If SAP Central Finance is a deployment option that you are considering for S/4HANA Finance, it’s important to have a solid grasp on how it works. Keeping that in mind, I thought I’d do a recap of a recent session that David Dixon presented at the Financials 2016 conference to highlight the 10 most important things you need to know about Central Finance.

1. Formerly called the SAP Central Journal, Central Finance is a product and a deployment option for S/4HANA Finance that breaks out the Finance and Controlling (FI/CO) applications for the rest of SAP ERP as a sidecar via SAP Landscape Transformation (SLT) replication .

2. Central Finance is a way to implement S/4HANA Finance without disrupting your existing source SAP ERP systems (but does require installing a DMIS software component and SAP Notes)

3. As example use cases, Central Finance can be used as a functional migration option, a flexible reporting platform for mergers and acquisitions, and a shared services system

4. Standalone BW and BPC investments require data transfer via batch Extract, Transform, and Load* (ETL) jobs while Central Finance is via real-time replication of FI/CO documents

5. Fiori, HANA Live (or the new S/4HANA Analytics), SAP BW, and SAP BPC can all be integrated in real-time at the document level with financial controls and integrity that come with general ledger in addition to error and correction handling prior to posting via Application Integration Framework (AIF) functionality

6. Central Finance consists of one physical document for real-time processing and analytics and merges FI and CO together into a singular line item table for “single source of truth” known as the “Universal Journal”

7. In Central Finance, the accounting interface is directly replicated to the Universal Journal which reduces the need for reconciliation, integration, batch processing and data replication

8. Master data management is handled by Master Data Governance (MDG)

9. A central finance posting looks the same as an SAP ERP financial posting but is linked back to the source system via reference to the document number key of the source document and logical system to which it belongs

10. Central Finance is taking advantage of solutions that were already centrally managed such as Financial Close Cockpit, Intercompany Reconciliation (ICR), and Financial Supply Chain Management (FSCM).

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