Demystifying SAP S/4HANA for Finance

Demystifying SAP S/4HANA for Finance

So, what is SAP S/4HANA Finance really? To put it in layman’s terms, it’s SAP Financials redesigned for HANA (while SAP S/4HANA is SAP ERP redesigned for HANA). It’s important not to confuse S/4HANA Finance (which only impacts the financial modules) and S/4HANA (which impacts many other modules, such as materials management) as they are on separate release schedules. For example, the material master record was extended from 18 characters to 40 only in S/4HANA (not S/4HANA Finance).  Other words, S/4HANA incorporates S/4HANA Finance functionality but not the other way around.  Fundamental and sweeping modifications to SAP functionality make S/4HANA and S/4HANA Finance entirely new products.

SAP S/4HANA is really the first step in what SAP is calling the “Simple Revolution”. From an architectural perspective the objective of S/4HANA Finance is to merge all accounting information into a single source of truth, which makes integration much easier while at the same time cutting out the need for the constant replication of data. Equipped with the a new user experience via SAP Fiori UX and apps, financial processes can now be more efficient and effective than ever.

Over the course of the year and prior, SAP S/4HANA Finance has had many different names and versions, including:

  • SAP S/4HANA Finance as part of SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511
  • SAP Simple Finance, On-Premise Edition
    • SAP Simple Finance 1503 (Also referred to as SAP Simple Finance 2.0, Initial Shipment)
    • SAP Simple Finance 1503, Support Package Stack 1505
    • SAP Simple Finance 1503, Support Package Stack 1508
    • SAP Simple Finance 1503, Support Package Stack 1511
  • SAP Accounting Add-On for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA
    • SAP Simple Finance 1.0

So how is S/4HANA Finance really different than standard SAP ERP? As previously mentioned, the biggest change centers around a new single source of truth known as the “Universal Journal”. This journal combines separate tables from General Ledger (GL), Profitability Analysis (PA), Controlling (CO), Asset Accounting (AA) and Material Ledger (ML) into one. This enables instant reconciliation between FI modules, a harmonization between internal and external accounting in one physical table and coding block (known as “ACDOCA”).

From a financial process improvement standpoint, S/4HANA Finance goes beyond real-time single source of truth and faster processing but improves what matters most, namely productivity through a better user experience. Leveraging new SAPUI5 technology for better user interfaces and applying Fiori-based design principles to them, users can expect access to information and functionality fashioned specifically for their role with a lot less mouse clicks.

As it relates to Financial Planning and Analysis, S/4HANA provides real-time analytics and reporting, integrated planning, budgeting, and forecasting.  When taking into account its impact on the Accounting and Financial Close, S/4HANA Finance customers can expect an accelerated close time, as well as a significantly improved full reconciliation process between their statutory and management books. In the area of Treasury, new functionality enables improved cash and liquidity management. Customers will also experience enhanced invoice and receivables management and improved audit and fraud management.

Is your organization looking to move to SAP S/4HANA Finance? If so, we can help. At TruQua we offer services to help you assess the impact on your business and technical landscape, blueprinting workshops, and implementation services. For more information contact us today at info@truqua.com.

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