Central Finance Drill-Back to Source Document via SAP GUI and Fiori

By: Matt Montes – Senior Consultant, TruQua

 

What is Central Finance?

SAP Central Finance is a product and finance focused deployment option of SAP S/4HANA, in which the financial and management accounting data from SAP and non-SAP systems are brought into SAP S/4HANA as a sidecar enterprise management system via a SAP Landscape Transformation (SLT) replication server. Due to the architecture of the solution, a Central Finance deployment is minimally disruptive to current ERP systems while, at the same time, allows enterprises to reap the benefits of SAP S/4HANA. One of those benefits is SAP S/4HANA’s “Universal Journal”, a table (named ACDOCA) where all transactional data including logistical information is stored at the lowest level of detail. The Universal Journal is accessed by reports and processes in real-time thereby reducing the need for batch jobs and reconciliation that are typically encountered in a traditional data warehousing solution. For a high-level illustration of what a typical Central Finance architecture looks like see the diagram below, also feel free to click here for some introductory details on Central Finance.

Central Finance System Architecture

Why is Drilling-Back to the Source System Important?

When discussing Central Finance as an approach to implementing SAP S/4HANA, one of the main discussion points is always around document traceability (especially when sourced from multiple source systems) and the ability to drill-back to the source system. Often is the case where the financial documents coming into Central Finance have a different document number than the source system they came from. At times, this can make document comparisons between source and target confusing and laborious. Fortunately, Central Finance has the ability to drill-back to the source document from within the target system’s user experience through the use of native SAP connectivity (known as a Remote Function Call or “RFC”). Additionally, with the introduction of SAP Fiori 2.0 and SAP S/4HANA 1709 this drill-back can now also be executed within SAP Fiori, the new SAP web-based user experience. This blog will highlight the drill-back functionality in both the traditional SAP graphical user interface (a.k.a. SAP GUI) and SAP Fiori, as well as discuss the potential benefits for the business and end user.

Benefits of Drilling-Back to the Source Document

At a recent event, known as Central Finance Exchange, SAP, TruQua, and Magnitude hosted 22 Central Finance customers from across North America. This event brought together companies from 13 unique industries and provided insight into the Central Finance mindset amongst these organizations. One of the notable data points was the fact that 75% of these customers have more than 5 source systems (click here to see the compiled data). As a financially focused end user, the idea of analyzing documents and data from 5+ systems can seem like a reconciliation and auditing nightmare. In order to articulate the true value of the drill-back functionality, here are 5 benefits of one of Central Finance’s powerful functionalities.

  1. Quickly identify which system the document originated
    • In a landscape with documents coming from multiple company codes and source systems, the document relationship browser and drill-back functionality allows the end user to quickly identify which system a particular document came from
  2. Seamless transition between target and source system
    • By following SAP’s recommendation of setting up the RFC as “current user”, a user with adequate security in the source system can access the source document from the target systems document relationship browser
    • This prevents the need for multiple logins or jumping screens to get from one session to another
  3. Immediate visibility into the document level detail and relationship browser
    • By drilling back to the source document, the end user has immediate access to all of the document level data as well as the header information.
    • Additionally, the end user can now navigate the document relationship browser within the source system to quickly identify if there are any other associated documents (Controlling, Material, COPA, etc.)
  4. Quickly compare different fields and values between source and target system
    • Mapping certain fields (cost center, profit center, business area, etc.) is fairly common when deploying Central Finance; therefore, the end user can leverage the drill-back functionality in order to quickly compare certain fields on the document.
    • For example, if the end user notices that a document in the target system has a cost center of 100000 but when drilling back to the source the cost center is 200000, then they can infer that cost center mapping is occurring
    • This is extremely valuable because the end user can also begin to familiarize themselves with the mapping that is occurring, thus improving their efficiency when analyzing and comparing the data.
  5. Leverage familiar transaction codes and functionality
    • When executing the drill-back to the source system the end user is exposed to the exact same transaction and screen they were just using in the target system; therefore, there is no need to learn how to operate any new functionality.
    • As you will see in a later section, the Fiori drill-back is very similar to the GUI drill-back, and all of the same functionality exists.

Executing the drill-back functionality in the SAP GUI

To execute the drill-back to the source system, start by displaying a financial document (FB03)  or a controlling document (KSB5) in the Central Finance system. Once the document is being displayed go to Environment à Document Environment à Relationship Browser. Once in the Document Relationship Browser you will see several documents and their relationship to the original document entered in FB03 (In this case document 1900040 is being displayed). Notice that each document has a corresponding logical system. The logical system associated with the various documents informs what system the document came from.

Displaying Document Relationship Browser in Source System

document relationship browser

As you can see in the screenshot above, accounting document 1900040 belongs to logical system TS3CLNT110, which is the Central Finance system. Additionally, there are two other documents with a logical system of SI1CLNT800, which is the source system where our RFC connection has been setup. In an instance in which there are multiple source systems setup to replicate to Central Finance the end user can immediately identify the documents origin all within the Central Finance system. By double clicking on either SI1 document the GUI will drill-back to the SI1 system and display that document; thus, granting the user with immediate access to the original document and all of its associated characteristics. Once done viewing the source system documents you can back out by hitting the green arrow and return right back to the target system.

Displaying Accounting document in Source System via drill-back

Displaying Controlling Document in Source System via Drill-Back

Displaying Controlling Document in Source System via Drill-Back

Executing the drill-back in Fiori using the Display Source Document Tile

Sticking with the document discussed earlier in the GUI section of this blog, you can launch the “Manage Journal Entries” tile and fill in the necessary fields to bring up document 1900040.

Manage Journal Entries Tile in Fiori

Manage Journal Entries Tile in Fiori

From here you can click on the “Related Documents” tab and notice that the layout is similar to what was shown previously in the Document Relationship Browser. Once here you can click on any of the source system documents (which can be identified based on the logical system) and then click “Display Source Document”.

Related Documents Tab of the Manage Journal Entries App

Related Documents Tab of the Manage Journal Entries App

Drilling down to Source Document in Fiori

Drilling down to Source Document in Fiori

A pop-up window will be generated, and you can now see the source system document and all of its associated characteristics. Additionally, you can navigate to the document relationship browser as you typically would in the GUI and drill down into the journal entry information by double clicking on any of the line items.

Displaying Source Document in Fiori via Drill-Back

Displaying Source Document in Fiori via Drill-Back

Demonstrating How to Access the Relationship Browser while in Fiori

Demonstrating How to Access the Relationship Browser while in Fiori

Conclusion

In conclusion, drilling back from a Central Finance system to a source system can be achieved through the SAP GUI or SAP Fiori Launchpad. This functionality helps to equip users with visibility and transparency into their financial documents and which system they originated from. The ability to see the source document information in conjunction with the system it came from, all while being able to drill-back into the system with the click of a button, will be invaluable for those enterprises with multiple source systems. One thing to note here is while the idea of “shared services” seems ideal there needs to be controls and security in place to ensure everyone has the proper insight and access to the information they need.

For more information on the functionality within Central Finance or an exploratory call on what an implementation would look like within your organization, contact us today at info@truqua.com or simply fill out our form below!


Insights from the SAP Central Finance Exchange in Chicago

 

Authored by:
Julien Delvat, SAP S/4HANA Practice Lead, TruQua

As of May 2018, SAP Central Finance has helped 40 live customers (out of 220 active projects) integrate source systems into S/4HANA. The Central Finance Exchange event hosted by TruQua and Magnitude was the opportunity to take a snapshot of the Central Finance customer base. Twenty-two customers attending the North America Central Finance EXCHANGE event answered the survey revealing surprising insights.

Central Finance Customer Profiles

All industries are represented, with Consumer Goods is leading (24%). Organization sizes vary from 0 – 25,000 employees (25%) to more than 100,000 employees (20%), with 50,000 – 100,000 being the most frequent (35%).

Since the event was hosted in Chicago, the North American attendees are the largest group (20%). Interestingly, 70% of the surveyed see themselves as global organizations.

Central Finance Priorities and Project Goals

Respondents shared their business priorities, mostly aligned around Speed & Efficiency (81%), Transparency & Accountability (81%), Operating Costs & Productivity (57%), and Strategy & Planning to Execution (48%). In that context, Central Finance is a natural choice.

When it comes to the Central Finance projects, the goals are also similar: Finance / Business Transformation (90%), Process Centralization (71%), Stepping Stone to S/4HANA (71%), Application / System Consolidation (57%), and Shared Services Process Executions (48%).

Central Finance Landscapes

Most projects are integrating 5-10 SAP source systems (60%). Almost all projects (91%) also integrate non-SAP systems, especially Oracle, PeopleSoft, Sage, or Navision. The total number of source systems ranges widely between 1 and more than 250. The majority of project data require a high level of data harmonization (53%) and finance transformation (50%).

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Central Finance Exchange event was a great forum for Central Finance customers to share successes and challenges amongst peers. Discussions were very engaged around the need for master data and process standardization and the difficulties of change management. Overall, the group shared and learned a lot and is looking forward to the follow-up breakout working groups on CO-PA, planning, or machine learning.

For the latest information and updates on SAP Central Finance, contact the TruQua team today at info@truqua.com.

Questions or interested in learning more about TruQua? Contact us today:

 

SAP S/4HANA: Enabling Cross-System Treasury with Central Finance

Authored by Julien Delvat, TruQua

SAP S/4HANA deployed as central finance is typically considered to be the best option for organizations looking to report across multiple SAP and non-SAP ERP systems in real-time and at the transaction level. However, the harmonized information model provided by central finance is also the perfect platform to enable treasury applications.

* Note: some of the applications mentioned above require additional licenses. Contact your SAP representative for more information.

Harmonizing the Information Model

Implementing S/4HANA as Central finance requires a lot of coordination to synchronize the source systems. Several aspects of the information model need to be evaluated and potentially updated:

  • Controlling Area / Operating Concern / Segments
  • Company Codes
  • G/L Accounts / Cost Elements
  • Customers / Vendors / Business Partners
  • Profit Centers / Cost Centers / Activity Types
  • Plants / Materials
  • Fiscal Year Variant / Periods / Plan Versions
  • Number Ranges
  • Currencies / Units of Measures
  • Hierarchies
  • Custom Fields

Simplified Landscape and Mapping with Central finance. Source: SAP

This preliminary work is crucial for the success of any central finance project, especially for reconciliation with the source systems and to create a unique reporting analysis across the organization. So why not leverage this harmonized data model to enable more scenarios such as treasury?

Cash and Liquidity Management

Once the data is harmonized across multiple systems through Central finance, Cash Managers will be able to deploy Cash and Liquidity Management applications.

Cash Flow Analyzer

Cash Flow Analyzer helps with the analysis of aggregate amounts and line item details of short-term cash position, medium and long-term liquidity forecast, and actual cash flows over time.

Video Source: https://support.sap.com/content/dam/productfeatures/assets/00014/6CAE8B28C5DB1ED792B92BBD67F600C2/demos/02_Demo_Cash_Flow_Analyzer.mp4

Promise to Pay Integration

Forecasted cash flows get updated in real time whenever unconfirmed invoices are updated in the source system or in the central finance system with a promised and paid amount and date.

Bank Communication

Communication with the bank and maintenance of bank information can be performed centrally with central finance.

Bank Account Balance Reconciliation

Bank Reconciliation can be performed either in source systems or in the central finance system.

Bank Reconciliation Fiori Application. Source: SAP

Bank, House Bank, and House Bank Account

Similar to the Bank Reconciliation, the integration to Bank Services through OData can be managed from the central finance system instead of the source systems. In addition, the House Bank can be defined centrally through the new Bank Master Data apps. Also, the workflow functionality has been redesigned to improve the management of bank accounts.

In-House Cash

SAP supports a virtual bank to better handle internal payments. This feature internalizes intragroup payments to reduce risk, minimize external financial costs, streamline intercompany activities, and simplify external operations.

Treasury and Risk Management (TRM)

Instead of installing Treasury and Risk Management (TRM) on top of several source systems that may contain conflicting master data, central finance offers the possibility to setup TRM on top of a harmonized dataset that’s updated in real-time.

Assuming that the required master data and transaction data are connected into central finance, this deployment option will enable all features of SAP TRM:

  • Risk Analyzers (Credit, Market, Portfolio)
  • Exposure Management
  • Hedge Management
  • Transaction Manager (Money Market, Foreign Exchange, Derivatives, Debt Management, Securities, and Commodities)

SAP Treasury Applications. Source: SAP

Conclusion

For organizations relying on multiple ERP systems, treasury operations frequently turn into a spreadsheet nightmare. SAP S/4HANA deployed a central finance delivers a harmonized information model that is perfect for the deployment of applications like Treasury and Risk Management, Cash and Liquidity Management, In-House Cash, or Bank Communication.

For more information:


[1] Cash Flow Analyzer Overview
https://support.sap.com/content/dam/productfeatures/assets/00014/6CAE8B28C5DB1ED792B92BBD67F600C2/presentations/CashFlowAnalyzer.pdf

[2] House Bank Documentation
https://help.sap.com/viewer/ac319d8fa4ea4624b40a58d23e3c4627/1709%20001/en-US/715e8754dccbe85ee10000000a44176d.html

https://help.sap.com/viewer/ac319d8fa4ea4624b40a58d23e3c4627/1709%20001/en-US/715e8754dccbe85ee10000000a44176d.html

[3] SAP In-House Cash
https://www.sap.com/products/in-house-cash.html

Questions or interested in learning more about TruQua? Contact us today or follow us online:

 

 

Take SAP Central Finance for a Test Drive Utilizing Cloud Technology

 

Authored by Julien Delvat, TruQua

Undertaking a digital transformation project can be frustrating at times. There are so many decisions to take regarding scope, architecture, sizing, performance, etc. There is always a risk that undersizing will be limiting the platform and that oversizing will be a waste of resources. In addition, team leads are always looking for any hands-on experience that could increase user adoption.

These challenges apply especially to SAP Central Finance, a deployment option for S/4HANA, SAP’s latest ERP. Customers tend to select a Central Finance strategy when:

  • A gradual landscape transformation is easier than a full system upgrade
  • The organization runs several SAP and / or non-SAP systems
  • Information needs to be collected and analyzed at the most granular level to support real-time decision making.

For organizations looking for a way to validate their strategy to adopt SAP S/4HANA using Central Finance, TruQua offers TruQloud, a cloud-based Try-and-Decide solution now supporting Central Finance pilots. Without any expensive and time-consuming capital expense requirement, simply leverage our secure TruQloud templates to connect Central Finance directly to your own data and see S/4HANA for yourself. Real-life data will contribute to a more accurate business case both technically and functionally.

 

Once a final decision to move forward with Central Finance has been made, you will have the opportunity to transition to your target platform, on-premise or in the cloud, while taking advantage of the early hands-on work that you already invested.

For more information on the Try-and-Decide offering, visit: https://www.truqua.com/project/try-and-decide-offering/ or contact TruQua at info@truqua.com.

Disclaimer: TruQloud is licensed for the testing and demonstration of Central Finance and SAP S/4HANA. As a licensed SAP development partner, TruQua can provide test and demo licenses for your proof of concept, free of charge.

Questions or interested in learning more about TruQua? Contact us today or follow us online:

 

Central Finance as the System of Record

With companies looking at SAP S/4HANA as a platform to guide them into the digital future, SAP Central Finance is becoming more popular as it provides a non-disruptive, accelerated side-car approach.

So, who should consider implementing SAP Central Finance? Central Finance is especially advantageous but not limited to companies with diverse and distributed systems as it provides the ability to perform the real-time replication of financial data from multiple instances into one central system without the need for reconciliation.

Recently SAP ran its Central Finance Thought Leadership Summit at their new office space in New York City. The summit was a 3-day event where leading consultancies from around the globe that specialize in Central Finance met and discussed the current and future direction of SAP’s Central Finance solution. SAP looks to these partners to help drive the direction of the solution as they share key use cases, scenarios, implementation experiences, and project challenges that they’ve experienced. In addition to SAP, participants at the forum included leadership from TruQua Enterprises, EY, Deloitte, Accenture, and PwC.

TruQua Enterprises has been working in conjunction with SAP in the testing and validation of SAP Central Finance since its inception 4 years ago and in addition has been speaking on the topic worldwide at SAP industry events.

In the video below, David Dixon, a Partner at TruQua Enterprises shares his insights into one of the most promising areas for Central Finance, the ability to shift to a central processing platform. A big part of this shift is moving key business processes such as central payments, credits, disputes, collections, treasury onto one central finance system which then becomes the harmonized system of record. Listen in as David shares advice on how customers can manage the challenge of a decentralization and more insights into SAP Central Finance.

 

The Top 10 things to know about SAP Central Finance

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).