If you’re one of the many SAP customers on a version that’s starting to show its age, (and it’s not aging like a fine wine), we have the answer for you: SAP Central Finance. We’re sure you’ve already heard that most SAP customers will need to migrate to the SAP S/4 HANA platform by 2027. But if you want to extend your investment in your existing system in the meantime, SAP CFIN is a cost-effective way to move forward.
Read on to learn more about the features and benefits of SAP Central Finance and whether it’s the right solution for your organization.
What is SAP Central Finance?
SAP Simple Finance is SAP’s first business application for finance functions on the HANA platform. In 2011, SAP introduced the HANA database and developed the framework for the SAP S/4HANA Business Suite. The company debuted SAP Simple Finance only three years after introducing the HANA database.
SAP also made Simple Finance available as an add-on through the EHP 7 expansion package for SAP ERP 6.0. This iteration of Simple Finance was based on an architecture that was straightforward to use. With the introduction of SAP Simple Finance, the company was able to offer users and organizations a modern user experience and new financing and accounting solutions.
Perhaps most notably, SAP Simple Finance was the first application to unite financial accounting and controlling and laid the foundation for shorter processing times and faster analyses. In 2015, SAP changed Simple Finance’s name to SAP S/4HANA Finance.
Why Implement SAP Central Finance?
SAP Central Finance (aka CFIN) gives you the ability to gradually integrate financial platforms with SAP S/4HANA, as opposed to through intensive data migration. SAP CFIN is ideal for businesses that want to avoid time-consuming and expensive migration projects, as well as those that need to maintain a complex environment of multiple ERP systems.
An SAP Central Finance implementation involves a replication process of your records that’s done across all your IT systems, and it’s agnostic when it comes to business models. Once the mapping process is complete, you no longer have to move data to each application for financial operations (i.e., reporting, planning, and consolidation) because these processes are already embedded in the Central Finance system. This gives you access to many of SAP S/4HANA’s in-memory cloud, predictive, and machine learning innovations.
What are the Benefits of SAP Central Finance?
SAP Central Finance allows you to run all of your financial reports seamlessly and efficiently. For example, if you use multiple systems to handle accounts receivable/payable and payroll, SAP CFIN allows you to centralize that financial data, helping you to make predictive financial reporting decisions.
SAP CFIN will also make it easier to manage cash flow, financial close tasks, cost assessments, revenue recognition, and more. By being more proactive in managing your company’s finances, you’ll reduce the time it takes to close the books. Here are a few other benefits you’ll realize with SAP Central Finance:
- Global, real-time financial and management reporting functions
- Company-wide data governance for customers, vendors, banks, and general ledger accounts
- Standardized finance and accounting data and processes for a complete finance template
Improve Data Transparency
Central Finance can help users establish a source for consistent reporting and analytics using just one platform. With Central Finance, users can have access to an audit trail and drill down further to source and review transactions in SAP and other third-party solutions.
Create Efficient & Cost-Effective Processes
Users can leverage Central Finance to reduce costs for processing methods, shorten cycle times, and allocate labor to more vital activities. Central Finance allows organizations to standardize and automate processes, giving them more labor hours to utilize elsewhere.
Agile Approach to Transformation
Central Finance offers organizations transparency to realize their cross-entity optimization and market growth potential. With this data at their fingertips, users can see their organization’s potential, set goals, and grow at their own pace.
Is SAP Central Finance Right for My Organization?
It’s important to note that SAP Central Finance is not a good fit for your organization if you only have one ERP system. However, if you currently work with multiple ERP systems, or upcoming mergers/acquisitions could mean that you’ll need to deal with multiple ERPs in the future, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Here are a few features that we think you’ll find useful:
SAP Central Finance is typically a stepping stone for companies on the path to broader ERP deployments. It allows you to transact in legacy systems without interrupting an implementation.
Centralized Service Delivery
SAP CFIN offers centralized service delivery models to report and analyze data, all within a single system.
SAP Central Finance can act as a hub to bring data together in a standard information model across multiple ERPs. This opens up visibility across the company into transaction data that might otherwise be in a different format or otherwise unavailable.
Flexible Consumption Models
SAP CFIN can be implemented on-prem or in the cloud. Both implementation models give you access to instant insights on any device within the SAP Fiori interface.
Ready to Implement SAP Central Finance?
SAP Central Finance is a low-risk first step to ERP consolidation and migration to SAP S/4HANA. It’s perfect for organizations with multiple, aging SAP instances (or other non-SAP finance applications).
If you’re ready to take the next step, Surety Systems can help you on your journey. Our US-based SAP consulting team has the skill and experience you need to make the most of SAP Central Finance. Contact us today to get things started.