S/4HANA Cloud (S4HC) Implementation: Key Watch-Outs For a Seasoned On-Premise Consultant

With SAP being a 46+ year old company, most of the SAP consultants are seasoned in on-premise world having deep knowledge and expertise in configuring systems, designing SAP according to business needs and following various implementation approaches. Now S/4HANA cloud version is gaining popularity and very useful in various scenarios, like professional services, affiliates of larger enterprises as two-tier implementation etc., so learning how it is different from on-premise world is useful. (Also refer blog “Critical insight into S/4HANA Cloud compared to S/4HANA On Premise” showing some differences in S/4HANA cloud vs S/4HANA on-premise.)

Let’s observe some key watch-outs in a S4HC implementation:

Ask A Fixer: Setting Up Transfer Pricing Between Plants

Ask a Fixer


Start: Wednesday, February 20th, 2018 12:00 PM (CT), 1:00 PM (ET), 11:00 AM (MT), 10:00 AM (PT)

End: Wednesday, February 20th, 2018 1:00 PM (CT), 2:00 PM (ET), 12:00 PM (MT), 11:00 AM (PT)

Transfer pricing is a widely used functionality which sets a price between affiliated entities. It is typically setup for cross border transactions and need to conform with the tax laws in the respective countries. However, in SAP Transfer Pricing can also be set up between profit centers (and plants). In this regard it is used as an internal mechanism that treats every transfer between profit centers as a sale and helps facilitate full management reporting by a plant, or group of plants.

Attend this live Q&A with FI/CO expert Paul Ovigele, to learn the following:

  • What needs to be set up for Transfer Pricing between Profit Centers?

  • How is standard cost calculated for Profit center Transfer Pricing?

  • How does a Transfer Pricing Posting look in the profit center View?

  • What are the options to convert to Profit Center Transfer Pricing in S/4 HANA?


Paul Ovigele, FI/CO Expert, ERPfixers


Ask a Fixer is a live ASUG-hosted Q&A session with one of ERPfixers’ top-rated SAP experts (“Fixers”) in a specific module or topic. In this real-time discussion session, you have the opportunity to pose your specific questions to a Fixer, who will provide an immediate answer during the forum. This is a great way to get quick answers to your pressing issues, as well as learn from questions posted by other users during the forum.

If you cannot attend: The webcast will be recorded. The link to the recording will be posted here and emailed to all registrants.

Q&A: What You Should Know About Converting to Material Ledger



  • How to prepare your system for a Material Ledger conversion.

  • What questions you need to ask when considering which Material Ledger functionality will be beneficial to your organization.

  • What criteria you can use to determine whether to convert to Material Ledger before or after an S/4 HANA conversion.

  • Typical mistakes that occur with a Material Ledger implementation.

  • What is the recommended point in time in the month/year to convert to Material Ledger?


Paul Ovigele, FI/CO Expert

Watch the prerecorded webcast by pressing play:

Q: Can you activate an additional currencies alongside a Material Ledger conversion?

A: You can activate parallel currencies alongside an ML conversion, but if you want historical data to be populated with the parallel currencies, you will need to do an SLO conversion as well

Q: Can you phase a Material Ledger conversion, for example based on one or more company codes, at different times?• Does Actual Costing work with Split Valuation?

A: Yes, you can phase a Material Ledger conversion, one company code at a time, as long as all plants in that company are converted as well. Note that if you do this, and if you use actual costing, the variances from a "non-ML activated" company will not be transferred to the company that has Ml active. Also note that if you are moving to S/4 HANA you have no choice but to activate all companies.

Q: When you migrate historical data to Material Ledger, does this mean that prior postings are revalued to Actual Cost?

A: No. The migration of historical data only translates Inventory and Purchase Order history into parallel currencies. It does not revalue inventory to Actual Cost retrospectively

Q: Is it better to convert to Material Ledger before or after migrating to S/4 HANA?

A: It depends. If there is a business requirement to have Material Ledger before an S/4 HANA conversion, then it is better to convert beforehand so that you can get used to the functionality.

Q: Does this also include PM orders and other orders not just PP orders?

A: Conversion to ML is for Manufacturing Orders and not PP orders. This is because Manufacturing Orders lead to the creation of inventory (settlement rule type is "MAT") while PP Orders are usually settled to a Cost Center.

Q: By Closed you mean CLSD the Orders?

A: It is better to either archive or set the deletion flag (DLFL) or Deletion Indicator to the production orders, so that they are not considered for an ML Conversion.

Q: Even costing view is changed too when data is converted for ML....correct?

A: Only the Accounting 1 view of the Material master is changed when you convert to Material Ledger. At this point, the Costing View remains the same.

Q: What if RM price control is V? Does this need to be converted to S?

A: If the Raw Material price Control is "V" (Moving Average, it does not need to be changed to "S" (Standard Cost) if you are not doing Actual Costing. However, if the Price Control is "V" then you will not be able to run the Actual Costing program at the end of the month (this is because the Materials with "V" are already at an "Actual Cost". Note that for several reasons (including the timing of Goods Receipts of Raw Materials relative to their consumption in Finished Goods), SAP recommends that if you are using Actual Costing, ALL Materials should have a price control of "S".

Q: This slide of tables old and new applies if ML is already active but transfer to HANA?

A: It depends. If the Old tables begin with "CKML…" or "ML…", then they only relate to companies with ML already active. However, the old tables like MKPF, MSEG, MBEW, QBEW, OBEW, etc. apply to everyone.

Q: What if ML is not active but changing to S4 HANA which has ML? Then how tables from Old ECC tables to New tables?

A: In that case the old ECC tables affected will be the xBEW(H) tables as well as the MKPF, MSEG and PO History tables will populate their respective ML Tables

Q: If Std. Cost (VPRS) is used for COPA , then how Actual cost is linked to COPA?

A: If you are in the ECC system (or use Costing Based CO-PA in S/4 HANA) there are configuration steps which can link the Actual Cost to COPA value fields. Note that these steps do not depend on the Sales Condition. Basically, they take the Actual Cost per unit and multiply by the quantity shipped. Transaction KE27 is then run to populate the respective Value fields. For Account Based CO-PA in S/4 HANA, the Cost of Sales Account (or Cost Component Accounts) are revalued by their proportional variances in Material Ledger.

Q: We have multiple controlling areas (one controlling area per company code) as per old SAP design.  Do we need to first convert to single controlling area before activating Material Ledger.  We are on ECC 6 EHP8.

A: It is technically possible to activate Material Ledger, even if you have multiple controlling areas. However, SAP is moving customers towards consolidating their Controlling Areas (either by using Central Finance or via a Greenfield implementation) so it is better to convert to a single Controlling Area first. Also, with multiple Controlling Areas, any transfers between companies in different controlling areas will not lead to a revaluation of cost in the receiving Controlling Area.

Q: How can FIFO be used with the Material Ledger and Actual Costing?

A: FIFO can be used with or without Material Ledger. There are several configuration steps for this. However, with Material Ledger, the FIFO layers will be based on Actual Cost.

Q: Where to switch off Statistical MAP in ECC?

A: This is done in S/4 HANA with the program "SAPRCKM_NO_EXCLUSIVELY_LOCKING"

Q: Our client wants to convert to actual costing in S4 but they want to know if it is possible to change standard price for materials and activities within the period instead of during month end?

A: Yes, you can change the standard price mid-month in S/4 HANA. Note however, that this leads to mid-month revaluation of inventory which will be adjusted when the Actual Cost is run.

Q: If you don't have actual activity prices until the end of the year, could we go back through and post actual activity prices retroactively for periods 1-12 and use this cumulative AVR to rerun actual costing where it would take these actual activity price differences from the prior periods into account to calculate actual costs as of 12/31.

A: I have not tried this before, but it is possible in theory. The Alternative Valuation Run (AVR) can cumulate the costs from previous months and apply its own logic to the cost calculation. The thing you need to use Parallel COGM to calculate the new Activity price, or if you can use the same ledger for this purpose.


Ask a Fixer is a live ASUG-hosted Q&A session with one of ERPfixers’ top-rated SAP experts (“Fixers”) in a specific module or topic. In this real-time discussion session, you have the opportunity to pose your specific questions to a Fixer, who will provide an immediate answer during the forum. This is a great way to get quick answers to your pressing issues, as well as learn from questions posted by other users during the forum.

Q&A: Costing vs. Account Based CO-PA – Understanding the Differences In ECC & S/4 HANA (Part 1)


  • What is the difference between Costing and Account Based CO-PA?

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of Costing vs. Account Based CO-PA?

  • What are the implications of activating both types of CO-PA?

  • What are the steps to transition from one type of CO-PA to the other?

  • Which type of CO-PA is compatible with the Universal Journal in S/4 HANA?

  • How much CO-PA detail is now posted to the Universal Journal?


Marjorie Wright, FI/CO Expert, SimplyFI-CO, LLC

Q&A: Migration Options for New G/L on S/4 HANA

This presentation with Paul Ovigele will cover:

  • How the new G/L functionalities, such as document splitting, and parallel ledgers fit into S/4 HANA

  • Using the Extension Ledger in S/4 HANA

  • Active, Passive and Zero-balancing document splitting in S/4 HANA

  • Options for New G/L Activation on the S/4 HANA Adoption Path

  • Migration of Classic to New G/L

Ask A Fixer: Migration Options for New G/L on S/4 HANA

Ask a Fixer


Start: Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 12:00 PM (CT), 1:00 PM (ET), 11:00 AM (MT), 10:00 AM (PT)

Start: Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 1:00 PM (CT), 2:00 PM (ET), 12:00 PM (MT), 11:00 AM (PT)

For customers that are still on the Classic General Ledger, there are questions about what approach they should take to activate the SAP (New) General Ledger with regards to an S/4 HANA Migration. Since S/4 HANA automatically provides a New G/L activation, is it better to wait until the S/4 HANA Migration before activating New G/L or is it better to migrate beforehand? Also, in either case, should you implement the New G/L functionalities (such as Document Splitting and Parallel Ledgers) before during or after Migrating to S/4 HANA?

Attend this live Q&A with FI/CO expert, Paul Ovigele to learn the following:

  • How the new G/L functionalities, such as document splitting, and parallel ledgers fit into S/4 HANA

  • Using the Extension Ledger in S/4 HANA

  • Active, Passive and Zero-balancing document splitting in S/4 HANA

  • Options for New G/L Activation on the S/4 HANA Adoption Path

  • Migration of Classic to New G/L


Paul Ovigele, FI/CO Expert, ERPfixers


Ask a Fixer is a live ASUG-hosted Q&A session with one of ERPfixers’ top-rated SAP experts (“Fixers”) in a specific module or topic. In this real-time discussion session, you have the opportunity to pose your specific questions to a Fixer, who will provide an immediate answer during the forum. This is a great way to get quick answers to your pressing issues, as well as learn from questions posted by other users during the forum.

If you cannot attend: The webcast will be recorded. The link to the recording will be posted here and emailed to all registrants.

Q&A: Improve Productivity of Your SAP Controlling Implementation

SAP Controlling

This presentation with Ashish Sampat, Expert Fixer and FI/CO Consultant, will cover:

  • Evaluate the Right Cost Object to use in your company

  • Discover how you can use a separate GR/IR account for Intercompany transactions

  • Learn how to automate WIP, Variance, Settlement transactions

  • Find out how to capture a Trading Partner on relevant transactions

  • Utilize the Material Status field in reporting and analysis

Watch the prerecorded webcast by pressing play:

GET ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS AND MANY MORE by watching the webcast video above.

Q&A questions answered by Ashish Sampat.


Q: We already use Process Orders in our current SAP system. We have acquired a business unit that is on another SAP system, but they use Production Orders. We now want to migrate them on our SAP platform. We are wondering if there is any value in have this new business unit switch to Process Orders when they move to our system?

Q: Is it possible to setup separate GR/IR Account for each type of material – say Raw, Packaging, Supplies, Semi-Finished, Finished Materials?


Q: We are planning to implement separate GR/IR for Intercompany. However, we do not know how to handle historical transactions that are open at the time of go-live. Do you have any suggestions on how to handle them?


Q: Our company has struggled with the performance of WIP, Variance and Settlement jobs – sometimes they take 3-4 hours to complete, thereby delaying our close at times. Apart from running these resource-intensive jobs at off-peak times, what other suggestions do you have to overcome this issue?

Q: We do want to see Trading Partner captured on Intercompany Transactions and want to activate the user exit. However, we do not know what will happen to clearing of earlier transactions. Is there a way we can incorporate a date logic?

Q: Material Status sounds like a useful functionality, but is it correct to state that it is more of a cross-functional feature than merely a Controlling feature?


Q: The Order Settlement jobs can sometimes take a long time, are there any tips to reduce the run-times?

Q: In table t030 how do you map from a MM Movement Type to the MM Transaction/ Account Modifier?


Q: Are these features are still valid and applicable in S/4HANA? 

Q: Is there anything particular in S_ALR_87013127 that use to identify orders that missed closing?

Q: It is hard to read the table of transactions on slide number 7 (cost object: transaction codes).  How can I obtain a copy of the table?


Q&A: What’s New in Transfer Pricing and Actual Costing in S/4 HANA

SAP Consulting


This presentation with Janet Salmon, Chief Product Owner Management Accounting at SAP, will cover:

  • What are the latest changes to Transfer Pricing and Actual Costing in S/4 HANA?

  • How is Material Ledger Connected with the Universal Journal?

  • What are the Currency and Valuation options for Material Ledger in S/4 HANA?

  • What is the difference between Single Valuation and Multi Valuation Ledgers

  • What Fiori reports can be utilized for Actual Costing and Transfer Pricing?

Watch the prerecorded webcast by pressing play:

Q&A questions answered by Janet Salmon.

Q: Do we need to convert to ML before moving to S/4 HANA?

A: No you do not. The conversion to ML will take place automatically as you convert to S/4HANA. However, if you want to add valuation views (such as introducing group valuation) you should do that prior to converting to S/4HANA.

Q: When we move to S/4 HANA, and we have custom reports will we need to modify the reports to map to the new tablets or are there new compatibility views?

A: No Compatibility views for Actual Costing.

Q: If we move to S/4 HANA and we want to activate group valuation, do we need to do an SLO beforehand or can we convert automatically when we go to S/4 HANA?

A: It is best to do the SLO conversion in your local system and then migrate. It is on the roadmap to activate Group Valuation when you convert to S/4 HANA, but there is not yet a scheduled delivery date for such tools.

Q: Since there are now 8 currencies in the Universal Journal, does that mean that we can combine each of these currencies with any of the valuation views?

A: In principle, yes. You have always had the choice of keeping group valuation in group currency (31) or local currency (11) and some customers are looking at keeping group valuation in functional area currency. Beware however that Actual Costing currently only handles three currencies and any additional currencies will be converted on the fly at the time of the posting run.

Q: Will the Actual Costing have the availability to integrate FIFO valuation via using an alternative valuation method thru config using the "Key Figure Scheme" defining an External ending Inventory Valuation ....using FIFO.

A: You can set up an alternative valuation run that reads FIFO values or enter values for valuation in table CKMLPR_EB.

Q: Do we have information by storage location?

A: "In the Material tables you do, but no, Actual Costing does not split by storage location, only by Procurement alternative, and type of stock.
Q: Can we turn on Transfer Pricing & Multiple Valuations AFTER an S/4 Conversion / Migration?

A: At the moment, no. We get a lot of questions about this, but right now you need to do the SLO first and then migrate

Q: Please repeat OSS note numbers again.

A: You can always find OSS notes relating to the S/4 conversion by searching S4TWL. See https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2267834, https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2332591, https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2354768 and https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2337383

Q: As ML will be active for all company codes, will CKM3N be available for units without actual cost?

A: If units do not have actual cost, the Information will exist in CKM3N but you will not have the cost component split and no quantity structure being updated.

Q: Having calculated the IC Profit does SAP provide any support for deferred tax calculation on Profit in Transfer Price till the goods are sold to 3rd party.

A: If units do not have actual cost, the Information will exist in CKM3N but you will not have the cost component split and no quantity structure being updated.

Q: I assume the IC profit can only be eliminated if the affiliate entities are on the same instance of SAP, correct?

A: At the moment, the requirement for multilevel Actual Costing is that all entities are on the same instance. Central Finance can be used, to bring the financials into a single instance, but at the moment, you cannot eliminate IC profit if the entities are on different instances.

Q: When converting to S4 Hana, only the current year, plus the previous year, plus Dec of the year before that is migrated to S4, why only those periods?

A: That sounds like a Central Finance conversion, where only data from the most recent years is included in the initial load. If it is a Universal Journal conversion it should convert all the history (every document on the system).

Q: If my consolidation tool is BPC where the elimination occurs, can the group currency in S/4 incorporate these eliminations from BPC?

A: Elimination will happen in the consolidation tool. Going forward SAP working out what you can do locally versus in the consolidation tool. There is movement in this area to determine where you can do consolidation. The difference between a value chain consolidation and a typical legal consolidation is that with Group Valuation you are looking at elimination on a very granular material by material level.

Q: Is there any tool today or on the roadmap that helps drive transfer pricing determination?

A: For the actual calculation for transfer prices, at the moment there is no tool on the Roadmap. You would need to use a separate tool for this. Things might change but not at the moment.

Q: We produce aircraft, we activated ML-ACT but company is thinking on deactivate ACT because of the complexity, specifically on the accounting side. What is your recommendation? Is going to be less complex on HANA?

A: We would need to look at the situation specifically as it requires a little more information to understand the requirement better. It is hard to make a generalization without understanding the business. It should be easier because everything is on one table, but we need more information.

Q: Has any move been made to make inventory issued to vendor or inventory issued to customer non-plant specific?

A: Not that I know of. But we may need more background of the requirement.

Q: Is GAAP conversion inbuilt (i.e. IFRS/ Global GAAP vs Local GAAP views)?

A: You can add additional ledgers retrospectively now (subsequent implementation of an additional accounting principle).

Q&A: What You Should Know About Material Ledger in S/4 HANA

SAP Consulting


This presentation by Paul Ovigele and Rogerio Faleiros will cover:

  • Why Material Ledger is Mandatory with S/4 HANA

  • The difference between using Material ledger for Actual Costing and Parallel Valuation

  • The improvements that have been made to the Actual Costing closing cockpit

  • The improved reporting that exists for Material ledger within SAP S/4HANA

  • Migrating to Material Ledger in S/4 HANA

Watch the prerecorded webcast by pressing play:

Q&A questions answered by ERPfixers expert Fixers Rogerio Faleiros & Paul Ovigele.

Q: So any MB type transaction where a BDC is used will need to be reworked then correct? 

A: Yes, any transactions that began with MB… (e.g. MB1C, MB1A, etc.) are now replaced with MIGO, and therefore any BDC sessions would need to be updated accordingly. It is better to transfer this transaction to a BADI or BAPI

Q: Can we use material ledger with different fiscal year variant than core ledger (FI) ? 

A: There is no concept of a Fiscal year variant in Material Ledger itself. Fiscal year variants are based on Ledgers in the Universal Journal. If you use Multi-valuation Ledger, then your Fiscal Year variant of the leading ledger will be the same in all Valuations of material ledger. If you use Single Valuation Ledger, then you should be able to have different Fiscal Year variants for the different ledgers (which represent separate valuation views in the Material ledger).

Q: Another question is do we need to close actual costing before we start posting in new period?

A: No. In both S/4 HANA and ECC, you will normally be closing actual costing after the new period has been opened. One of the reasons for this is that the Actual Costing “Post Closing” step reversed the inventory postings with a posting date of the beginning of the new period, therefore this new period needs to be open.

Q: Does ML in S/4 HANA allow negative inventory?

A: ML in S/4 HANA allows negative inventory, however, this needs to be specified in the Material Master and MM Period opening program.

Q: Is it easier to change Material Type or Valuation Classes than in ECC6? 

A: As far as I know, there is no difference with the process of changing Material Type or Valuation classes, as with in ECC 6.0.

Q: The same question about actual material ledger activated and Transfer Price, any point for attention?

A: The configuration for activating Material Ledger is the same as in ECC. One difference is that you need to specify the FI currency types that you want to use in ML. this is because FI now has eight extra currency types, while ML has only three. Transfer Pricing has been much more streamlined with S/4 HANA and you now have the option of having a separate ledger for each valuation view.

Q: Can you explain the differences from ECC to 1709 for how to setup LIFO or other balance sheet valuations?  Any thoughts on how to automate LIFO calculations?

A: To calculate LIFO you will need to define an accounting principle and assign LIFO method to it, and this assinged to material ledger.

Q: Everything was shown using the classic GUI.  Are there Fiori apps to process material ledger yet?

A: There are a few Fiori apps such as “Material Inventory Values” which can be used to view the data in the ML tables, however, there isn’t a Fiori App to process Material  Ledger as of yet.

Q: Are the MBEW EBEW tables going to be maintained as "views" in S/4Hana, or are they deleted?

A: Yes, the MBEW, EBEW, etc. tables will be maintained as compatibility views so that they can still be read with custom programs.

Q: Similar question, are the old ML tables MLHD, MLIT CKMLPP maintained as "views so that old programs & reports still work in S/4Hana?

A: Yes, these old ML tables are also maintained as compatibility views in S/4 HANA.

Q: Do we have to do new ML config before we execute the Migration steps?

A: yes, you at least need to reconfigure the currency type, if you used 0000. Also there is a new account modification PRL which is to be set up as the offset account key that is used for cost center credit posting (GBB-AUI).

Q: Is it mandatory to activate ML if I don't have it in my company?

Yes, it is mandatory to activate ML when you move to S/4 HANA even if you did not have it in ECC. Remember however, that Material Ledger is replacing the tables that were used in ECC for Inventory Valuation, therefore there probably is already relevant data in your current system for Material Ledger, even if you do not have it activated. Material Ledger is now the new subledger for inventory valuation but you do not have to activate Actual Costing, if it is not needed.

Q: What is the impact of activating ML in ECC before moving to S/4 if you don't have ML activated for materials?

A: If you want to activate ML in ECC before moving to S/4, you will need to perform a conversion of Inventory Valuation and Purchase Order history tables to Material Ledger tables. Note that, this this will need to be done anyway when you eventually move to S/4 HANA. The difference is that converting before hand gives the business some time to get used to material Ledger functionality, fosters user adoption, and provides historical information that can be accessed when you move to S/4 HANA. Note that if you Activate Actual Costing in ECC, the Actual Costing Run (CKMLCP) will be revamped when you move to S/4 HANA.

Q: What are steps we need to do before migrating ML from ECC to S4 Hana?

A: ML is now part of the conversion steps for S/4 HANA, so the ML activation will be included in the migration process. What is more important is that you understand how you can leverage Material Ledger functionality, and plan and design your S/4 HANA migration accordingly. You can take advantage of the Multi-valuation or Single valuation ledger approach; Company Code transfer pricing; Profit Center Transfer Pricing; Alternative Valuation Run to cumulate prices over several periods; Revaluing Inventory according to FIFO, LIFO, or NRV prices; and much more. Once you come up with the functionalities that will be beneficial to your business, you can then set up the system accordingly.

Q: Do we have view to old tables?

A: You can view the old Inventory and ML tables because the custom programs which accessed these tables will be able to access the compatibility views of these tables so that there is no disruption. However, you will not be able to write new data to these old tables.

Q: We use FIFO calculation and are there any steps we need to take care during Migration?  

A: No it is the same process as a company that does not use FIFO.

Q: We are moving to Hana Enterprise Cloud first just o get to  more current platform than our old ECC6.  will upgrade of material ledger come along with that, or not until we do the upgrade to S/4 Hana which will follow this system upgrade?

A: The new functionality of Material Ledger is only available with S/4 HANA. Even if you have HEC, this will only enable faster processing and reporting in the current ECC system but not add any extra functionality.

Q: Hi - Does the COGS split happen for the COGS variances also since ML has the variances data for this?

A: As of now, the COGS split (or Cost Component Split for Cost of Sales) does not happen with COGS variances. Instead, the Variance Categories (Input Price, Input Quantity, Resource Usage, etc.) can now be mapped to separate accounts in the Universal Journal.

Q: Will there be new functionality on non-distributed items?

A: Due to the revamped processing logic in Material Ledger on S/4 HANA, the “Not Distributed” items have been seriously reduced.

Q: Can we have material ledger activate for variant material (variant configuration active)?

A: Yes, you can have Material Ledger active along with Variant Configuration, in both ECC and S/4 HANA.

Q: We are currently on SAP ECC 6.0 on HANA with material ledger active. Will we have any disruption if we migrate to S/4?

A: No, there should not be any problem with migrating to ML on S/4 when you are already on the HANA database. You may not see much of a difference with the processing speed, since you already have the fast database, but you will go through the S/4 migration as normal and be able to leverage the new functionalities.

Q: We are on SAP ECC 6.0 on HANA with Material Ledger and Split Valuation active. Any anything we need to worry?

A: There should be no negative impact of having Material ledger and Split valuation when you move to S/4 HANA.

Q: Does ML or Actual costing support LIFO calc?

A: Yes, this is based on accounting principle.

Q: Does ML have capability to have LIFO valuation in parallel with FIFO valuation?

A: You have the option to have one material ledger run (e.g. CKMLCP) as FIFO and a second one using alternative valuation run (e.g. CKMLCPAVR) as LIFO.

Q: In ECC, the customer is able to choose whether the revolution will be done inside or outside ML. Is that option available in ML S/4 HANA?

A: If you use Actual Costing with S/4 HANA, you will need to run the Actual Costing program every month in ML. You can choose whether you want to revalue inventory with the actual cost or not. If however, you do not want to revalue inventory within ML (but say, in another system) then this will need to be a separate customized process.

Q: In ECC, the customer is able to use one single PRD Account. 3 or 4 slides before the end of the presentation, there is a slide with some hints about variances accounts and I am wondering whether in S/4 HANA we would be able to configure more than one single PRD Account. Is that possible? For instance: Price Variance, Freight Variance, etc...

A: At the moment, there is still no distinction between the cost components of a Price Variance Account. The COGS accounts can be split into different accounts by Cost Components, but this logic does not yet apply to inventory variance accounts. The slide being referred to is about the combining of single and multilevel price and exchange rate variances, and thereby not needing account keys PRV and KDV.

Q: I am presuming there is a package of transactions for conversion from ECC to S/4 HANA. Is that correct? Any information about it?

A: Yes , with the S/4 HANA migration there is a specific cockpit for Material ledger. This can be found in SAP Notes 2694618 and 2352383

Q&A questions answered by ERPfixers expert Fixers Rogerio Faleiros & Paul Ovigele.


Author: Rogerio Faleiros

Rogerio is an independent SAP consultant specializing in controlling functionality. He has worked with SAP technology for more than 10 years, implementing controlling solutions in the food processing, chemical, construction and agribusiness industries. Roger has been working with IFRS and integration with product costing and material ledger minimizing the impact of the changes in SAP for companies in different locations.He has participated in rollouts in several countries such as United States, Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Turkey, UK, France, Spain, Egypt, UAE, India Sweden and Finland. Rogerio has an MBA in IT from Getulio Vargas Foundation and is a frequent presenter providing training for new consultants in Brazil. Rogerio is the author of Configuring Controlling in SAP ERP.

Introducing New Asset Accounting in S/4 HANA

Get the background on New Asset Accounting and S/4HANA, and run through some of the key changes that were introduced which distinguish it from Classic Asset Accounting. Next, we will go into some more detail on some of the larger areas, for example how the depreciation areas work with the ledgers to record the different accounting principles.  You may already have heard of the Universal Journal, which is one of the biggest innovations in Finance in S/HANA. We will explain what that is and how New Asset Accounting integrates with it and how the new asset transactions work. I will also run through the depreciation and finally I will briefly touch on the migration of assets.

Units of Measure and Their Behavior Inside Custom ABAP Code


One topic that is important in SD, but is often overlooked is the use of units of measure in custom ABAP programming.  In SAP, units of measure are stored in a series of tables that begin with T006:

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The table which controls various language translations of a unit of measure is table T006A.  I’ll explain more on that shortly.

SAP does a lot of work behind the scenes that most developers rarely ever see.  When calling up any item in SAP, a delivery for example, SAP will perform conversions of their data before displaying it to the user.  This is done for several fields, but one of those fields is the unit of measure of the delivery item.  SAP will convert the unit into what’s known as the external, or commercial unit of measure.   This is the unit of measure that is displayed to the user.  On the flipside, when a user enters a unit of measure into the delivery item and saves that data, SAP assumes that the user is entering the unit as the external or commercial unit of measure and will convert that entry into the internal unit of measure, or the unit of measure that is stored in SAP.

The difference between the internal and external units of measure are sometimes very hard to distinguish as they often look the same in English.  What it boils down to is that the internal unit of measure is language independent, meaning that it is the same in ALL languages. The external or commercial unit of measure varies depending upon the language it is being viewed from.  A developer may never know this when dealing with units such as KG or M2 because these are typically stored the same way in all languages.

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In the example above, the first unit is the internal unit, while the second unit (MSEH3) is the commercial unit.  Both the internal and commercial units are the same in all languages.  The problem begins to occur with units that vary in different languages.

One example is a crate.  In German, a crate is “Kiste”, so the internal unit of measure is “KI”.  Since SAP is a German system, the commercial unit is also “KI”.  However, in English, we would not identify it as a “KI”, but rather something like “CRT”.  We now have a difference.  Also, in this example, the Japanese unit is in kanji:

SAP Answers

One mistake a developer may do is create a custom field using the external, or commercial unit of measure.  Another is to define a unit of measure variable as a CHAR3 with the intent of writing this value to a text file.  This will cause the field to take the form of whatever is found in the table.  If a user has pulled this data straight from a delivery and writes it directly to the CHAR3 variable, SAP hasn’t converted that text yet, and because the data has been assigned a variable without a conversion exit, it never will be converted. 

For illustration purposes, I built a custom program and table.  This program takes an input, and writes the data to the screen.  Here are few examples. 

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Note that I’ve entered the commercial unit of measure here.

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What just happened?  The unit of measure was converted when assigned the field in the table to be added to the database, however, when it was written to a character variable, it was not converted back before output.

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This example writes the unit of measure from the internal unit of measure field

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Again, what happens here is that SAP converts it to the internal unit so that it can store the correct value in the table, however, before it is written to the screen, it is converted to the commercial unit of measure automatically.

SAP Answers
SAP Answers

Simply put, the reason this happened is because the commercial unit of measure (MSEH3) does not contain a user exit.  Therefore, when the converted unit of measure is assigned to this field, it is currently in its internal format, and does not get converted to it external format.  The issue is that SAP will not automatically perform this conversion when assigning values to variables without the proper conversion exit.

Let’s take another issue that can occur with improper conversions.  This can be seen when a developer writes a custom program to mass load data into a table.  As an example, I made modifications to my existing program to also store records.  

As you can see, when you look at the records SE16N, the new record from the above example appears. 

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However, when attempting to find the record:

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This is caused by storing the improper unit of measure here.  The commercial unit was not converted before it was added to the database.  So, when running SE16N, when the user enters the unit of measure in the search criteria, SAP automatically converts that into the internal unit of measure.  Since the commercial unit is the one that got stored, SAP cannot find a match.

When writing custom programs, a developer must take caution when dealing with units of measure.  In many cases, it will be responsibility of the developer to perform the conversion of the units manually, especially when failing to use the correct variable with the conversion exit built in.  Fortunately, SAP is good at providing the needed tools to accomplish this.  From SE11, the data element for the internal unit of measure(MSEHI) has the domain MEINS.

SAP Help

Double clicking the domain name and clicking on the definition tab will show the conversion routing of the data element.

SAP Consulting

In this example, it is “CUNIT”.  Double-clicking the conversion routine name will show the INPUT and OUTPUT conversion routines for this field. 

SAP Answers

The typical naming convention of a conversion routine is “CONVERSION_EXIT_” followed by the conversion exit name, followed by a final piece to explain the purpose of the function.

For example, CONVERSION_EXIT_CUNIT_OUTPUT is the conversion exit used to convert an internal unit of measure to the commercial unit for user display, while CONVERSION_EXIT_CUNIT_INPUT is the conversion exit used to convert a commercial unit entered by the user to the SAP internal unit of measure when used for storage.  As a rule of thumb, OUTPUT is used data is written to a screen, document, etc.  While INPUT is used when using that data as input for interacting with SAP table data.

When using the conversion exit for units of measure, one key piece of information is the language.  When using the conversion exits, it is best to avoid constants for the language and to use the system variable SY-LANGU.  This will always provide the logon language when converting units of measure.

Going back to our example, I’ve added the needed conversion routines to my code.  Now, let’s run the report again:

SAP Help

As you can see, both the internal and external units of measure show correctly, and SE16 is able to successfully find the record.

It’s a little confusing at first to distinguish between the internal and external units of measure, but after some time, this will become very clear and will allow for any custom development to handle unit of measure information coming and going.

Finance Differences in SAP S/4HANA



This article covers some of the differences between S/4HANA and previous versions of SAP

Simple Finance was the first part of the Business Suite to be rewritten to run on SAP’s new superfast in-memory HANA database. Simple Logistics followed, and the combined new product, with New GL and New Asset Accounting as prerequisite, became known as S/4HANA.

S/4HANA exists as the S/4HANA Cloud which is a standardized Multi-Tenanted Cloud (i.e. all customers share the same software instance although the data is secure and private). This comes with a mandatory Fiori user interface, quarterly releases, and bespoke programming is not possible as you are sharing your system with others. There is also the On-premise S/4HANA with greater flexibility, freedom to customize as before, and optional Fiori and annual releases.

The exact functionality will vary depending on the release, and this article is mostly based on S/4HANA 1610, which is the October 2016 On-premise release, although some of the functionality below may already be available in the later enhancement packs of ECC6. I have used print screens mainly from the GUI to help users to compare the functionality, but mostly the Fiori apps are quite similar.

A lot of the ECC6 functionality is still available in S/4HANA in the SAP GUI; sometimes transactions are enhanced and easily recognized and both the old and new co-exist (e.g. FAGLL03 and FAGLL03H), and sometimes you are redirected to new functionality automatically (e.g. FK01->BP). It seems where the letter H is added at the end of the transaction, it tends to be a new S/4HANA specific transaction, the letter N has often been added to new transactions anyway, including those introduced with the New GL (and some are already available in later versions of ECC). The letter L at the end of some transactions seems to allow posting to different ledgers e.g. FB01 and FB01L as well as a lot of the new asset transactions, but these are just guidelines not strict rules.


Described as the new User-Experience, Fiori replaces most of the SAP GUI transactions, resembling the more user-friendly Smartphone apps instead of the traditional SAP GUI menu structure. Fiori is available on multiple devices i.e. desktops, phones, tablets etc. Informative, interactive apps are available so you can already see the number of outstanding items, or account balances on the face of the Fiori app before you click on it to drilldown further, see Figure 1. Some apps have graphs, calendars (e.g. leave requests), pie charts etc. and the launch pad can contain customized apps and also personas transactions in the same style as the Fiori apps.

Figure 1 Two Fiori Tiles

Figure 1 Two Fiori Tiles

Ledgers and Currencies

In addition to the normal parallel ledgers which were introduced with the New GL, there are now Extension Ledgers (original called appendix ledgers). The difference is that with an additional parallel ledger, postings are physically made to both the leading ledger and the parallel ledger, with only adjustments made to the parallel ledger, whereas extension ledgers have to be linked to a base ledger and only take delta postings. Therefore, when you run a report for the extension ledger it pulls in both the base ledger and the extension ledger to show you the complete picture. The extension ledgers however cannot be used in asset accounting.

There are now 8 additional freely definable currencies available, although they may not all be available in other modules and a conversion project would be required to ensure historical data is dealt with appropriately.

Data structure

HANA has the power to calculate on the fly, which means that for financial transactions, index tables such as BSIS, BSAS, BSID, BSAD, BSIK, BSAK, BSIM, FAGLBSIS and FAGLBSAS, as well as aggregate tables such as GLT0, GLT3, FAGLFLEXT, KNC1, LFC1, KNC3, LFC3, COSS, COSP are no longer required and have been removed.  FAGLFLEXA and some other New GL tables are now obsolete and there are also new customizing tables.

However, if you have your own ABAP reports using these tables, don’t worry as there are now Compatibility views with the same name, which recalculate the same values as the tables would have had, allowing any bespoke programs reading the information to continue to function. There are new tools which you can run prior to migration, which allow you to check which of your bespoke programs are read only and will continue to function and which need rewriting. In any case you may find that some of your bespoke programs are no longer required because that functionality is now available as standard, or that it will be more efficient to rewrite them using the new tables anyway.

Universal journal

This is the name of the enhanced financial document in S/4HANA. A Universal Journal is created whenever anything is posted to Finance from any module and each journal can be displayed as before using the display document transaction FB03. Many of the journal entry, invoice entry and other posting transactions are still available in the SAP GUI, so you can still for example use FB50 or FB50L (by ledger) to post a journal, although the Fiori equivalents are more user-friendly. The Universal Journal is the Single Source of Truth for finance, Controlling and COPA, and includes all the cost objects traditionally found in Controlling such as cost centers, internal orders and WBS elements as well as columns for the standard CO-PA characteristics and up to fifty additional characteristics. See also the next section on merging Finance and Controlling. New reports are available, mainly in Fiori, but the old Controlling reports continue to work (using compatibility views), including those for planning

ACDOCA is the name of the Finance module’s important new S/4HANA table, which is based on the Universal Journal line items, containing all of the financial fields, as well as a lot of information from other modules. Figure 2 shows an extract of the ACDOCA table showing some of the asset and material ledger fields available. 

Figure 2 ACDOCA Table Showing Some of the Fields

Figure 2 ACDOCA Table Showing Some of the Fields

Single Source of Truth

Finance and Controlling are now merged, getting rid of data redundancies and the need for reconciliations, and making visible the internal CO actual postings in FI as well. The real-time FI-CO integration is also obsolete and Controlling data is stored in the new finance table ACDOCA. 

To have only one field available in the Universal Journal for both the GL account and cost element numbers, the cost elements are contained inside the GL account master records. To achieve this, there are now four types of GL account, instead of the previous two, i.e. Balance Sheet and Profit & Loss - see Figure 3.

Figure 3 GL Account Type

Figure 3 GL Account Type

If you select Primary or Secondary Costs as the GL account type, then on the Control Data tab you will see Controlling Area settings such as the cost element category (see Figure 4). The dropdown options in Figure 4 are based on choosing primary costs as the GL account type. Categories relating to secondary costs are available if you choose the secondary costs GL account type. Cost element groups are still available.

Figure 4 Cost Element Category

Figure 4 Cost Element Category

Default account assignments from the cost elements are automatically migrated to the OKB9 configuration transaction and configuring cost object defaults in OKB9 is the only option going forwards.


An additional column appears in Transaction OB52 (opening and closing periods) for postings from Controlling to Finance, (although you still need OKP1 at Controlling Area level), and you have the option of selecting the posting period variant prior to entering the time interval screen.

Account-based profitability analysis must be activated but you can still use costing-based profitability analysis in parallel.  Initially realignment was not supported but this has been brought in with release 1610.

Enhanced Search

If you click on the colored icon at the far right of the top menu bar in the S/4HANA GUI and choose options (see Figure 5), then go to Interaction Design->Visualization 2 you can choose whether to use the enhanced search or not, or only with a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + Q), see Figure 6.

Figure 5 GUI Options Menu

Figure 5 GUI Options Menu

Figure 6 Enhanced Search Functionality Settings

Figure 6 Enhanced Search Functionality Settings

The enhanced search functionality can be used in many places, for example in the vendor line item report to find the vendor by name (Figure 7), by vendor number (Figure 8) by postcode, country, search term or anything else available on that specific enhanced search screen. If you search for example for a material (Figure 9) you will see different search options.  


Figure 7 Enhanced Search Using Name

Figure 7 Enhanced Search Using Name

Figure 8 Enhanced Search Using Vendor Number

Figure 8 Enhanced Search Using Vendor Number

Figure 9 Enhanced Search for Material

Figure 9 Enhanced Search for Material

Vendors and Customers

Customers and vendors can only be maintained using the Business Partner functionality (of which there is of course a Fiori equivalent) and if you try to use the old codes e.g. FK01/2/3 or XK01/2/3 to create/amend/display a vendor or FD01/2/3 and XD01/2/3 to create/amend display a customer you will be redirected to transaction BP. 

Many of the screens are fairly similar to the old master data transactions, but a lot more data is available and one Business Partner may have roles in MM, SD, and FI. Employees, banks and other contacts can also be set up as Business Partners. Multiple relationships can be specified and new time dependent data is available for e.g. addresses and bank data. See Figure 10 and Figure 11. You will need to migrate your customers and vendors to Business Partners as part of the migration if you are not already using them.

Figure 10 Business Partner Payment Tab

Figure 10 Business Partner Payment Tab

Figure 11 Business Partner Identification Tab

Figure 11 Business Partner Identification Tab

Figure 12 Business Partner Relationship contact example

Figure 12 Business Partner Relationship contact example

Line Item Reports

The old reports, such as FBL1N, FBL5N and FAGLL03 still exist alongside FBL1H, FBL5H and FAGLL03H which have slightly different screens. The selection screen is quite similar, although note that the additional selections button (the red, green and blue stripy one) now appears halfway down the selection screen instead of at the top and is labelled Restrictions. Once you execute the report however, things look somewhat different and the line items start off summarized by period.

Figure 13 Transaction FBL1H

Figure 13 Transaction FBL1H

If you want to see the line items you need to select the lines that you want to see and click on the icon on the right call line item report. This will take you to your normal FBL1N screen.  In Figure 14,  I chose only the last period, i.e. period 6 in 2017 containing one row, (the cleared payment for the previous period). In Figure 15, I chose period 12, 2017 to show the other display setting in FBL1N. (to toggle between the two, go to Settings-> Switch List in the top menu in the line item display).

Figure 14 Vendor Line Item Display Called from FBL1H

Figure 14 Vendor Line Item Display Called from FBL1H

Figure 15 Vendor Line Item Display Called from FBL1H

Figure 15 Vendor Line Item Display Called from FBL1H

By clicking on the vendor number in the body of the report, you will be redirected to the vendor master data (held in the Business Partner transaction) 

Credit Management

FSCM replaces the previous Accounts Receivable credit management transactions (e.g. F.28/F.31/F.32/F.33/FD32) and the Sales transactions (VKM3/VKM5). If you are not already familiar with FSCM, this already used the Business Partner functionality prior to S/4HANA and has additional functionality, in areas such as Credit Management, Collections Management (including collection worklists), Dispute Management. It also has additional reporting and allows you to import external credit information. 


The Material Ledger is mandatory (although Actual Costing is still optional) and there are also new tables for material documents (MATDOC), a Cost of Goods Sold variance split and no locking of tables. The material number field is extended from 18 to 40 characters and this information is available in the Universal Journal document, and therefore the ACDOCA table for reporting in finance. Note that the extended material functionality can be switched off if for example you have a multi-system landscape.

Global trade Services (GTS)

GTS replaces the foreign trade functionality in Sales and Procurement. This allows the pulling in of data from different systems, and is extensively integrated with SD and MM. 

Revenue Recognition

Only the new Revenue Accounting and Reporting, which supports IFRS15, is available in S/4HANA, i.e. the SD Revenue and Recognition is no longer available.


The Legacy System Migration Workbench is still available in S/4HANA, but it is not recommended for migrations as it has not been amended for the new data structures, and some functionality is not available e.g. transaction recordings cannot be made with the Fiori transactions. 

The Maintenance Planner tool has to be used for a system conversion, which among other things, checks add-ons, active business functions and industry solutions to ensure that they can be converted.

Central Finance

Central Finance is a new concept introduced with S/4HANA. It allows users with a large and distributed landscape to replicate both SAP and non-SAP finance data real-time to a central S/4HANA system, but still allowing drilldown to the original document in the SAP systems.

Cash Management

There is a suite of programs, Cash Operations, Bank Account Management (BAM) and Liquidity Management that replace the classic cash and liquidity management, and you can centrally manage the actual and forecast cash positions from SAP and non-SAP systems by using the One Exposure operations Hub. Transactions such as FF7A and FF7B (cash management and liquidity forecast) are now Fiori apps.

House banks and house bank accounts, which are now master data, can be managed by users in Fiori, along with banks hierarchies or groupings, overdraft limits, signatories and approvals flows and additional reporting such as the foreign bank account report, helps compliancy. The hierarchy uses the bank business partner role

Bank accounts can also be downloaded and uploaded to and from Excel, for reporting, migrations and mass changes. They are created in the productive system, but still need to be replicated to the development and quality assurance systems etc. as configuration for payments and bank statements still needs to be made in the development system and moved through quality to production as usual.

If you don’t want to implement the full Bank Account Management (BAM), then Basic Cash management is also available, previously known as BAM Lite. 

Other Fiori apps available include for cash operations include the Incoming bank statements monitor, cash payments and approvals, cash position reports, transfers, cash pooling. 

Figure 22 Examples of a Few Bank Management Apps in Fiori

Figure 22 Examples of a Few Bank Management Apps in Fiori

FI12_HBANK is the SAP GUI transaction for the user that replaces the House Bank icon in the customizing transaction FBZP, (see Figure 23), although you will find more functionality in the Fiori App such as the hierarchies and groupings. After entering the company code on the first screen you can display, amend or create new house banks.

Figure 23FI12_HBANK - House Bank Transaction in SAP GUI

Figure 23FI12_HBANK - House Bank Transaction in SAP GUI

New Asset Accounting

Depreciation Areas - You still have the choice of using the parallel ledgers brought in by the New GL or accounting for different accounting principles using a different range of GL accounts. However, even if you use different accounts for the different accounting principles, you still need to set them up in asset accounting as dummy ledgers.   You no longer need to set up delta depreciation areas where you have additional accounting principles, but you do need to have a one to one match for each currency and ledger in Finance with a depreciation area in Asset Accounting.

The depreciation areas are now equal (i.e. depreciation area 1 does not have to be the leading ledger) and transaction ASKB, (post additional depreciation areas periodically to finance), has been removed because you can post all depreciation areas to Finance in real-time if required.  Because all the postings are real-time, you can navigate and drill down to most of the financial documents not just those in depreciation area 1. 

Postings – As with finance, a lot of the tables are now redundant and a lot of the asset information comes across via the Universal Journal in table ACDOCA. The asset balance sheet accounts are now all reconciliation accounts – even those in the additional depreciation areas, which prevents manual postings that are not updating the assets. The depreciation run posting has been improved and the depreciation journal contains asset information at line item detail so in the GL line item report you can see the amounts by asset, see Figure 16

Figure 16 Depreciation Account in GL Account Line Item Display

Figure 16 Depreciation Account in GL Account Line Item Display

You can also drilldown to the asset accounting from the finance document (click on asset accounting icon in Figure 17) to see the postings by ledger group. 

Figure 17 Finance Document for Asset Acquisition

Figure 17 Finance Document for Asset Acquisition

In Figure 18, you can see the Technical Clearing account functionality. This is required to post the other depreciation areas in real-time, whilst allowing the flexibility to post each asset differently in each ledger. Some accounts, for example vendors, customers, GRIR account and tax accounts cannot be posted to unilaterally i.e. in one ledger and not others. Therefore, the acquisition or retirement posting is split into at least two documents. The first is called the operational posting and has a blank ledger group i.e. it posts equally to all ledgers. 

The posting for an acquisition is credit vendor and debit technical clearing account. The second, valuating posting, then posts between the technical clearing account and the asset with a separate document for each ledger.  To get to the posting for the additional ledgers and currencies, you have to click on the A/P Currency icon (which stands for Accounting Principle/Currency) and you can see the document in Figure 22 shares the same operational posting with document 1900000019 but has a different valuating posting with document 7000000073 instead of 100000048 which was the document number for the leading ledger.

Figure 18 Figure 14 Drilldown to Ledger Postings by Asset

Figure 18 Figure 14 Drilldown to Ledger Postings by Asset

Figure 19 Asset Acquisition, Parallel Ledger Posting

Figure 19 Asset Acquisition, Parallel Ledger Posting

Accounting Principle and Depreciation Area are new fields now available in many new transactions (e.g. ABZOL instead of ABZO, or ABUML instead of ABUM and so on), so there is no longer a need for depreciation area specific transaction types.

Settlement rules can also be ledger specific if required, see example in Figure 20

Figure 20 Ledger Specific Settlement Rules

Figure 20 Ledger Specific Settlement Rules

Year-End – this is now carried forward as part of the finance transaction FAGLGVTR, in other words both the general ledger and assets are carried forward together 

Statistical postings – instead of statistical cost elements with cost category 90 there is now a special field in the GL account master record only in fixed asset and material reconciliation accounts called Apply Acct Assignments Statistically in Fixed Asset Acct/Material Acct.

Figure 21 Asset Statistical Account Assignment

Figure 21 Asset Statistical Account Assignment

I have written more about New Asset Accounting in my latest E-Bite Introducing New Asset Accounting in SAP S/4HANA – you can find out more at https://goo.gl/qIbdQZ which is a short cut to the SAP Press site. This book covers how new asset accounting works in S/4HANA and is aimed at users who are new to SAP as well as those migrating from earlier versions of SAP.

Ask a Fixer: What You Should Know About Profitability Analysis with S/4 HANA Finance

SAP Help


Start: Thursday July 13th, 2017 12:00 PM (CT), 1:00 PM (ET), 11:00 AM (MT), 10:00 AM (PT)

End: Thursday July 13, 2017 1:00 PM (CT), 2:00 PM (ET), 12:00 PM (MT), 11:00 AM (PT)

There are several changes that have been made with S/4 HANA Finance. One of the major ones is with the integration of Profitability Analysis (CO-PA) with the General Ledger, which provides new data structures and enhanced functionalities that enable flexible, multidimensional reporting, and seamless reconciliation.

Attend this webcast and live Q&A with ERPfixers experts and Financials Expert authors, Ajay Maheshwari and Kavita Agarwal to learn more about the following:

  • How Account-Based CO-PA is integrated with the Universal Journal

  • The considerations to be taken into account when converting from Account-Based to Costing-Based CO-PA

  • How to perform realtime derivation in CO-PA and reduce the need for month-end settlements

  • The setup needed to break cost of goods sold into cost components using Account-based CO-PA

  • How CO-PA allocations work with the Universal Journal


Ajay Maheshwari, SAP FI/CO and SAP S4/HANA Solution Architect

Kavita Agarwal, SAP FI/CO and SAP S4/HANA Solution Architect

S/4 HANA Finance: Questions and Considerations

Here are some things to consider when assessing a move to S/4 HANA Finance:


HANA is the superfast powerful “in-memory” database. It organizes data differently to reduce complexity, it is faster to access, indexing, aggregating not required etc. Instead of holding totals in tables, totals are calculated on the fly (a phrase you will hear a lot – meaning recalculated as you go). 


  • Some customizing will still work as there will be “views” with the same name as the obsolete tables (recreated from the new table for this purpose). Your bespoke program can read from these views but if your bespoke programs were writing to tables, you cannot write to the views

  • You should be told about various tools to check your bespoke customizing well before any migration. In any case, it is a good idea to review as you may now be able to replace some programs with standard functionality

  • You may find a separate charge for the database, in addition to the S/4 HANA and the landscape

S/4 HANA is the SAP Business Suite that is built and optimized to run (only) on the HANA database.

You will see two different types or editions of S/4 HANA (i.e. the business suite “software”) but the combination with different landscape options can be confusing.

The names of the two different S/4 HANA editions are:

  • SAP S/4 HANA Cloud (although a number of different versions exist) with quarterly releases

  • SAP S/4 HANA on-premise – each release is named after the year and month – we have had 1503 (Simple Finance only), 1511 and 1610 releases (1610 the current one was released on Oct 2016 next will be 1709 i.e. Sept 2017)

The first is sold as a service and is available on a multi-tenanted public cloud (i.e. your data is secure, but you share the programs with other customers - simplified, standardized, almost no custom programming) whereas the on-premise version is available how you want it, on third party or your servers/cloud, with custom programming allowed (and when we did it more complex to license and buy/hire the different pieces)  

(Be careful because the first is called The Cloud edition, and usually what people mean when they say Cloud, but you can also have your on-premise edition in a cloud)


  • If you are using an Industry solution check whether it is compatible specifically with edition that you are going with

  • Check any restrictions - e.g. AFS with 1511 edition did not use BP (Business Partners) although BP was mandatory for the standard solution

  • Free trials are available but careful that you understand which edition you are trialing

  • Check paths (if on e.g. 4.6 you may have to migrate first to higher version, then convert to S/4 HANA if not a new implementation)


Public Cloud 

Multi-tenant, scalable, operated by service provider and not customer, and lot of simplification, pre-configuration and Fiori front end. Different versions such Enterprise Management Cloud (the main Business programs), Finance Cloud, Professional Services Cloud, Hybris Marketing Cloud and Manufacturing Cloud.

Effectively the Public Cloud has one set of programs that you are sharing with other customers. It should be very secure but it does mean that very little, if any bespoke work can be carried out.

Very different concept to standard SAP. You have access to a reduced version of the SPRO/IMG (the configuration menu) and you cannot write your own ABAP programs. You have quarterly updates and you do not have a choice about implementing them. In the past, you may have had a Development system for configuring and unit testing, a Quality/Testing system and perhaps a Training system as well as the final Production client, the public cloud structure is very different (you usually have production and one other)

Generally sold as Opex rather than Capex (operating rather than capital costs) or subscription based for the combination of software and hardware. Self-service configuration allows business users more access to set up e.g. of organizational structure, house banks

Considerations/ Questions:

  • Security

  • Check into different versions (mentioned above) there seem to be a lot more available now

  • Licensing (subscription – user/revenue based)

  • Backups

  • Upgrades

  • OSS notes

  • If system crashes – time to reboot and get data back into memory – how the data is backed up while you work and how much time you might lose (should be minimal but they should be able to explain this)

  • Service level agreements, incident support, monitoring, what is included

  • Check how many systems involved (usually production plus one other).

  • Check – but I think it uses only Fiori will you have enough Fiori transactions that you need as not all GUI transactions may be available in Fiori

HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud)

Be careful when people mention Cloud as they usually mean public cloud. HEC is often referred to as on-premise rather than cloud as this is the edition of S/4 HANA that is used with it.

HEC is owned by customer or Third Party, but still scalable. One upgrade/release per year. Here you are the only one on the system (regardless of whether it is Cloud or not) so you are free to choose when the upgrades happen, what bespoke programming/customizing you want to carry out etc. Upgrade is an IT project (as opposed to private cloud upgrades which are done automatically by SAP)


  • Licensing – It is a quite complicated, perpetual license and recurring hosting fee but a lot of licensing is based on revenue, number of objects etc.


Mix of two, you may have some systems in the cloud and some not.


3 Options:

System Conversion - On-Premise Edition only

Data is directly converted with history in the existing system (but not necessarily all history–e.g. you could take last 5 years’ open items).  Figures have been quoted to me of downtime of one weekend for the physical conversion itself, but obviously depends how much data and the complexity and what other changes are taking place and you would.

You would still need many months testing and full project team in place, especially if you have many interfaces. It also assumes that you make copy your productive system to a sandbox to do the first test run, which will give you an indication. Bear in mind you will also have to convert all your development, quality, training etc. Systems. Can’t use with public Cloud


  • Are you migrating to New GL or already on it? This has major effect on timing as New GL has to be at yearend

  • Are you introducing Parallel ledgers with new GL. Discuss with SAP whether better to migrate to new GL and parallel ledgers before implementation (only since the 1610 release can you add parallel ledgers after migration but not sure if you can add them during

  • Document splitting – this cannot be added (in 1610) after migration so you may have to go to new GL before the migration to S/4 HANA

  • Integration to other systems - depending what you have been using in the past there may now be more efficient ways of interfacing to other systems – this should be looked into

  • Have to convert whole system at once – cannot move in stages (e.g. once company code at a time)

  • Check steps – usually install HANA database before conversion, some config tasks

  • maintenance planner to run through tasks and timing

Greenfield Implementation

Worth considering if on SAP for years. you can use the move to S/4 HANA to move to Best Practices, re-engineer business processes and get rid of a lot of obsolete or no longer necessary bespoke work. 


  • See migrations considerations/questions about uploading data

Central Finance/Landscape Transformation

To consolidate a lot of diverse systems very quickly, you basically map your finance data from all your SAP and non-SAP data to a Central Finance S/4 HANA system. The data is reposted, but if coming from an SAP system you can drilldown to the original data and you get all the advantages of the speed and consolidation upfront and can migrate the individual systems when you are ready.


  • this is not a migration of historic data

  • still a great deal of mapping to do if individual companies on different systems, chart of accounts etc.

  • was not a separate cost for the Central Finance itself – just the way it is configured but you may need tools for the mapping


Data aging strategies (i.e. which data is held in memory, which “nearby” and any archived on different system etc. – data used more frequently should in “hot storage” and “warm storage”.


Described as “user experience”, consists of Apps or Tiles (rather like a smartphone than menu path/transaction codes). Includes interactive apps (see figure below) where key information is available on tile itself. Uses Launchpad for home page. Available for multiple devices, desktops, tablets/phones. Based on user roles, so smaller transactions tailored for specific role (not necessarily every field available for every user) 

Worth considering and mandatory for Public Cloud version. 


  • Check in-house knowledge required for Fiori and U5 stuff

  • Check whether Fiori is mandatory (generally shouldn’t be for on-premise), but SAP will try to sell it

  • Are the transactions you need covered by Fiori (most standard ones should be)

  • Worth looking at what is available on Fiori that is not on the SAP GUI

  • Check what transactions are available for mobile devise (I presume e.g. approving a PO might be but not sure if everything is)

  • Should be trial versions available

  • If using personas – check how fits in with Fiori (should be seamless but you will need to know how)

  • I believe the GR/IR cockpit is neither a GUI transaction nor a Fiori App as it is not in my 1610 S/4 HANA version nor the Fiori Apps I have access to, nor the Fiori catalogue

  • If the GR/IR cockpit is indeed separate functionality/program; check whether separate licensing/cost is involved and what other functionality is included.

  • Not all of the thousands of SAP ECC transaction codes were available on Fiori – check whether you still need GUI access

SAP Help

Finance, Controlling, COPA

Effectively merged, so cost element now part of GL account (and cost category field available in GL master).  In Finance, there is a new kind of document called the Universal Journal which posts to a single table (ACDOCA) which contains a lot of data from the other modules, so instead of having to run reports from a number of tables, you can now see almost everything in Finance, for example in line items, including COPA, MM, SD etc. Leads to Single Source of Truth i.e. you don’t have different results in different modules.


  • Different split of the modules with a lot of new areas for Treasury

  • look into Cash Management/In-House Cash/ Bank Communications etc. House-banks for example have moved to a different module which is chargeable but there is a Bank Account Management LITE version so that you can still use the standard banking if you don’t have those modules

  • Account-based COPA is the default – although can implement both

  • revenue recognition changes coming with IFRS 15, and the SD Revenue Recognition being replaced in by Revenue Accounting and Reporting

  • revenue recognition now in Universal journal and recognized as they incur – look into further – 2 postings one for initial costs/revenue and a separate posting for revenue recognition and new Fiori transactions/apps

  • COPA data now in finance

  • Check - standard credit management no longer available – only FSCM (Financial Supply Chain Management) Credit Management?

  • Additional currencies available (from 1610 up to 10) – do you need this functionality?

  • Extension/Appendix ledgers (normal ledgers hold complete sets of books, these only hold deltas and are linked to a base ledger so that reporting gives a complete set by combining the base and extension ledger)

  • Check Cost of Goods Sold - more flexibility and a number of improvements (e.g. multiple accounts based on cost component split) but check whether when COGS in profitability analysis will be supported

  • Closing cockpit – separate cost?

New GL


  • If not already on new GL, don’t necessarily need all the new functionality, but recommend to set up in the beginning if you think you may need it in the future (document splitting can be tricky)

  • Document Splitting – not mandatory but previously it was not possible to implement once on S/4 HANA – have to do it before (check this – it was due to be added soon)

  • Parallel ledgers cannot be added in earlier versions of on-premise – only1610 versions – check how it works on cloud.

New Asset Accounting

In addition to better reconciliation, there is no data redundancy as you no longer need delta depreciation areas, real-time postings to all ledgers etc. Some considerations are below:


  • New Asset Accounting is the only option on Hana, although available in ECC6 from enhancement pack 7

  • During a system conversion, there will be some customizing changes to do particularly for new Asset Accounting, important to understand and decide in advance whether you want to follow ledger or account approach for different accounting principles (even account approach now requires a “dummy ledger” to be configured)

  • Even if Greenfield implementation, you will probably have some restructuring to do. Need to match ledgers and currencies and depreciation areas and accounting principles

  • You may see a lot of information about the New depreciation calculation engine. Generally, hardly any difference between the old and new calculations unless you are changing depreciation methods/useful lives mid-year - may be worth looking into that more if that is the case

Customer Vendor Integration

Vendor and customer master data held as BP (Business Partner) - if you have a customer that is also a vendor – use same general data (address), more data fields and addresses available, concept of relationship e.g. with contact person. Still keep original customer vendor number (so historic reports ok) but may have new BP number as well. Part of migration step is to synchronize customers and vendors to BP if not already using. 


  • May need to clean up vendors/customers if not using BP and see if any fields exist in BP that were not in old transactions. If not linked may need to decide if you want to link them, how that would be done

  • Check bespoke fields in the customer/vendor masters

Material Ledger 

Material Ledger now mandatory.  Change in tables (MATDOC =main table in material ledger), lot more information in Finance.

  • Some field lengths change (e.g. Material length now 40 characters) – check any other systems feeding in can deal with increased length here and elsewhere

  • multiple currencies and valuations

  • check transfer pricing functionality

  • check capture of price variances


Check whether still available and whether any changes e.g. DEBMAS and CREMAS (for customer and vendor) still available but may using the BP number as leading object



  • Fiori will work differently in any case, (one transaction may be split into roles) but if not using GUI should be standardized roles available for new implementation

  • There are a number of new GUI transactions that are almost identical to the old but allow for example to post to each ledger group separately so if conversion will need to add them to roles

  • If converting an existing landscape, there are a number of tasks as part of the migration to convert for example the cost elements into GL accounts, but going forward you will need to review authorizations e.g. if different people have access to cost elements and GL accounts master data

Licensing and Hosting

Varies greatly between the different options and landscapes. From subscription to itemizing everything out separately. (What I am mentioning here is from 2015, and may not apply depending on which options you go for).


  • Some programs such as MDG (Master Data Governance) are based on each object for example if you want to use MDG for 5,000 GL accounts, 50,000 vendors, 2,000 cost centers, 10,000 customers, 5,0000 vendors, 20,000 materials that would be 92,000 items, and you may therefore need to buy the next available quantity that they are sold in e.g. 100,000

  • Many of the financial packages are licensed based on revenue, regardless of whether you are only using IHC (In-house cash) for your vendors, and not customers/Treasury/intercompany etc.

  • Types of users (used to have developer, self-service, professional, etc.)

  • Is there a separate charge for HANA database?

  • Charge for Fiori?

  • Maybe review existing licenses – it may be possible to save money by reorganizing the assignment of licenses - not sure if reduced licenses still apply e.g. if somebody was only approving and not running transactions and one company I worked at saved a fortune by reorganizing the perpetual licenses.

  • Check what is included for reporting (used to be BI Suite which had Design studio, HANA Live, crystal reports, web intelligence, advanced office analysis, business objects etc. included but may have changed)

  • FSCM separate to main accounting license, if you had ordinary credit management you may now have to get FSCM

  • Netweaver/web dynpro?


Many different paths, especially depending whether Public Cloud or not – public cloud is new implementation but there are tools (SLT) to upload data quite simply from another SAP system.


  • If planning to migrate in stages, you would have to go with a Greenfield migration or Central Finance

  • On-premise system conversion – code-checker tool to check your bespoke ABAP programs do not write to tables, and for example whether there are any Z tables etc. You may want to understand more about this tool if you have a lot of bespoke programs.

  • Check whether your bespoke programs are calling other transactions/programs. Most old transactions that are obsolete call the new transaction instead but not all (e.g. display house bank FI13 gives the message “please use the Manage Banks and Manage Bank Accounts Apps) so would not work with bespoke programs calling a transaction code

  • Look in to SLT (SAP Landscape Transformation) tool if legacy system is SAP.

  • Legacy Workbench functionality cannot be used in many areas for example Fixed assets and Business Partners, (does not support new data structure).


Need to factor in what modules, complexity of business, integration with other systems, number of organizations/company codes, availability of users for testing training (especially at a year-end) etc. etc. so impossible to give a timeline.

As mentioned downtime for a system conversion can be very short (e.g. weekend) and business can carry on as usual, minimum training and disruption but a lot of testing and you need to factor in the downtime for the conversion and testing of each of your systems e.g. development, quality, test, training as well as the productive system


A new concept to replace the traditional ASAP method used by SAP in the past, more applicable to new implementations. With Activate you are given a model company system to trial, you then do the fit/gap, choose your scope and activate it, rather than preparing a Blueprint first and then trying to tailor step by step the configuration to fit it. Everything is based on Best Practices – ready configured business processes and guided configuration to activate them.   With traditional methods of migration, you may have incurred most of the costs and completed most of the build before you realize something is not working, whereas here you get to try a lot more out in the early stages.


  • Check that it can be used with all types of implementation (previously it could only be used with one of the S/4 HANA editions but check whether works with Central Finance landscape)

  • check how it integrates with Solution Manager on all (I know Activate works with on Solution Manager 7.2 and higher and a lot of documentation and testing scenarios can be utilized are easily accessible here)

  • Check which business processes work with which versions of S/4 HANA – not all work with all versions

Rapid Deployment Solution

This was deployed by SAP at a multinational project I worked on – they had a number or world templates and preconfigured building blocks in order to do a new implementation in a much shorter period of time than the traditional writing of the blueprint and then creating configuration line by line. 


  • Worth looking into

  • Check where it is available, not sure if replaced completely by Activate everywhere


Number of new options, with embedded analytics you should no longer need to wait overnight for data to be transferred to BW or a data-warehouse, no need to create permanent info-cubes. New concept in S/4 HANA is that the reporting is real-time and virtual cubes or virtual data models that can easily be created as required. Some examples - Business Objects Design Studio, Lumira, Analysis for Office, HANA Live.

Q&A: Options for Analyzing Profitability in ECC and S/4 HANA

Analyzing Profitability is a key task in any organization. It helps shed light on sales and profit information on various aspects of the market such as customers, geographic regions, product lines, and many more. There are several tools that can be used to analyze profitability in SAP, the most common being CO-PA (Controlling Profitability Analysis). However, many companies still resort to using spreadsheets and other manual methods (despite their plethora of issues) to accomplish this task. Is your company using the system to effectively analyze its profitability data?

Ask a Fixer: Options for Analyzing Profitability in ECC and S/4 HANA


Start: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 1:00 PM (CT), 2:00 PM (ET), 12:00 PM (MT), 11:00 AM (PT)

End: Wednesday, January 25th, 2017 1:00 PM (CT), 2:00 PM (ET), 12:00 PM (MT), 11:00 AM (PT)

Analyzing Profitability is a key task in any organization. It helps shed light on sales and profit information on various aspects of the market such as customers, geographic regions, product lines, and many more. There are several tools that can be used to analyze profitability in SAP, the most common being CO-PA (Controlling Profitability Analysis). However, many companies still resort to using spreadsheets and other manual methods (despite their plethora of issues) to accomplish this task. Is your company using the system to effectively analyze its profitability data?

Attend this live Q&A with Paul Ovigele, FICO Expert and Founder of ERPfixers, and Janet Salmon, Chief Product Owner for Management Accounting at SAP, where you can ask your most pressing questions, such as:

  • Can we use costing and account based CO-PA simultaneously?
  • What are the S/4 HANA implications of using CO-PA?
  • Is there an easy way of ensuring that CO-PA reconciles with the general ledger?
  • How do we do allocations within CO-PA?
  • Is there an advantage of using CO-PA over PCA (Profit Center Accounting) for Profitability Analysis?
  • What is the Top-Down Distribution in CO-PA and when should we use it?



Ask a Fixer is a live ASUG-hosted Q&A session with one of ERPfixers’ top-rated SAP experts (“Fixers”) in a specific module or topic. In this real-time discussion session, you have the opportunity to pose your specific questions to a Fixer, who will provide an immediate answer during the forum. This is a great way to get quick answers to your pressing issues, as well as learn from questions posted by other users during the forum.

Paul Ovigele, Author: Reconciling SAP CO-PA to the General ledger
Janet Salmon, Author: Controlling with SAP - Practical Guide

If you cannot attend: The webcast will be recorded. The link to the recording will be posted here and emailed to all registrants.

To register, please go to ASUG.

Face it! Or Get Disrupted - Change is Coming Fast

SAP S/4 HANA helps the world run better & improve people’s lives and to help customers run at their best. Read more about SAP S/4 HANA here.

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


We’ve all heard the buzz around SAP S/4HANA Finance. But what are the practical benefits that you can achieve from its new functionalities? Attend this live Q&A with SAP Mentor and Trainer, Ajay Maheshwari, where you can ask your most pressing questions such as:

- What is the Universal Journal?
- What are the new Tables available with S/4 HANA Finance?
- What is the impact of S/4 HANA Finance functionality on period closing?
- What is New Asset Accounting, and how is it different from the traditional Fixed Assets module?
- Is New GL migration necessary for SFIN, for the customers still on Classic GL?
- How different is Simple Finance from S/4 HANA Finance?
- What is Central Finance?