leading Ledger.. It hosts only the manual adjustments.

Q: Does S/4 HANA with SFIN come as package in NEW SAP INSTALLATION or we need to pay extra for it?

A: It is a part of it - no extra cost.

Q: Can you explain the concept of document splitting and how it would be used?

A: Document Splitting helps you to derive Balance Sheet one level below the Company Code, like, Profit Center or Business Area or Segment.

Q: Do all the document details come over to the central finance component, what about the attachments (e.g. stored in OpenText)?

A: All document details do come to SFIN.. Am not sure about the attachments, but I think they don't, as of now.

Q: Other than parallel posting, what additional functionality is offered by new AA?

A: All document details do come to SFIN. I am not sure about the attachments, but I think they don't, as of now

FI-AA is now always reconciled. Its more flexible as you can post a transaction specific to a Dep. Area and no need to do AJAB at end of the year and depreciation is posted for each asset individually.

Q: I have a follow up on the Parallel Ledger query. If we have to post a specific amount only to the local ledger and not to the leading ledger we were using the delay depreciation area. Can we post a different amount to the local ledger using Parallel ledger.

A: Yes, it is possible using AB01L.

Q: We currently use account determination during real-time integration to direct the DR and CR sides of CO allocations to different GL accounts for above or below the line classification.  We were told that we will lose that ability since the SCE posts to FI?

A: Yes. Now SCE will post to FI which is a Good news. Imagine you will now have one GL account per SCE, without writing a substitution with User Exit.

Q: So how does labor confirmation will look like?

A: That will now post a document in FI. Earlier it was only a CO document.

Q: Is "Banks" and "Electronic Bank Statement" part of S4/HANA Financials?  If it is, what improvements if any with the process?

A: Yes, they are.. Creation of House Banks is now a Master Data and can be done only from Fiori Apps.

Q: How about assessments and distribution? Can we still use the functionality?

A: Yes, it is possible.

Q: We use Business Objects for harmonized reporting on multiple ERPs. We're using BW for limited reporting, but it does feed BPC 10 NW. so we would need to keep BW, correct?

A: Yes, that's right.

Q: Will we at some point have to convert to new GL?

A: Once on SFIN or S4 HANA, you are by default in New GL, but without Doc Splitting and Parallel Ledger.. that means you would be using a Lighter Version of New GL.

Q: FI & CO opening-closings periods will be done from one t-code or different ? If done from one t-code, can we close FI and keep CO period open?

A: That continues to work as before.

Q: Can document splitting and parallel ledger be activated as part of S/4 implementation or does it need to be done as a separate project in advance?

A: As of now, it needs to be done in advance. In 2017, you should be able to do it, post Migration to S/4 as well.

Q: Is it true that in S/4 all old deferred revenue transactions are replaced by new solution called RAR (Rev. Accounting and reporting)? So no more VF44, VF45, VF46, VF47 etc possible?

A: Yes. It has been replaced by New Feature. But the scope of new feature is much less as of now than the earlier one.. So Customers must evaluate before choosing S4 HANA.

Q: There used to be technical reconciliation in ECC, is this still there in SFIN, or it is eliminated?

A: Eliminated to a great extent.. FI-AA, FI-CO, FI-COPA, is all obsolete.

Q: We are on Classic GL and want to redesign our COA; should we do that before the new SFIN implementation or during the migration to the SFIN?

A: It should be done either before SFIN or After SFIN.. It cant be done during the Migration to SFIN.. I would recommend BEFORE SFIN.

Q: Is having Fiori deployed a pre-requisite for implementing S/4 HANA Finance?

A: No. It is not! It is optional.

Q: Are there any special considerations with SFIN or new AA for customers using Group Assets?

A: Nothing as such.. Group Assets are still supported.

Q: What is a typical migration timeline?

A: 5 months at minimum, but can vary between 5-10 months.

Q: I heard certain master data creation transactions have been replace by Fiori - true?

A: Yes. for Eg House Banks and Bank Accounts.

Q: Has anything changed on the Electronic Banking side in S/4 HANA? Other than creating House Banks in the Fiori App, are there any other significant changes?

A: Full Version of SAP BCM comes with a license now.. It provides Approval workflow for managing Bank Accounts, Signatory Management, etc.

Q: Does S/4 HANA with SFIN come with standard NEW SAP installation? Or we need to pay extra for SFIN?

A: It is included.

Q: Can you still use costing-based COPA, or does it go away completely? We use it in part to look at COGS and production variances by cost component and variance category, which is much more detailed than what is in GL.

A: CBCOPA can be used. COGS by cost comp split and variances by variance category are now available with account based COPA as well.

Q: What area of SFIN migration provides the biggest payback to an organization? For example, reduction in infrastructure costs, reduced closing cost?, other??

A: TCO reduces, period close timelines reduce, maintenance of the system is easy and you don't need to do endless reconciliations. processes now run faster, MRP gives the Output in a Flash, which used to take overnight earlier.

Q: Are there any major changes to automatic payment program and dunning in SFIN?

A: No, they remain the same.

Q: On the labor confirmation question - do you still debit an order and credit a cost center (different cost objects)?

A: Yes, that is right.

Q: If we are existing customer than to implement S/4 HANA with SFIN what is CAPEX (only SAP COST) and what is approximate implementation partner cost?

A: That's difficult to answer here.

Q: Any changes in FSCM module?

A: FF7A and FF7B are now part of Fiori Apps. New Cash Management Solution requires separate license, which covers SAP BCM as well. Cash Management is very much improved in S4.

Q: For clarification on document splitting and parallel ledgers, for 2017 will you or will you not be able to do document splitting and parallel ledgers without first implementing new GL?

A: Once you are on S4, you will be on New GL, but without Document Splitting and Parallel Ledger.. You cant activate these features as of now in S4.. SAP plans to provide this feature by 2017.

Q: What are the pros/cons of SFIN in the cloud vs. on premise?

A: It is a matter of choice, if one does not want to own the data center maintenance, Cloud is the option. But there are some features, which may not be available on Cloud.

Q: Material Ledger is now mandatory with S/4 HANA. What advantages can you derive out of using the ML?

A: Inventory Valuation now happens in ML.. This means Inventory wont be managed in so many Tables like MBEW, MARC, MARD.. This used to lead in system locks and performance depletion.. now that wont happen anymore.

Q: In S4 HANA - Universal Journal concept single table multiple dimensions - does it also come with core changes to BW standard extractors or do these extractors continue to leverage compatibility views?

A: I think you will need New extractors and one extractor can now address multiples.

Q:What are the new features for cash management under S/4 HANA as compared to the old system?

A: It is all App based now. You can group the cash positions from all companies on SAP and non-SAP. This gives you one exposure!

Q: What are some features which may not be available on the cloud? Are there some examples?

A: I don't remember them at the moment, but there are some. 

Q: We're on Classic GL and Special Ledger with document splitting active in the SL.  Does that qualify as having document splitting active prior to SFIN, or does the document splitting have to be active in NGL prior to SFIN?

A: It should be active in new GL prior to SFIN.

Q: How do assessments work in SFIN if SCE are now not really secondary cost elements and all costs are in the Universal Journal?

A: yes. the postings in SCE are also shown in the FI Ledger now.. As a result, you must include the SCE on Financial Statement Versions as well.

Q: For maser data like asset, vendor customer, GL, Cost center, etc, do you still maintain them in old SAP system or on the Fiori Apps?

A: Both the options are available - customers and vendors are now business partners.

Q: Can we post CO adjustments without hitting FI?

A: Now, both FI and CO documents are merged. So it will hit both.

Q: Is any changes delivered on statutory reporting side such as Portugal SAF-T, France AEF?

A: You can make postings in PCE, but not in SCE. SCE is still used for Internal postings like Assessments, settlements etc.

Adding to the assessment question, do you create cycles for assessments in SFIN in the Universal Journal?

A: Yes - those transaction codes remain same.

Q: Will there be secondary cost elements in S4 Hana, if yes, then what is the purpose they serve?

A: Nature and purpose of SCE remains same in S4 HANA.. Only difference is that it is now at par with GL account, but you cant make manual postings in it.

Q: Do you have any idea what advantage simple logistic brings with it?

A: Many. Truly, many... MRP live is the biggest advantage. It now gives the result in a flash, which earlier used to run over night. Data model is now simplified in logistics as well and reports now give the output on-the-fly.

Q: If customers and vendors are now business partners in SFIN, is it same transaction codes for creation or are they different Tcodes?

A: Now the Tcode is BP.

Q: What is S/4 HANA 1511 vs S/4 HANA Finance that you mentioned, just different releases or different software?

A: S/4 HANA Finance is an add-on that you install on your existing system.. It does not change the Logistics modules. Whereas S/4 HANA 1511 is S/4 HANA Finance, S/4 HANA Logistics - it is a whole new suite of SAP.

Q: How does activating the profit center accounting help a client under S/4 HANA?

A: It serves the same purpose as earlier.

Q: Are the assessments then in SFIN Universal Journal identified by separate documents with a separate document type?

A: Yes. Standard SAP offers document type CO. You can assign a different one, if you wish.

Q: If you go to S4 HANA can you use the BW within that system for BPC?  How is Integrated Planning in S4 HANA/Simple Finance different than BPC or how does it incorporate BPC and BW and if so does it within the same system?

A: IBP is now on the same instance as S4 HANA.

Q: Will roles (authorization) for Finance undergo changes or will Fiori roles based supplement existing role infrastructure at backend. More specifically is authorization concept as we know it now changing?

A: Yes. there will be Auth changes for SFIN needed.

Q: Is the organization structure in FI (like Client, company code, etc.) and CO (Controlling, CE, etc.) same in SFIN, or have they differed significantly in some aspects?

A: They remain the same.

Q: Still tables like Ce1* and COEP gets updated or we need to change proggrame pointing to new table

A: Yes. they get updated as earlier.

Q: Are there new Tcodes introduced in SFIN or are they the same?

A: Many New Tcodes. Old Tcode suffix of H.

Author: Ajay Maheshwari


Ajay Maheshwari is a SAP FICO Solution Architect with over 13 yrs. of experience, well known for his contributions to the SAP SCN (SAP Community Network) Forum.

He is amongst the All Time Top 20 Contributors to the SCN Forum, across all SAP modules and one of the Top Contributors in his own space SAP FICO.

He is one of the Official SAP Mentor, a rare recognition accorded to ~ 200 Consultants across the world and he has been recognized as the Topic Leader in SCN Forum since 2011 each year.

He has experience of SAP implementations & rollouts in several industries and thoroughly enjoys designing complex business processes and delivering SAP Trainings in the areas of Finance, Controlling and S/4 HANA.

Currently, he manages the FICO practice for Itelligence, one of the prestigious SAP Platinum Partner.

Module(s): FI/CO