Archive | May 2019

S4/HANA for Group Reporting first critics

  1. Critical points

The impression of the new tool was good. A more deep dive brings up, what is not a surprise. The lessons are not learned.

  1. User friendly interface is still missing
  2. Surely, for a ECCS or SEM BCS client this is better, for clients with Hyperion, BPC, BO FC this is a step back
    1. User interface for maintaining is a mess
    2. Ownership and legder concept, takes flexibility away
      1. Why do I need a ledger to make a new consolidation scope, simulation etc….? I hope this will be strongly improved.
      2. Why is it not possible to add own property fields like in FC or BPC?
    3. Its obvious not step forward:
      1. It´s 90% ECCS
      2. 10 % try to get flexibility in, stucked to the 100% accounting driven approach, surely no wonder
      3. Outcome of the investments into outlooksoft and cartesis (BO) are not recognized in the software
      4. If developers from BPC or BO FC would have had influence, it would look fully different
      5. Items like historical masterdata are not seen
      6. Audit Trail like BOFC is missing
      7. A dedicated reporting engine, who gives ad hoc reporting like BO FC, is not existing

If the client is using S4/HANA and the masterdata in FI, the benefit of drill down to the transactions can be a main reason. If a client likes the classical sap approach of consolidation, its the best choice to stay and use Group Reporting. If not, the integration is less important, or maybe even not possible, BPC 11 is on BW4/HANA an alternative to evaluate instead of a different vendor.

But the full integration is in some circumstances not possible. For example, if the source S4 Moduls are not delivering all details for FI and consolidation. I saw this with FI-CA (FICA) with big data. The data amount / volume was to high from FI-CA to FI and CO. The result is that transactions are summarized and details is gone, like invoice, open or paid, partner (IC).

Total integration is gone, same with CO. Details like business partner, segment, profit center are gone or not possible.

Not to mention the performance of Analytics Cloud.

The workaround is a data ware house for example with SAP BW4/HANA. If I need a DWH to get all my data together in one place, why not using BPC 11.0 on BW4/Hana, either with embedded model or even standard classical consolidation model.

I will prepare a comparison of functions and write about a starter kit with BPC 11.0 consolidation.

Implementierung SAP S4/HANA for Group Reporting

Die Erfahrungen im Jahr 2019 Mai sind noch eher gering mit der Implementierung von S4/HANA for Group Reporting in 1809.

Es sind anscheinend einige Grundfunktionen noch nicht im Release enthalten, z.B. eine dedizierte Besitzanteilverwaltung (Ownership).

Kleiner rechtlicher Hinweis:

R.S.V.P Management Solutions GmbH ist offizieller Reseller von SAP, insofern sind Wir wahrscheinlich berechtigt, Screenshots aus der Software oder der offiziellen SAP Web Seite zu benutzten. Alle Web Seiten Screenshots sind von der https://help.sap.com Seite oder aus offiziellen SAP Dokumenten, die als “public” deklariert sind. Wir als Partner der SAP berechtigt sind, diese zu benutzen.

Folgende Funktionen sind offiziell bereits implementiert:

  1. Datensammlung, Echtzeit (ACDOCA S4HANA), Datei Upload, Manuelle Eingabe und eine API
  2. Währungsumrechnung CTD und periodisch
  3. Historische Umrechnung und Rundungsregeln
  4. Validierungsmonitor
  5. Manuelle Journal Buchung
  6. Eliminierungen über die Eliminierungstypen (ähnlich BPC und Fc Konten getrieben) plus Abstimmberichte
  7. Konsoliderung von Beteiligungen
  8. Berichtswesen über SAC, Fiori
  9. On the fly regeln für z.B. Cashflow Berechnung
  10. Plankonsolidierung aus der ACDOCP inklusive SAC
  11. Prozessverwaltung und Steuerung
  1. Vorraussetzungen für Group Reporting

Installation von Group Reporting

Der Umfang der Lösung ist festzulegen (scope of the solution)

Building blocks sind zu installieren

Aktivierung der Applikation

2. Erste Schritte zur Implementierung

Wie in anderen Lösungen ist der Kontenrahmen die grundlegende Ebene zur Parametrisierung der Konsolidierung:

  1. Übernahme der Best Practise Konfiguration
  2. Definition der Ledger, die über die jeweilige Konzernwährung und Konzernkreise zu bestimmen (Y1 EUR und Y2 für USD) (Fühlt sich etwas zu kompliziert an, das geht auch einfacher…)
  3. Festlegung des Mappings auf den Kontenrahmen (geht auch im S4 FI)
  4. Solange der Buchungskreis im S4 FI die gleiche ID hat, kann die direkte Übernahme aus den S4 Tabellen genutzt werden

Hinweis:Das Hochladen von Entities und Konzernkreisen ist nicht möglich

3. Kontenrahmen

Der Kontenrahmen ist der Punkt in dem ich die Währungsumrechnung, Vorzeichen, Eliminierungsregeln und die Aufrissdefinition ( welche Zusatzdimensionen liegen unter dem Konto) vornehme.

4. Starter Kit (Vordefinierte Inhalte)

Auf der Seite : https://help.sap.com/viewer/S4HANA1809_FI_Statement_Items_Documentation

finden sich die Inhalte der Vorkonfiguration.

Wie man hier lesen kann sind die Bestandteile vorhanden:

  1. Bilanzstruktur
  2. GuV Struktur
  3. Statistische Konten

Copyright SAP

5. Tansaktiontypes

Für die Neulinge in der Group Reporting und S4 Hana Welt sind diese Transaktionstyps wichtig und zu erklären. Man geht in der SAP S4 Welt von einer Buchungssatz basierten Konsolidierung aus. Nicht von einer Konten / Bewegungsart/ Partner etc. basierten Logik. Grundsätzlich geht dieses in Group Reporting auch. Aber, es werden immer Dokumente und Buchungen generiert. Der vielleicht eher amerikanische Weg, ich kippe Daten in eine Datenbank, rechne um, aggregiere, eliminiere und geben Anpassungen in einer Spalte in Excel ein, geht so nicht direkt.

Ich denke, dass man mit etwas Kreativität dieses auch in Group Reporting hinbekommt. Dann müsste man vielleicht die Vorkonfiguration weglassen. Das Ganze einfacher aufsetzen.

Das Regelwerk vom Group Reporting gibt eine ähnliche Arbeitsweise wie das FC oder BPC her. Auch wenn nicht alle Konsolidierungsmethoden implementiert sind, wird man auch hier eine Lösung finden.

Beim FC (ehemals Cartesis) war es immer schwieriger einfache Konsolidierung mit wenig Aufwand zu implementieren, in BPC umgekehrt, das Einfache ging schnell, komplexe Sachverhalte gingen ohne Script oder Abap nicht.

Im Augenblick fühlt sich Group Reporting eher komplex an, wenn man den Standard nicht will.

Copyright SAP

Die Bewegungstypen, auch bereits im BPC RTC versucht umzusetzen, steuern entweder:

  1. Operationale Sachverhalte (Trennung AHK und AFA)
  2. Währungsumrechnung (differenziert nach Anfang, Veränderung, Endbestand etc.)
  3. Konsolidierungssachverhalte (Konzernkreisveränderungen, Beteiligung, Erstkonsolidierung oder Endkonsolidierung)

Hinter diesen Typen stecken dann wieder Regeln und oder automatische Buchungen.

to be continued……

SAP BPC FC SEM-BCS ECCS End of support 2025

One thing is good, the users know which versions of their consolidation products they want to keep alive. If this will happen, what consequences will this have to users and to the market. I have put my experience of S4/HANA projects together with my experience as SAP consultant and partner. I am personally not happy with the development in the SAP portfolio, surely nobody cares. Because of not growing up in the SAP universe, I am maybe more critical. Seeing how bad the acquisitions of Outlooksoft and Cartesis were treated, how many deals as a partner were lost, because of wrong positioning, changing from FC to BPC, instead of offering the best for the right client. Misunderstanding the best client profile for each solution. Generally I saw a big chance in having solutions for different consolidation cultures:

  1. SEM BCS for fully SAP driven clients with a separate consolidation department, Group Reporting as the replacement
  2. BO FC (Cartesis) for integrated internal and external reporting, powerfull, mature, almost no scripting, fast, reliable and transparent
  3. BPC for more American way of consolidation, less detail, focus on cashflow, KPI´s, p&l, fast easy data entry, full excel driven with planning, reporting and integrated into ECC 6.0 and S4

SAP was never able to position this tools correctly and successful

Let´s have a look what is going in the SAP environment. Last year SAP brought out a new software called “Group Reporting”. Formerly known as cloud consolidation. Which will be available as Group Reporting on premise (local installation) or as cloud version with different roadmaps.

The marketing papers of SAP explain´s that SAP has brought the good things together from FC, BPC, ECCS, SEM-BCS. How did this happen?

The owners of SAP (everybody who has shares) want a growth in the SAP market share value, it is obvious that software vendor shares are higher rated from the analyst, if the vendor is offering cloud solutions.

Result of this:

  • every cloud enabled product is pushed in the development
  • resources from non cloud solutions were massively reduced
  • the development has put 2 years ago the old ECCS code as part of the cloud consolidation solution into the cloud
  • SAP is still a German company, were the splitt of controlling and accounting is quite common in clients finance department

The outcome we see now:

  1. Again 2 solutions for planning and consolidation on group level
  2. The idea to consolidate transactions and do group consolidation based on accounting standard is back
  3. Walldorf does not understand the global need of more controlling enabled consolidation engines
  4. One of the founders of SAP said, “If i want to make innovations, I not make it in Waldorf”
  5. The people at SAP in Walldorf have never excepted the bought solutions like FC or BPC. They only sucked the new collegues for their own personal needs, of keeping SEM BCS and ECCS alive in Group Reporting

Typically in the legal consolidation domain, SAP has not learned from the last 30 years, when they lost a lot of clients to vendors like Hyperion, Tagetik, IBM etc. Who offered solutions to either full fill controlling and accounting needs. And by the way have reporting solution which are integrated, flexible and fast. We will see, if the “unfinished death star” can shoot or not.

The problem is, that:

  1. A high amount of clients have implemented SAP BPC, as told, in S4/HANA in the last 2-3 years. Real time consolidation is stopped by the development. Why?
  2. They stopped to enhance the BPC optimized for S4/HANA with Version 10.1.
  3. BPC on BW4/Hana goes a different roadmap is already in Version 11.0 available and 12 is announced. If I see the landscape of S4/HANA and still the need of having Bw4/HANA with BPC 11.0 inside, a very fast standalone planning, reporting and consolidation solution (nobody really wants to sell, maybe again misunderstood). A good tool for a workaround, if the promised total integration of S4/HANA doesn´t work. Why not use this database/ enterprise performance management tool? In one case SAP CO and FI in S4/HANA were not able to deliver a profit on segments, because of missing data detail. With SAP BPC on BW4/HANA no problem, but the client didn´t licensed the BW4/HANA.
  4. SAP analytics cloud is not fully ready to go-live. Using Lumira in the meantime can be a solution.
  5. SAP development wants to get rid of the BW layer and the DSO technology. But Group reporting is using this technology ???? In a meeting the IT department said: “you can not use BPC standard, we don´t want DSO”, but as I know Group Reporting uses DSO and not ADSO…. ???
  6. A classical SAP client in Germany, in the DSAG universe, BW as DATA Warehouse, BEX analyzer etc. as reporting engines, is fully happy with BW4/HANA, old CO and FI stuff is still working in S4, period “0” in consolidation for opening values, periodic consolidation (no ctd), faster then BW, SAP delivers the content for consolidation, they can make changes to rules, and still updates. But what will happen to the users, who have a fast integrated reporting and planning solution?
  7. In Planning processes the modern approach goes away from detailed, slow, many resources blocking, planing approach. The modern planning solution takes the actuals, move them forward by drivers, or by a system, using informations about market and clients, and it calculates the estimate automatically. Only new markets, products etc. are planned manually. I need a fast snapshot of the actuals and a fast planning

Do I need an integrated system with two products, one for consolidation and one for planning or one for both

In Planning processes the modern approach goes away from detailed, slow, many resources blocking, planing approach. The modern planning solution takes the actuals, move them forward by drivers, or by a system, using informations about market and clients, and it calculates the estimate automatically. Only new markets, products etc. are planned manually. I need a fast snapshot of the actuals and a fast planning engine, with easy to maintain simulations, rules etc.

In consolidation, the clients who make “fast close”, don´t have time to look into transactions, accounting details. They need fast and unified processes to consolidate a cashflow, p&l and balance sheet in 5 days. Does is make sense:

Not to use Group Reporting, Analytics Cloud and BPC?

Can it be, for some clients, better to use BPC for BW4/Hana?

By the way, some friends of mine have successfully implemented Real time consolidation in S4/HANA projects.

Risk/Hope:

  • The risk is, that SAP falls back in the Enterprise Performance Management market, clients can be unhappy, who never used BW
  • They open again the clients for competitors, who don´t want two solutions, or even three (BPC, SAC, Group Reporting).
  • The queries design as SAP idea is still needed in S4/HANA, I don´t think this is user friendly and self service BI
  • Having the same situation like before 2007, user unfriendly, no harmonised solution, barriers between controlling and accounting.
  • the promised total integration is for several clients far away. if you are no able to integrate all transactions details into SAP FI (ACDOC A) you will not drill down from group reporting into the source data
  • If client need to cut out data details, because FI and CO are not capable or getting too slow, the integration is gone. A data ware house in BW4/Hana can be a workaround, with BPC on top and consuming the S4/Hana data. As architects in S4 prefers the Bw4/HANA as archive system, why not using for planning and consolidation?
  • Group Reporting means:
    • periodic consolidation (does everybody like this)
    • period “0” means only one opening for a whole year?
    • only one trigger per account for eliminations..
    • integration of non sap entities?
    • is the standard of consolidation rules fitting, if not, how can I get the standard out?

I am open to discuss and change my opinion about the development. In the german market, Group Reporting will be the Standard. Will it be the only SAP solution in future?