These are exciting times in SAP financial management. SAP S/4HANA brings a lot of new to digest and also enjoy, compared to current SAP ECC systems. I will try to briefly explain the biggest and most interesting changes. They include both completely new functionalities and new nuances to old features.
Probably the biggest single change is the renewal and simplification of the table structure of financial administration. In SAP S/4HANA, the new transaction table (ACDOCA, Universal Journal) replaces most of the previously used table structures for external accounting, internal accounting, profitability analysis, fixed assets, and inventory ledger. For virtually all of these modules, posting data is transferred to a new transaction table from which it is available for reporting. The new approach over the in-memory database will also reduce the need for reconciliation between, for example, internal accounting and general ledger, as well as significantly increase the possibilities for real-time operational reporting.
Perhaps in this context, it is also worth mentioning the General Ledger functionality that came with the New General Ledger. Previously, for example, group / IFRS reporting was separated from local reporting in its own general ledger accounts. In the new model, both have their own General Ledger, in which the documents are generally updated identical to both, but in which, if necessary, their own corrective or modifying entries can be made. In addition to this, for example, fixed asset accounting and the inventory ledger make it possible to make valuations specific to the Ledger.
Other improvements in functionalities include the end of business unit accounting as an independent module and its strong shift to external accounting. This enables, among other things, the real-time distribution of documents into calculation dimensions (document distribution), in which case, for example, discount entries are distributed by profit center at the line level already in the document entry. Year-end balance transfers are combined under one transaction and the same run includes, in addition to normal external accounting transactions, the transfer of fixed assets. Among the changes in fixed assets, it should be mentioned, for example, that the functionalities of the Seasonal Run will be completely transferred to the Depreciation Run.
In terms of basic information, the biggest changes are the merging of customer and supplier information into Business Partners. Suppliers and customers no longer have separate master data, but are created as roles under the Business Partner. Other Business Partner roles include, for example, basic credit control information. The maintenance of general ledger accounts and expense types is combined under the same transaction. The processing of bank accounts becomes “discount-like” when they become reconciliation accounts. This way, each bank account no longer requires its own general ledger account.
The new transaction table brings with it new reporting transactions (many H-terminated), but many of the old familiar SAP transaction codes for postings and reports work as before – especially on the internal accounting side. A big change is also the transition of functionalities to browser-based and mobile applications through the Fiori user interface. Most of the functionalities are supporting SAP’s standard user interface (SAP GUI), but some functions will be fully migrated to Fiori, such as creating bank accounts. Creating bank accounts has traditionally been part of the configuration, but now it is virtually moving to basic information at Fiori.
Other interesting tools – new or heavily revamped – can be found in Inter-company Reconciliation, Accrual Engine, Closing Cockpit and Group Reporting. More on these in the following blogs!
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The author of the blog, Marko Hassinen is ISLET’s leading SAP Finance consultant with over 20 years of SAP experience. Marko is experienced in many areas of Finance and he has participated in several S/4HANA projects.
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