ERPfixers Blog Series

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 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.

Amsterdam Financials 2017

SAP Financials Help

ERPfixers is honored to announce that Paul Ovigele, Founder of ERPfixers, will present at the Financials 2017 Conference. The definitive conference for organizations using SAP solutions for finance to drive accounting, controlling, planning, and reporting excellence. Join us!


Our Session(s):

Tackle your most common financial pain points using existing and new SAP functionality

Wednesday, 14 June, 2017 16:30 - 17:30 G102

Speaker: Paul Ovigele, ERPfixers Founder

Learn the how-tos, gotchas, and workarounds you need to know to conquer the most common challenges associated with financial and managerial accounting, including the reconciliation of CO-PA with SAP General Ledger, and using cost component split functionality. Get expert advice to:

- Deal with the timing difference of goods issues between FI and CO-PA

- Learn the changes to CO-PA with SAP S/4HANA Finance

- Ensure that credit and debit memos, which relate to price alone, do not update the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) value field in CO-PA

- Handle the posting of discount conditions to CO-PA

- Configure the cost component split using SAP S/4HANA Finance

- View cost of sales postings in the SAP General Ledger by cost component

Ask the Experts FIN and GRC

Wednesday, 14 June, 2017 17:45 - 18:30 Exhibition Hall

Speaker: Paul Ovigele, ERPfixers Founder

Sit down with leading experts who manage, deploy, and support SAP environments to get detailed answers to your toughest questions. Draw on the real-world experiences from some of the industry’s top technologists and tap into one-on-one time with experts and walk away with detailed answers to the questions that matter to you most.

SAP Material Ledger: Guidelines and Benefits

Thursday, 15 June, 2017 10:45 - 11:45 G105

Speaker: Paul Ovigele, ERPfixers Founder

Take a comprehensive look at material ledger, including what it does, when you should use it, and how to interpret its results. Delegates will:

- Discover how to properly analyse material ledger information using the Material Price Analysis report

- Find out how long the typical material ledger implementation should take

- Hear how certain companies have used material ledger to solve their transfer pricing and intercompany elimination requirements using standard SAP functionality

- Walk away with a clear understanding of how material ledger fits in with SAP S/4HANA Finance functionality


TWEET us at #Financials2017!

@ERPfixers #ERPFixers

3 Quality Management (QM) How-To's


Learn how to do the following:

  1. Automatic Usage Decision and follow up actions

  2. Mass Result recording and Mass UD

  3. Sampling procedure settings at plant level

1. Automatic UD and Follow Up Actions

Most of the time, Quality department would like to perform automatic usage decision and automatic stock movements based on recorded results. It is a key area which provides customer satisfaction, when they perform their daily work, whereas system provides assurance of validation and follow on activities.

To enable the same, SAP has provided many options, which provides a lot of value addition when used properly. 

  • Automatic Usage Decision options and follow up actions

If the results recorded are not rejected, free of defects and all required characteristics have been confirmed, then SAP allows performing Auto UD.

Many times, there will be interfaces defined between LIMS / Quality lab systems / Level-II systems with SAP, to record the results. The quality management team would like to enter the results as and when operations are performed in the lab system and would like to fetch reports / certificates from SAP when the information is transferred. When the data is transferred and results are recorded, business will be more focused on spending time effectively, where issues are identified. To enable a smart management, the lots should be made Auto UD and auto stock posting, if all results are okay. In case of any issue, the lot should be open and user should action accordingly.

In SAP, the inspection type has “Automatic UD” option, followed by Plant level settings to define “wait time” if any. Once these are selected, QA17 allows creating a job that performs Auto UD, if above conditions are met. 

In qcc0 settings for selected set, you can define the follow up actions and “Posting proposal UD”. The posting proposal “To unrestricted Use” can be set at this level for 100% acceptance level, to ensure that stock is moved to unrestricted use if all desired conditions are met. This will provide a lot of value addition to business, as Lab in-charge or QC Manager only need to focus on real issues, rather than going through each lot one-by-one.

  • Automatic UD at Client level

QCC0-> basic settings -> Maintain Settings at Client Level -> Further settings

Quality inspection Automatic UD can be activated at this setting, followed by event type linkage activation of event RESULTRECORDED under SWETYPV-> Business function BUS2045.

However, the client level settings are usually performed during initial phases of the project.

2. Mass Result Recording and Mass UD

There are cases when business requires performing RR and UD in mass. The regular options of QE01 / QA32 allow individual lot level activities. To avoid customizations on this area, it is possible to perform the below

  • QE71 - For Inspection Points

  • QE72 - For All Inspection Lots

  • QE73 - For Master Inspection Characteristic

For example, QE73 allows to enter results on tabular form, for a particular MIC Code.

SAP Help

The result history option displays the history of results recorded for the MIC code between a desired timeframe, for reference:

SAP Quality Management

Mass UD is possible using Jobs, planned through QA17 or manually using QA40. It is also possible to perform Collective Usage decision using QA16.

This is especially useful during order completion / month closing activities, to ensure there are no open lots. It is also helpful to use Transactions QVM1 and QVM3 to know the open lots.

3. Sampling Procedure Settings at Plant Level

Pre-settings for sampling procedures are available at QCC0->Basic Settings -> Plant level settings-> Inspection lot creation.

To explain the purpose, consider the case where inspection at Physical samples needs to be carried out. It is mandatory to define sampling procedure and assign the same to all inspection characteristics when you define inspection plan for the same.

However, the sampling procedure may be relevant for few MICs in real business scenarios, whereas other MICs do not have such requirement. If the sampling procedure is set at plant level configuration as shown below, the sampling procedure is automatically copied, if there are characteristics to which no sampling procedure has been assigned in the task list or material specification.


First Steps in SAP Fiori

Excerpt from    First Steps in SAP®    Fiori    by: Anurag Barua

Excerpt from First Steps in SAP® Fiori

by: Anurag Barua


Chapter 4 SAP Fiori: An Overview

A question that many of my customers ask is, “What is SAP Fiori all about?” It’s a question that has a significantly long answer because SAP Fiori is not just one thing but rather a convergence of many things. Quite simply, it is SAP’s truly new user experience, or for those of you with a technical mindset, it is SAP’s new user interface. SAP Fiori marks the end of the era of the traditional gray screens of the flagship SAP GUI, which has existed for over two decades. SAP GUI has been a constant scourge for SAP users worldwide because of the over-abundance of fields and tabs that users have to either enter data in or click through and because of its distinct lack of visual appeal. For those of you interested in statistics, there are over 300,000 individual SAP screens that form the conduit for transactional processing. This is not a trivial number and what bewilders SAP users even today, is that a lot of these screens contain fields that are rarely used and every basic transaction has multiple screens that a user may have to scroll through.

SAP Fiori provides users with a standardized (tile-based) look and feel that is intuitive, visual, and offers fields that are displayed based on the user’s roles and authorizations.

At the heart of SAP Fiori is the increasing number of out-of- the-box apps (applications) that SAP provides which correspond to the whole gamut of standard business processes such as order entry (purchase or sales), leave request approval, etc. Currently, there are almost 500 apps available free of charge and if the investment into SAP Fiori is any indication, this number will continue to increase. If the SAP infrastructure prerequisites are met (I will discuss these later), you should be able to be up and running with any such app in a matter of a few hours. When I started my own SAP Fiori odyssey a couple of years ago, it took me approximately six hours to get a standard cost center app up and running. Disclaimer: All configuration on the infrastructure side had already been performed by the Basis/NetWeaver administrator and I was able to draw heavily on my years of SAP experience.

SAP Fiori represents a shift from transaction code-based interaction to interaction that is driven by business processes and the users’ roles and responsibilities in an organization and as maintained in the SAP security framework. The interaction is heavily influenced by the seismic shift that has taken place in the consumer marketplace, where business is increasingly transacted on mobile devices via simple apps. SAP Fiori leverages this concept to provide the same end user experience that eschews exposing the complexity of the solution and provides users with an engaging experience. It is based on the theory of “build once, run everywhere”. Therefore, with SAP Fiori, your app will run on your desktop as well as your mobile device and will look and feel exactly the same on both: you do not have to create a separate desktop version of your app and a separate one for your mobile device.

As the years have gone by, SAP’s advertising campaigns bear testimony to how the focus has shifted from highlighting its all-encompassing and integrated nature to a simplified, user-driven software suite. The journey from The Best Run Businesses Run SAP to Run Simple has seen SAP go through many ups and downs and

detours, has seen SAP go through many ups and downs and detours, including multiple acquisitions and strategy changes, as it has evolved from an introverted German software maker to a global innovation factory that provides speedy solutions with a high business ROI. And one of the primary lessons that SAP has learned well is that no matter how wonderfully efficient the software engineering is, it is ultimately the user experience that counts.

SAP Fiori apps have been designed using certain platform-agnostic design tools such as HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS. This combination of tools has been wrapped into something called SAP UI5 but I will come back to this a little later. As a result, SAP Fiori apps can be rendered on all kinds of mobile devices without the need for any software magic such as creating wrappers to ensure compatibility. Furthermore, this framework also provides users with a convenient means to enhance existing apps and incorporate users’ business needs.

SAP Fiori and NetWeaver security: A question that is often asked is whether SAP Fiori leverages the SAP NetWeaver security framework or whether you have to design security separately for SAP Fiori. The good news is that SAP Fiori allows you to leverage your existing NetWeaver security model. In fact, when you configure any app, the visibility and access are determined by the roles and authorizations that particular user is assigned to.

Keep reading in First Steps in SAP Fiori by Anurag Barua [].

Are you wondering what SAP Fiori is all about? Dive into SAP’s new user interface and gain an understanding of core SAP Fiori concepts and get quickly up to speed SAP Fiori functionality, architecture, prerequisites, and technical components. Walk through key configuration and get examples of what has gone well (and not so well) on real SAP Fiori implementation projects. Take a technical deep dive into the types of Fiori apps including transactional apps, analytics apps, and fact sheets and walk through custom development and enhancements. By using practical examples, tips, and screenshots, the author brings technical and non-technical readers alike up to speed on SAP Fiori.

  • SAP Fiori fundamentals and core components

  • Instructions on how to create and enhance an SAP Fiori app

  • Installation and configuration best practices

  • Similarities and differences between SAP Fiori and Screen Personas

Secure IT Procedure for Assigning AP Roles to End Users

SAP Help

Revision History

SAP Help

 Business Risk and Fix

R1:  End Users that are assigned to incorrect Auto Provision (AP) AP Roles per types as part of Role Management and Workflows within SAP Identity Management (SAP IdM) and Access Control

Functional or Technical Issue

  • T1: Remedy Legacy inaccuracies regarding Auto Provision User assignments for each CUSTMR (Customer) Type

  • End Users in scope:

Users types that are assigned an AutoProvision Role by CUSTMR according to:

  • Customer ID

  • Manager

  • HR Mini-Master

  • Identity Type:

    • Employee

    • Contractor


    • Other

Pre-Requisite Controls

CUSTMR: Hourly Manager AutoProvision roleControl where AutoProvision assignments are corrected and identified via AutoProvision Role Assignment Status link Using “User BR – AutoProv Assignment GAPS” report found in the IDM Secure IT Reporting Portal.

General Assumptions

  1. The IDM Batch Job for Report User BR – AutoProv Assignment GAPS is being executed on a daily basis to view results the following business day.

  2. CUSTMR Security Leads (CSLs) are aware that the Internal SAP Security IDM Team is processing any findings manually or via Mass Load as pre-approved on a daily basis.

Risk Identification

***Run the FOLLOWING Report and save results as a CSV file.  This step is Critical because the report triggers a job that changes Report status.***

1. Go to SecureIT:


2. Select CUSTMR Folder:

SAP Help

3. Select Operations Support: 

SAP Consulting

4. Select ‘User BR – AutoProv Assignment GAPS’ and filter on ‘ALL’ for all fields:

SAP Help

5. Click “View Report

SAP Help

6. Once report completes, (1) click “Save” icon and (2) select “CSV” option:

SAP Help

7. Use the “Open” or “Save” options to complete the export to CSV and save the file immediately (Open the file and “Save As” or use “Save As” from the “Save” drop down depending on user preference):

SAP Help

8. Create correction file template for Mass Load for ADDs and Removals and be sure to include any Service Incident Ticket (SIT) Details in the columns below as needed for processing.

9. Push AP Role ADD via via Mass Load:

SAP Consulting

10. Push AP Role REMOVAL via Mass Load

SAP Help

11. Remove User from Groups on AD (after regular business hours)

3a. Provide a separate list of Users that have incorrect groups assigned under the wrong CUSTMR 



  1. Notify CUSTMRs impacted for that week via email as part of CUSTMR Internal Controls Process

  2. Create a GENERIC Service IDM Catalog Request and assign this task to ‘AccessIT Operations and Development’ an denote ‘User-BR Add and Remove MASS LOAD for xxxx being the CUSTMR Group Name)

Data Exclusions

A known set of data that does not need to be evaluated for this procedure (This can change is not static) Values to exclude in evaluation of report results. 

SAP Help

Escalation Threshold

If the results after allowing for the Exclusionary items are greater than (X) escalate to CUSTMR IAG Control Owner

SAP Help

Corrective Action – Only to be executed if escalation threshold is not met

1. Use Internet Explorer to go to AccessIT and log on with your user ID and password.


2. Select “Identiy Management” tab, (2) click “Identity Management” option, (3) select “Manage” tab, (4) select “Person” from drop down menu, (5) input user ID, and (6) click “Go.” 

SAP Consulting

3. Click in the selection box to the left of the Unique ID to select the User and (2) select the “Change Employee Data” tab.

SAP Help

4. Click on the Assigned Roles tab to view current AP Role assignments

SAP Help

5. Click the “Save” icon to save your changes.

6. Repeat steps 1-5 until all users in the list have been corrected. 

Actual Cost Component Split for Multiple Materials

SAP expert consulting

Cost Component Split allows you to view a breakdown of your cost according to its building blocks such as Raw Materials, Labor, Overhead, Freight, etc. This functionality is even more powerful if you use Material Ledger’s Actual costing functionality. With Material Ledger activated, you can get a really transparent view of your actual costs across the supply chain and easily analyze the variances between standard and actual cost.

SAP provides a few reports (such as CKM3 and MLCCSPD) that show you the cost components per material. The problem with these reports is that they only show the cost components for one material at a time. This is very inconvenient when you are trying to do an analysis of all the materials in a plant or company. The only other option is to use BI/BW. The problem here is that not every company uses this application, and even those that do, still prefer the reports to be realtime and within the ECC system.

With an enhanced report provided by ERPfixers and our partners RFERP, you can see standard and actual cost components for multiple materials, as well as several different dimensions such as:

  • Cost Components, by Material group, Material Type, Plant, Profit Center, Company Code, and many more.

  • Comparison between Standard Cost Component and Actual Cost Component for multiple materials;

  • Cost Components for multiple materials for multiple periods;

  • Cost Components for different currency types/valuations;

  • Beginning and Ending Inventory quantities and values for multiple dimensions;

  • Released standard and actual cost components by multiple materials

  • Easy reconciliation back to standard SAP reports

This is a flexible drilldown report which a user can easily “Slice and Dice” according to their requirements, without the need for extra IT help or external consulting.

Take a look at the below video to see some features of the report:

If you have any questions about pricing or further features, please email us at

S/4 HANA Reporting Considerations

SAP Help

There are a number of new reporting options which need to be considered when you migrate to S/4 HANA. 

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 and HANA Live.

BI Launch Pad, a Web application, allows access to SAP Crystal Reports, SAP BusinessObjects Web Intelligence documents, SAP BusinessObjects Dashboards documents, etc. 

Design Studio

Produces professional, dynamic interactive dashboards, connects to rather than extracts from S/4 HANA.

  • Dashboards, multidimensional, interactive data visualizations to track data against budget, previous years, drilldown to detail

  • Dashboards rendered in HTML5 for web browsers, and mobile devices

  • Direct connectivity to SAP BW and HANA

  • Reuse queries, info cubes and HANA analytic views

  • Monitor KPIs

  • Prebuilt templates

  • Programming capabilities (IT usually build dashboards),

  • May take time to set up

  • Can export reports to Excel, and dashboards to Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe PDF or Adobe Flash

  • Chart/graph components

  • Simulate scenarios


Processes data, also connects rather than extracts.

  • Less IT involvement and training, more self-service – drag and drop

  • Simple interface for development

  • Easy to get answers from large amounts of data

  • Different options (cloud, HANA, standalone)

  • Integrates with current BI platform and leverages its architecture

  • Good for simple ad hoc reports

  • Can acquire data from other sources as well as SAP

  • Visualization and storyboards

Crystal Reports

Windows based design tool to create powerful reports that can be published in the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform. 

  • Includes Legal reports and forms such as customer invoice and tax reports.

  • Can create sophisticated colorful charts, drilldown and interactive filtering

  • Covert data into formatted easy to read reports

  • Schedule, secure, share in any format


Ad-hoc analysis and reporting tool for users with or without access to the SAP BusinessObjects BI platform

  • Can combine data from relational, OLAP spreadsheet or text file, using drag and drop

  • Self-service, easy access

  • Access, analyze and securely share interactive reports

  • Online and offline access

  • Dynamically create data queries, filter, sort, slice, dice, drill down

  • For casual users looking for intuitive BI tool for ad hoc reporting and analysis

  • Formatting, charts

SAP Business Objects Explorer

  • Filter and drill for information using advanced visualizations and charts

  • Interactive views

  • Use with mobile devices

  • Retrieve answers from corporate data by directly by filtering

  • Scheduling

  • Available on mobile devices



  • Real-time reporting using HANA SQL views directly on S/4 HANA

  • Attribute views, analytical views and calculation views


Business Objects Advanced Analysis 

Available for Microsoft Office (Excel/PowerPoint) and web. OLAP analysis. 

  • Can simultaneously view data from different cubes and providers

  • Multidimensional analysis, trend analysis

  • Analysis is captured in query, similar to BEX query view, can keep BEX as well, and leverage queries and BW investments

  • Live analysis embedded in to PowerPoint

  • Can write back to BW-IP (Integrated planning)

  • Self-service access to all BI content

  • Simpler, intuitive

  • Minimal training and support costs

  • Data enrichment

Predictive Analytics

Predictive functionality, statistical analysis and data mining. Forecasts outcomes of alternative strategies prior to implementation and determine how to best allocate resources.

  • Predictive models

  • Includes Lumira functionality (data acquisition, formulas, visualization tools, metadata enrichment) with the addition of the Predict pane (2nd data analysis tab) which holds all the predictive algorithms results visualization analytics and model management tools

  • Prepare, predict and share

  • Data manipulation components allow analysts to modify and create data elements quickly

  • Facilitates calculations and manipulations and cab add further data lookups to avoid data enrichment manipulation outside the tool

  • Chart options (geographic pie charts, bar charts, time series


  • Check prerequisites, for example does predictive analysis require Lumira?

  • Check licensing, may be different if you are only reporting on SAP data or if you e.g. want to link to other non-SAP systems

  • Check whether report from Sap or 3rd party (different licensing/discounts)

  • Check if different licenses fi just viewing reports or developing them

  • May be bundled together, shared in a concurrent pool. “BI Suite for Apps” (SAP data only) did include web intelligence, crystal reports, explorer, dashboards, advanced analysis for office as well as HANA Live, Design Studios coming under one license but may or may not still apply, then there was a separate license quote for BI Suite inclusive of non-SAP data

  • What in-house skills required to build reports

  • What reports/templates are supplied as standard

  • Do you need something you can use for planning as well?

  • Do you need/does the report have an Excel look/feel?

  • Is there a reporting only option as part of the license for S/4 HANA?

  • If extensive existing reporting system e.g. BW/BI/BEX – is there any benefit to upgrading to a similar system on S/4 HANA and how is it an easy task to convert existing reports in the short term, would you even use existing info-cubes as new virtual data models and different tables etc. will be more efficient built from scratch in the long term

  • Many reports may be available directly in S/4 HANA (more data in finance so line item reports now cover a lot more)

  • Do you want something for mobile devices?

  • How do the different reports fit together (e.g. does one fit/produce data for dashboard of another)?



  • Will forms migrate to S/4 HANA ok or do you need to redo them

  • Do you need Adobe? Special license required?


  • Other product that may be interesting is Integrated Business Planning for Finance (they also do Sales one)

  • Scheduling – do you have special scheduling software or use SAP standard- check what is available in S/4 HANA

  • Change request (transports) software – check how any software you are using integrates with S/4 HANA

  • Finance Closing cockpit – was sold as separate product, check if included now with anything else

  • SLT (System Landscape Transformation Tool) useful to manage real-time data replication/mapping – was free for Sap systems but extra if non-SAP system involved

  • Unlikely that any bespoke journal upload tools will work, check any 3rd party tools

  • Workflow – how will that migrate or build from scratch

  • In-house Cash, particularly if global, many currencies and intercompany transactions, effectively “virtual” bank accounts used, avoids bank charges and exchange differences by sharing money globally

  • Bank Communications Management – automate and merge outgoing payments and automate incoming payments and bank statements

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.

SAP Maintenance Order Management

SAP Maintenance

This document aims at explaining the corrective maintenance process in SAP. 

In most organizations, the maintenance department’s main functions are the following: 

  • Maximizing the availability of the physical assets

  • Keeping physical assets in a workable and safe state

  • Reduce the operating costs caused by equipment downtime and damage

In SAP, there are 5 types of maintenance processes: 

  1. Corrective maintenance: triggered by the detection of a defect

  2. Preventive maintenance: work planned in advance

  3. Breakdown maintenance: work that has to be executed in emergency

  4. Calibration maintenance: ensures that precision instruments keep accurate measurements

  5. Refurbishment maintenance: repair work done on materials subject to split valuation

This document will focus on the corrective maintenance process.

The maintenance order process follows five big steps.

SAP Help

The maintenance order process also has 3 types of roles involved: maintenance planner, maintenance supervisor, and maintenance technician.

We will now take a closer look at the five steps of the process:

1. Maintenance Notification

This document can be created by any of the 3 maintenance roles. The maintenance notification is triggered by the identification of a defect on a specific technical object. There are 3 types of standard maintenance notification: maintenance request, malfunction report and activity report. 

The commonly used notification type is the maintenance request:

SAP Help

The creator of the maintenance notification can enter the technical object, the description of the issue and the main work center responsible for the work. After creation, the maintenance notification will be verified by the maintenance planner and the work will be dispatched among the maintenance technicians.

It is also possible to directly create the maintenance order from the maintenance notification header thanks to the creation symbol next to the field “order”:

SAP Answers

2. Maintenance Order

The maintenance order can be created in 2 ways: 

  • From the maintenance notification: 

The maintenance notification will have the system status ORAS – which means “Order Assigned”.

SAP Answers
  • Directly through the transaction IW31

SAP Help

The maintenance order gets created with a certain order type, priority, technical object and a planning plant. 

The typical structure of the order is as follows:

SAP Help

 I provide you below with a high-level overview of what is the role of each tab in the maintenance order management process. 

The maintenance order header data answers at a high level to the following questions:

  • Who: by displaying the “person responsible” sub-tab

  • When: by displaying the “dates” sub-tab

  • What: by displaying the “reference object” sub-tab

  • How: by displaying the “first operation” sub-tab (details are provided in the “operations” tab)

SAP Answers

The operations tab provide details about which operations are done, by whom , in which sequence and for which duration. 

SAP ERP Answers

The components tab is used whenever some materials are required for a specific operation

SAP ERP Experts

The costs tab is used to display the planned and actual costs


The partner tab is used to display the partners involved in the maintenance order. 

SAP Experts

The “objects” tab is useful whenever several objects are involved in the maintenance work. It also specifies, when applicable, which maintenance notification is linked to the order. 

SAP Consultant

The “additional data” tab displays static finance-related organizational data. It has no impact on the process as such. 

SAP Help

The “location” tab displays the “location” of the data from both a logistics and financial viewpoint: it displays the maintenance plant as well as the account assignment data for the order costs.

SAP Help

The planning data tab is not relevant for the corrective maintenance process. It is used in the preventive maintenance process. It displays the maintenance plan and the task list from which the preventive maintenance order is generated. 

SAP Consulting

The “control” data contains the administrative data as well as the CO-parameters related to the order.

In case components are required for the order, the “reservation/purchase requisitions” sub-tab displays whether or not the documents are created immediately, after the release of the order or never.

ERP Help

3. Order Confirmation

The confirmation on the maintenance order is done through the transaction IW41. 

The confirmation is done at the operation level.

SAP Help

The confirmation document contains: the actual time spent on the tasks and, when applicable, the materials goods movements and measurement documents for technical objects. The “actual work” field has to be filled in to complete the confirmation. There is a flag for “final confirmation”. When it is flagged on, it means that there is no work remaining on the operation. When all the operations of an order are “final” confirmed, the order has the system status CNF.

SAP Help

After the confirmation is done, it is possible to display the variances between the planned and actual durations.

Several confirmations can also be done simultaneously through the transaction code IW42

4. Technical completion

When all the maintenance order operations are finally confirmed, the order can be technically completed. The technical completion of a maintenance is a handover of the work from the maintenance department to finance.

The technical completion is a standard system status only valid at the order header level. This status can also be cancelled in any maintenance order.

SAP Help

5. Order settlement

Settling a maintenance order means that all the actual costs incurred during order confirmation are sent to a “settlement receiver”. This settlement receiver is generally the cost center of the reference object (displayed in the header data). It can also be a specifically designated general ledger account. The settlement is done through the transaction KO88. The user needs to enter the order number, as well as fiscal year, posting and settlement periods. After that, the user decides whether or not he runs the settlement in test mode (with the test flag). The button “Execute” will run the settlement.

SAP Help

6. Key transaction codes

Most of the transactions used during the maintenance order management process are located within the following folders in the menu path:

ERP Help
SAP Consulting

Handling of Warehouse Materials With Special Storage Requirements

This tip is directed at those needing to control the movement and storage of materials having special warehousing requirements.  These materials fall primarily into 2 categories:

  1. The materials are truly hazardous in nature as defined by globally accepted hazardous categories (flammable, explosive, corrosive, etc.).

  2. The materials have some other storage requirement due to the nature of the material and/or regulatory requirements. Examples include materials requiring some level of temperature control and controlled materials such as narcotics. In these cases, it is imperative that the material be maintained in the appropriate refrigerator or freezer storage, or in the case of narcotic materials, be kept in a locked area.

The methods discussed in this tip apply to the standard SAP Warehouse Management offering contained within the SAP ERP Logistics Execution area.  While the information will already be known to experienced SAP consultants, it will hopefully be of some value to those who may be new to warehouse management in SAP.  The intention is not to revisit technical information that is well known, but to review this information with some level of detail in order to make a correct business decision.

Option 1 – Hazardous Material Management

This discussion applies to the hazardous material management options contained within SAP warehouse management.  It is intended to control placement and storage of material within a single warehouse, and should not be confused with the SAP Environment, Health, and Safety product (EHS) which, among other things, manages the shipment of dangerous materials.

In the SAP Implementation Guide, hazardous material management configuration is contained within the warehouse management area of logistics execution.  The primary configuration objects are the region code and the storage class.  The region code is simply the country in which the warehouse is located, but is important because warehouses are assigned to regions.

The storage class defines the nature of the material, i.e. the nature of the hazard or special storage requirement.  SAP’s intention is for storage classes to only represent hazardous conditions, and provides the following default list of storage classes based upon regional and global standards.  This list may vary slightly in your SAP system depending upon the enhancement pack level of your ECC6 system, but what you see should be pretty close to this.  Additional values can be added as they are defined by regulatory bodies.

SAP Help

As is the case in most areas of configuration, SAP allows you to create your own storage classes, and this provides the option to include materials requiring storage within a particular temperature range, narcotics, high value parts, or any other condition which may be required by a business.  This provides a high degree of flexibility but also requires some cautions which will be discussed shortly.

Without going too deeply into configuration, the setup of hazardous material management can be summarized at a high level in the following steps:

  1. Decide upon the storage classes to be controlled, creating your own if necessary.

  2. Decide upon the warehouse storage types for which placement of these classes of materials is to be allowed or disallowed. Hazardous material checking will need to be activated in these areas.

  3. Assign the allowed storage classes for each storage type where checking has been activated.

  4. Create the relevant hazardous material number for each storage class.

  5. Assign the relevant hazardous material number to each material that needs to be controlled.

In deciding which storage types need to check for hazardous materials, the following rules should be followed:

  1. Do not activate hazardous material checking for interim storage types. These are the virtual storage types 901-999 used by SAP for activities such as goods receipt, goods issue, posting changes, and other warehouse processes. All materials will need to pass through these storage types at one point or another, so checking for hazardous materials in these areas is pointless.

  2. As a general rule of thumb, do not activate hazardous material checking in any area where all types of materials are eventually required. An example of this is some production supply areas where both standard and hazardous materials must be staged for production.

Once the relevant storage types have been agreed upon, the required configuration is straightforward and carried out in the area of configuration shown below.

SAP Help

Within this area of configuration, the first 3 buttons contain the main activities.

SAP Help

The first step is to activate hazardous material checking for each relevant storage type, which is accomplished by selecting 1 in the 5th column.  Note that the section checking referenced in option 2 does not actually prevent incorrect placement of hazardous materials in a storage section and should not be used.

SAP Help

The second step is to assign a region code to your warehouse.

SAP Consultants

The final step is to assign the storage classes allowed in each relevant storage type, keeping in mind that a blank entry has meaning.  If a storage type is checked for hazardous materials, and there is no entry with a blank storage class, then no non-hazardous material will be allowed in that storage type.

SAP Help

Once the configuration is complete, the next step is to create a hazardous material number using SAP transaction code VM01.  The actual number and description may be anything that makes sense to your business, and the region will be that assigned to your warehouse.  Within the hazardous material number, the relevant storage class is assigned as shown below.

SAP Help

Once the hazardous material number is created, the final step is to assign it in the relevant material master.  The hazardous material number field can be found on the plant data / storage 1 view of the material master, or on the warehouse management 1 view as shown below.

SAP Help

Once hazardous material numbers have been assigned to relevant materials, any attempt to place hazardous materials where they are not allowed will result in a hard error in the format “storage class XXX not allowed in storage type XXX”.

This is exactly the behavior that is desired, but I mentioned a caution earlier that needs to be discussed.  The caution is that the hazardous material number is a global field in the material master, which means that it applies across every plant in the system.  It would seem that a material that is flammable in one place would be flammable everywhere, or that material that needs to be stored in a certain way in one warehouse should be stored the same way in all warehouses.  In practice, storage requirements can vary from country to country based upon varying legal requirements, and this becomes an issue for companies having multiple warehouses.  This strategy is therefore completely effective only in the following circumstances:

  1. A company has a single warehouse, and there is therefore no possible conflict between warehouses.

  2. A company has multiple warehouses, and all warehouses agree upon the storage requirements for all materials.

So what if these conditions are not met?

Option 2 – Storage Section Search

Storage sections are a standard subdivision of storage types in SAP warehouse management, and can be used flexibly for many purposes.  A storage section search is commonly used to group materials based upon common characteristics, with fast moving versus slow moving parts being a common example.  One of the benefits of using storage sections in this manner is that the space set aside in the warehouse for a storage section may expand or contract as necessary just by changing the storage section on a range of bins.

Setting up a storage section search in SAP is a very straightforward activity that is well known by anybody familiar with the warehouse management application.  The decision point in this area that is relevant to materials with special storage requirement is whether the storage section search will be a “soft” check which may be overridden by warehouse staff, or if it will be a “hard” check which may not be overridden.  This option is selected when activating the storage section check for a storage type in configuration as shown below.

SAP Help

For the purpose of determining the placement of material in a manner that cannot be overridden by warehouse staff, the “X” option should be selected.

Again, without going too deeply into configuration, the setup of storage section searches can be summarized at a high level in the following steps:

  1. Decide upon the category of materials to be controlled (i.e., flammable, corrosive, etc.). These will be represented as storage section indicators.

  2. Decide upon the warehouse storage types for which placement of these categories of materials is to be allowed or disallowed. Storage section checking will need to be activated in each of these storage types.

  3. Define a section search strategy for each relevant storage type based upon whether a category of material (represented by a storage section indicator) should or should not be allowed.

  4. Assign the relevant section indicator to each material that needs to be controlled.

In deciding which storage types should be activated for a storage section search, the rules are similar to those for hazardous material management checking:

  1. Do not activate storage section checking for interim storage types. These are the virtual storage types 901-999 used by SAP for activities such as goods receipt, goods issue, posting changes, and other warehouse processes. All materials will need to pass through these storage types at one point or another, so storage section checks in these areas are pointless.

  2. As a general rule of thumb, do not activate storage section checking in any area where all types of materials are eventually required. An example of this is some production supply areas where both standard and hazardous materials must be staged for production.

As with hazardous material management, the required configuration is straightforward and carried out in the area of configuration shown below.

SAP Help

The 3 buttons below contain the main activities.

SAP Help

The first step is to define the indicators to be used based upon the categories of material to be controlled.  SAP provides the fast moving and slow moving defaults shown below, but additional indicators can be created.  For example, indicator ACD may be created to describe acids that need to be controlled.

SAP Help

The next step is to create a storage section search for each storage type that should be checked for a given storage section indicator.  So for a given warehouse, storage type, and storage section indicator, material will be placed in the given storage sections in the order listed in the table.

SAP Help

The final configuration step is the activation of the storage section search that was already discussed.  Again, the key to fully controlling placement and storage using this method is to select the “X” option for the type of check.

SAP Help

Once this configuration has been completed, the last step is to assign the storage section indicator in the relevant material masters.  This is done on the Warehouse Management 1 view of the material master as shown below.

SAP Help

Because the “X” option was selected when activating the storage section search, any attempt to place the relevant material in a storage section that is not included in the storage section search will result in an error in the general format “error occurred during storage section search”.  While not as descriptive as the hazardous material management error, it nonetheless accomplishes the intended purpose.


Hazardous material management is a well-established function in SAP warehouse management, and is the recommended approach for controlling placement and storage of hazardous materials in a warehouse.  Because the hazardous material management field in the material master is global information, conflicts can occur between multiple warehouses.  The judicious use of storage section searches can provide an equally robust level of control over certain classes of materials while avoiding conflict between warehouses.  In summary, the following guidelines are suggested:

  1. Use hazardous material management in a single warehouse system, or in a multiple warehouse system where the classification of hazardous materials has been uniformly agreed in advance between all warehouses. As discussed, this caveat applies equally to additional uses of this functionality that may be envisioned, such as materials requiring cold storage.

  2. Use storage section checks in the manner shown where known conflicts exist between warehouses in the classification of hazardous or other materials.

Using Program PT_BPC10 and Fixing Grouping Issues for Quotas

Time Management

How to use transaction RPTKOK00 and PT_BPC10

This document explains how to run RPTKOK00. This can be used to check for and fix database inconsistencies. An example of a database inconsistency error: an employee has accrued 2 days Compulsory Leave at the beginning of March, he books 2 days leave and then captures a number of unpaid leave days, Time evaluation is run which reduces his entitlement (because of the unpaids) from 2 days to 1.73 days for example. This causes a database inconsistency, the employee only has an entitlement of 1,73 days but has an absence record of 2 days. This can cause Payroll to not run successfully.

Program RPTKOK00 is able to pick up these issues and it will be useful to run this program before a live Payroll run.

Step 1

  1. Go to transaction ZRPTKOK00

  2. Click on “Further Selections”

  3. Select Payroll Area and move it across.

  4. Click on the green tick

SAP Expert Consulting


Step 2

  1. Enter your Payroll Area

  2. Untick Check Attendance Quota (Not compulsory)

  3. Click Execute

SAP Expert Consulting

Step 3

1. This gives you a list of Employees with database inconsistency errors.

2. Select new deduction which will be able to automatically fix some of the inconsistencies. The others will need additional steps to fix (see the bottom of this document).

SAP Expert Consulting

Step 4

  1. Click Execute

SAP Expert Consulting


Additional steps when program RPTKOK00 does not fix inconsistency.

In the example above where the employee had 2 days leave booked but an entitlement of 1.73 days, if the employee were to accrue another 2 days the following month then this program will be able to fix (recapture) the absence as there is sufficient entitlement to recapture the absence. If the entitlement is lower than the absence captured, the following steps can be followed.  

A + 0.27 quota correction can be captured for March and - 0.27 can be captured for April (Time Evaluation must be run for quota corrections to take affect). 

If your Organization permits it, Run Time evaluation to next accrual.  

Reduce the leave captured to for example 1 day and book the other 1 day as unpaid leave.

For step 1 and 2 above, you will need to run the program after the step.


Additional Example

Table T556c is set to deduct first of Family Responsibility then of Family Resp. (Unpaid).

SAP Expert Consulting

But you have a scenario as below where quota type 31 is deducted before 30 because at the time the 3 days were captured there was not enough balance in quota type 30 (for example 4 days of sick leave was incorrectly booked as Family at the time and has now been changed to the correct absence type thereby making the balance available now).

SAP Expert Consulting

There are two ways to fix this:

1. Lock and unlock the absence and it will deduct from the correct quota once unlocked.

2. Run program RPTBPC10 (Transaction code PT_BPC10) as below.

  1. Go to transaction PT_BPC10

  2. Enter the personnel no

  3. Enter the period

  4. Tick Correct absence quota, log output and Save New deduction (Correct attendance quota is not necessary in this scenario)

  5. Click Execute

SAP Expert Consulting

Corrections made are reflected

SAP Expert Consulting

The absence has deducted of the correct quota now.  

SAP Expert Consulting

Fixing Time Evaluation errors when an employee moves from a grouping that does not have the new quota type

Summary of Guide

When an Employee moves from one grouping to another and the new grouping has a quota that the previous grouping did not have, depending on the dates, Time Evaluation can throw an error because in the employees previous grouping the quota being created does not exist. This can be fixed in config by adding the quota type in table V_T559l, under quotas and setting the quota to “no generation”), alternatively the following steps can be followed to fix this manually:

  1. Run Time Evaluation with the log (PT60)

  2. Double Click on the quota\s that are causing the error

SAP Expert Consulting

3. PT60 is trying to create a quota with a Validity Start Date of 01.01.2016, a period in which the employee was in a grouping that did not have Quota type 24

SAP Expert Consulting

4. Manually Create the quota with a Validity Period that is the same as the transfer to new grouping  date (in this case 01.09.2016)

SAP Expert Consulting

5. Enter the deduction period as per what was in the Time Evaluation log (You might need to move the start date to the same date as move to new Employee group).

SAP Expert Consulting

6. Run Time Evaluation

SAP Expert Consulting

FI–COPA Reconciliation

COPA is an important financial tool which can help you with the slice & dice of data based on different characteristics. Since it can give you all the details of your costs and revenue, it is therefore important to reconcile COPA with your GL’s. Controlling Profitability Analysis (COPA) has two forms supported:

  • Account Based: Based on accounts and uses account-based valuation approach

  • Costing Based: Groups costs and revenue into Value Fields.

So how does COPA reconcile with my GL’s?

Let’s see how to reconcile COPA-FI with SD

Sales & Cost of Sales

Sales & Distribution is tightly integrated with Financial Accounting and thus with Controlling Profitability Analysis (COPA). Numbers flow in COPA via SD pricing conditions which are linked to value fields in COPA. This can be easily viewed via transaction (KE24) and selecting the appropriate Value Fields available in the layout. 

In COPA, Sales and Cost of Sales are updated in value fields when the billing document is posted where as in Financial Accounting, Cost of Sales is posted during the Post Goods Issue (PGI). A possible issue can be if PGI is posted in a month different from the billing month. This will result in a time-lag between FI and COPA and needs to be incorporated either through Assessment Cycle or manually through KE21N.  

Cost of Sales Value in KE24, can be tallied from transaction CKM3N (Material Price Analysis) 


Also, there is a transaction (KEAT) that performs the same function of reconciliation. This transaction displays the differences between FI, Sales Distribution and CO-PA for sales conditions such as Sales, COGS, commissions, etc. Below is the output of transaction KEAT:

The differences, if any, are highlighted in red and can be clicked to get to the delta values. These differences are mostly due to the rounding effects but these can be further drilled down to find the exact issues.

Another good way of carrying out a reconciliation is to drilldown into a line item of a CO-PA report (KE24) and compare it to the items in the corresponding general ledger account. GL’s can easily be found by clicking Integration button, selecting Display Billing Document, Environment and then Revenue Accounts. 

Assessment for GL/Periodic Cost

As we have three major areas for reconciliation beside sales and COGS we have periodic cost which transfers from FI to COPA using Assessment cycle.  (Keu5)

This shows that which value field is used for Staff Cost, in this case we have VV900. 

Then we check from which cost elements / GL account values are flowing to COPA for Staff Cost. In this case we have values from cost center group 2020 and cost element group 1301. After that we will check cost element group.

Let’s check cost element group 1301 in (KAH3).

Now check amount in FBL3N for all GL in group 1301. Subtotal on Account, Business Area, Value Date, Plant and Amount.

Let’s check amount in KE24 for Staff cost.

Oops! there is a difference in amount of around 15000 USD. It’s very easy to identify where the difference is. Let’s go back to KEU5 and there we will find the date when was my assessment executed.

Here we found that this cycle has been executed at 04.02.2016.

In FBL3N we found that an entry of 15000 USD has been entered after assessment had been executed.

So now we have to Reverse the current assessment cycle and Re-run it so this 15000 amount will also be incorporated in COPA.

PA Transfer Structure/FI-MM

This is one more important aspect for values coming to COPA from FI. We have transaction KEI2 where we can check from where values are flowing to COPA in which Value Field.

Values coming from Revenue cost element group.

Values flowing to Other Income Value field in COPA from Cost element Group “Revenue”

Similar as above, we will check amounts in COPA and FBL3N for this value field and GL Accounts.

 FI-COPA Reconciliation is one of the painful area for the business users for which we have provided few tips on how to perform reconciliation. 

Migrating to SAP S/4HANA Finance: Documenting a Migration Part 2

With their latest product, SAP S/4HANA, SAP is revolutionizing how we approach finance by re-architecting data persistency and merging accounts and cost elements. This book offers a fundamental introduction to SAP S/4HANA Finance. Dive into the three pillars of innovation including SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA, SAP Cash Management, and SAP BI Integrated Planning. Find out about the new configuration options, updated data model, and what this means for reporting in the future. Get a first-hand look at the new user interfaces in SAP Fiori. Review new universal journal, asset accounting, material ledger, and account-based profitability analysis functionality. Examine the steps required to migrate to SAP S/4HANA Finance and walk through the deployment options. By using practical examples, tips, and screenshots, this book helps readers to:

- Understand the basics of SAP S/4HANA Finance
- Explore the new architecture, configuration options, and SAP Fiori
- Examine SAP S/4HANA Finance migration steps
- Assess the impact on business processes

Migrating to SAP S/4HANA Finance: Documenting a Migration Part 1

With their latest product, SAP S/4HANA, SAP is revolutionizing how we approach finance by re-architecting data persistency and merging accounts and cost elements. This book offers a fundamental introduction to SAP S/4HANA Finance. Dive into the three pillars of innovation including SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA, SAP Cash Management, and SAP BI Integrated Planning. Find out about the new configuration options, updated data model, and what this means for reporting in the future. Get a first-hand look at the new user interfaces in SAP Fiori. Review new universal journal, asset accounting, material ledger, and account-based profitability analysis functionality. Examine the steps required to migrate to SAP S/4HANA Finance and walk through the deployment options. By using practical examples, tips, and screenshots, this book helps readers to:

- Understand the basics of SAP S/4HANA Finance
- Explore the new architecture, configuration options, and SAP Fiori
- Examine SAP S/4HANA Finance migration steps
- Assess the impact on business processes

Exceptional EPM Systems Are An Exception

What makes for exceptionally good enterprise performance management (EPM) is that its multiple managerial methods are not only individually effective but also are seamlessly integrated and imbedded with analytics of all flavors.

Quite naturally, many organizations over-rate the quality of their enterprise and corporate performance management (EPM / CPM) practices and systems...

In reality they lack in being comprehensive and how integrated they are. For example, when you ask executives how well they measure and report either costs or non-financial performance measures, most proudly boast that they are very good. Again, this is inconsistent and conflicts with surveys where anonymous replies from mid-level managers candidly score them as “needs much improvement.”

Every organization cannot be above average!

What makes exceptionally good EPM systems exceptional?

Let’s not attempt to be a sociologist or psychologist and explain the incongruities between executives boasting superiority while anonymously answered surveys reveal inferiority.  Rather let’s simply describe the full vision of an effective EPM system that organizations should aspire to.

First, we need to clarify some terminology and related confusion. EPM is not solely a system or a process. It is instead the integration of multiple managerial methods – and most of them have been around for decades arguably even before there were computers. EPM is also not just a CFO initiative with a bunch of scorecard and dashboard dials. It is much broader. Its purpose is not about monitoring the dials but rather moving the dials.

What makes for exceptionally good EPM is that its multiple managerial methods are not only individually effective but also are seamlessly integrated and imbedded with analytics of all flavors. Examples of analytics are segmentation, clustering, regression, and correlation analysis.      

EPM is like musical instruments in an orchestra

I like to think of the various EPM methods as an analogy of musical instruments in an orchestra. An orchestra’s conductor does not raise their baton to the strings, woodwinds, percussion, and brass and say, “Now everyone play loud.” They seek balance and guide the symphony composer’s fluctuations in harmony, rhythm and tone. 

Here are my six main groupings of the EPM methods – its musical instrument sections:

1. Strategic planning and execution

This is where a strategy map and its associated balanced scorecard fits in. Together they serve to translate the executive team’s strategy into navigation aids necessary for the organization to fulfill its vision and mission g. The executives’ role is to set the strategic direction to answer the question “Where do we want to go?” Through use of correctly defined key performance indicators (KPIs) with targets, then the employees’ priorities, actions, projects, and processes are aligned with the executives’ formulated strategy.

2. Cost visibility and driver behavior

For commercial companies this is where profitability analysis fits in for products, standard services, channels, and customers. For public sector government organizations this is where understanding how processes consume resource expense in the delivery of services and report the costs, including the per unit cost, of their services. Activity-based costing (ABC) principles model cause-and-effect relationships based on business and cost drivers. This involves progressive, not traditional, managerial accounting such as ABC rather than broadly averaged cost factors without causal relationships.

3. Customer Management Performance

This is where powerful marketing and sales methods are applied to retain, grow, win-back, and acquire profitable, not unprofitable, customers. The tools are often referenced as customer relationship management (CRM) software applications. But the CRM data is merely a foundation. Analytical tools, supported by software, that leverage CRM data can further identify actions that will create more profit lift from customers. These actions simultaneously shift customers from not only being satisfied to being loyal supporters. 

4. Forecasting, planning, and predictive analytics

Data mining typically examines historical data “through the rear-view mirror.” This EPM group directs attention forward to look at the road through the windshield. The benefit of more accurate forecasts is to reduce uncertainty. Forecasts for the future volume and mix quantities of customer purchased products and service are core independent variables.  Based on those forecasts that so many dependent variables have relationships with, therefore process costs from the resource expenses can be calculated and managed. Examples of dependent variables are the future headcount workforce and spending levels. CFOs increasingly look to driver-based budgeting and rolling financial forecasts grounded in ABC principles using this group. 

5. Enterprise risk management (ERM)

This cannot be omitted from the main group of EPM. ERM serves as a brake to the potentially unbridled gas pedal that EPM methods are designed to step hard on. Risk mitigation projects and insurance requires spending which reduces profits and also steers expenses from resources the executive team would prefer to provide earn larger compensation bonuses.  So it takes discipline to ensure adequate attention is placed on appropriate risk management practices.

6. Process improvement

This is where lean management and Six Sigma quality initiatives fit in. Their purpose is to remove waste and streamline processes to accelerate and reduce cycle-times. They create productivity and efficiency improvements.

EPM as integrated suite of improvement methods

CFOs often view financial planning and analysis (FP&A) as synonymous with EPM. It is better to view FP&A as a subset. And although better cost management and process improvements are noble goals, an organization cannot reduce its costs forever to achieve long term prosperity.

The important message here is that EPM is not just about the CFO’s organization; but it is also the integration of all the often silo-ed functions like marketing, operations, sales, and strategy. Look again at the six main EPM groups I listed above. Imagine if the information produced and analyzed in each of them were to be seamlessly integrated. Imagine if they are each embedded with analytics – especially predictive analytics. Then powerful decision support is provided for insight, foresight, and actions. That is the full vision of EPM to which we should aim to aspire in order to achieve the best possible performance.    

Today exceptional EPM systems are an exception despite what many executives proclaim. If we all work hard and smart enough, in the future they will be standard practices. Then what would be next? Automated decision management systems relying on business rules and algorithms. But that is an article I will write about some other day.


Gary Cokins, CPIM  

Gary Cokins (Cornell University BS IE/OR, 1971; Northwestern University Kellogg MBA 1974) is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, and author in enterprise and corporate performance management (EPM/CPM) systems. He is the founder of Analytics-Based Performance Management LLC .  He began his career in industry with a Fortune 100 company in CFO and operations roles. Then 15 years in consulting with Deloitte, KPMG, and EDS (now part of HP). From 1997 until 2013 Gary was a Principal Consultant with SAS, a business analytics software vendor. His most recent books are Performance Management: Integrating Strategy Execution, Methodologies, Risk, and Analytics and Predictive Business Analytics.

3 Essentials for the BASIS Administrator

If you’re new to BASIS administration then you’ll know that this specialist role is a key one in the running of SAP systems...

You personally, may have come from the software developer side of IT or you may have been a database administrator or a systems administrator of UNIX or Windows operating systems. Whatever your background, there are many functions that you will need to be familiar with in your new role but here are three particularly important ones that you should master and remember the purpose of.

SE16N – The Data Browser

This is your fastest way to inspect a database table through the SAP application layer. You can use SE16N to browse legacy formats as well such as transparent, pool and cluster tables. Of course you probably don’t have access to SE16 (older version) or SE16N in your productive SAP system but under exceptional circumstance you can be granted approval to use this transaction. Data is displayed in a grid format and you have the option to use variants also with SE16N. Since the introduction of HANA as a database alternative to Oracle and SQLServer you can now also use the SE16H alternative. SE16S and SE16SL are also new TCodes for use with HANA databases and allow you to find any values in any tables. You can learn more about these new capabilities by checking out SAP KBA article 2002588 - CO-OM Tools: Documentation for SE16S, SE16SL, and SE16S_CUST

SE37 – The Function Builder

This is principally targeted at the developer or functional consultant who wishes to examine the functionality of a BAPI or function module. An added benefit of using SE37 is that you can use test data and save it for use with a given BAPI or function module. Even if you are not an ABAP developer, often, as a BASIS administrator you will be tasked with trying to work out why things are not quite going according to plan – using SE37 to set things like breakpoints and debug functions in the system will become an indispensable aspect of your role. This is also a transaction that you typically won’t have access to in production 

ST03N – The Workload Monitor

This is a transaction used to examine system workload and performance statistics and is principally use to verify system performance at the SAP instance level. You can also access the data associated with ST03N from the SAP collector logs using function module SWNC_GET_WORKLOAD_STATISTIC (execute this with SE37) – although the collector logs are not a 100% guarantee of all SAP events being logged, it does give you, as a BASIS administrator,  insight into users. You can determine their activity and the transactions that they are using along with the frequency of use. ST03N should also be seen together with UPL – a new piece of functionality available in any ABAP based system and which is based on the core functionality of the SAP Coverage Analyzer.  UPL stands for Usage and Procedure Logging and has full reporting capabilities with enriched information sets in the Business Warehouse of Solution Manager 7.1 SP5 and higher. UPL complements ST03N ABAP workload statistics.

PP-REM and Cost Control

Repetitive production is a special type of production that can be used in integrated production scenarios or for a specific situation. This article explains some uses and configurations regarding PP-REM.

For a long time, industries have been using PP-REM to obtain a continuous flow of production. PP-REM is highly recommended for production because it provides product stability and low complexity. This type of production is well used in automobile industries, but it can also be employed in other industry types, such as for wires and nails manufacturing.

The main goal is to reduce the cost control and simplify the completion confirmation via back-flushing process.

SAP provides a PP-REM area by means of OPP3 transaction – please check information on PP-REM configuration here. 

There are only four requirements for PP-REM implementation:

  • REM Profile (OSPT / OSP2)

  • Material Master Configuration ( MM01 / MM02)

  • Production Version (C223 / MM02)

  • Product Cost Collector ( KKF6N / KKF6M - Collective)

The main question regarding CO is the Cost Collector (KKF6N), which will allow the material to be continuously settled without a specific production order. However, before initiating the cost collector, we need to follow preceding steps:  

  1. Create a BOM and a Routing (rate routing)

  2. Define the standard cost estimate for current date and period (CK11N)

  3. Release this standard cost estimate (CK24)

Here, there is a crucial point of discussion: WIP. Normally, it is possible to avoid WIP when using PP-REM, but this is linked to the routing configuration. If this is configured with Report Point and with a different point of confirmation (report pointing) until the final confirmation, WIP will be possible [KKAT / KKAQ – WIP Display & KKAS / KKAO – WIP Calculation]. The reason lays between one point and another, since the process will generate more work – of course, these points must be aligned with the production and there is no impact in the Cost Collector configuration (but the production manager must ensure the correct production confirmation).

Another important factor is regarding COGI. We have noticed the same problems with no row material available when confirming the Production Order, rather than with PP-DIS. It is possible to avoid COGI via SAP configuration. COGI is a big problem and we know that it must be “zero” by end of the day.

There are many reports to use in PP-REM, for instance to track the confirmation point by point using the report MF26. There are other reports as well, such as product costs [MCRK], product cost collection [KKBC_PKO], preliminary costing for cost collector [MF30] and so on.

The production confirmation occurs through the specific PP transaction (MFBF), where there are some additional functionalities, such as reversal, scrap, change of row materials used, etc.

PP-REM uses the movement type 131 to confirm production order, which differs from PP-DIS SAP that uses the movement type 101. Like this, the material movement presents different account information.

After confirming, is possible to analyze variances [KKS5 Collective / KKS6 Individual – the variances calculated with the version 0 will be evaluated to COPA.

At end of the month, it is critical to execute the order settlement [CO88 / KK87]. In this stage, the order balance can be balanced transferring the differences to FI and to the Profit Center Accounting. Additionally, it is possible to verify the contribution margin in COPA.

Below we can see some important tables behind PP-REM:

  • Cost collector [AUFK]

  • Reporting point quantities [CPZP]

  • Reporting point documents [CEZP]

  • Document log [BLPP]

PP-REM offers an easy way to integrate CO and Production and should be considered whenever possible mainly to scenarios with low complexity but keeping the information and responsibilities that you can see in other scenarios.

Role of Table Index in Data Loading of Info-objects

Role of Table Index in Data Loading of Info-objects

In this article, an example of supplier data in BW is considered. Supplier data from several SAP systems (from table LFA1) or from non-systems are extracted. Standard data cleansing methods are utilized. Some of these could be de-duplication, standardization and enhancement. Enhancement could be an addition of a standard number, eg. DUNS. At the end of this activity there could be tens of thousands of records to be loaded. Since the result of this activity is a flat file, the data is loaded into BW as a flat file. If the info-object does not have a secondary index, the loading time runs into hours.