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SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting Makes Financial Consolidation Simple

by | Oct 11, 2018

There’s no question that the financial consolidation process is a bit complicated. The legacy way of doing financial consolidation and group close required all sorts of systems needing to talk to each other, connecting to ETL tools and the data warehouse, and so on. As you can imagine, when the world’s largest ERP announced that SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting 1809 would simplify this whole process, we were pretty excited (and now that you’ve heard about it, we bet you probably are, too). Let’s take a closer look at what the newly released solution has to offer.

One Single Source of Truth

To begin, we should point out that SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting uses the SAP S/4HANA universal journal as a single source of truth, resulting in an integrated accounting system that combines general ledger accounting, asset accounting, and a controlling and material ledger. This ensures that financial and management accounting are recorded in a single chart of accounts, all accounting data is permanently reconciled with the SAP S/4HANA universal journal, and meeting financial obligations is easier than ever.

Embedded Solution, Faster Data Access

As a part of SAP S/4HANA (which sits in the same environment as where your local accounting is done), the aptly named SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting gives you real-time access to your local data from the consolidation tool, fundamentally simplifying group reporting (on-premise and in the cloud).

The solution also takes advantage of embedded analytics with multi-dimensional reporting for operational accounting and consolidation, which allows users to slice and dice to retrieve the information most relevant to their needs.

NOTE: This isn’t a standalone BI tool but rather embedded analytics in S/4HANA, so if you’re already familiar with other S/4HANA embedded analytics environments, this tool should be familiar to you.

S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting Built With 4 Pillars in Mind

According to Christoph Ernst, SAP’s Global Solution Owner for Accounting and Financial Close, SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting was built with four pillars in mind: Continuous Accounting, Global Group Reporting Platform, Context to Data, and Engineered for Cloud. Let’s take a closer look at what those four pillars have to offer us.

Continuous Accounting

Companies should have a unified reporting framework for local and group close. In terms of consolidation, this includes leveraging all the details of the underlying accounting system where possible. SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting delivers on this promise with one common user experience for customers and one unified record-to-report process.

Global Group Reporting Platform

The new group reporting platform covers the entire flow from collecting, processing, and analyzing data through to publishing the reports, all while differentiating between planned, actual, simulated, and predicted data, as well as varying reporting cycles.

Context to Data

Non-financial measures, nodes, and other qualitative data can be as important as financial measures, so communication between stakeholders is paramount. SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting has been designed to support this communication with dedicated functions.

Engineered for Cloud

It’s predicted that 60% of large enterprises will be running financial consolidation in the cloud by 2020, and SAP is ensuring they’re helping those companies stay ahead of the curve by fully supporting this trend today. As a cloud-based solution, SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting is easy to implement and makes future innovations simple to add. Additionally, the solution’s cost-efficient resource sharing and automated operation is available out of the box.

NOTE: SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting will also be available as an on-premise option, so if you’re not on the cloud yet, not to worry! You can still take advantage of this exciting solution.

Other Benefits

In addition to the four pillars central to SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting’s design, the solution offers a host of other benefits to users, including higher data quality (allowing you to improve compliance and control), accelerated closing processes (nothing like closing your books in real time to speed things up), unprecedented transparency (you can drill all the way down to line items!), and more. From the Microsoft Excel add-in to a collaborative SAP Fiori web user experience SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting has been created with ease of use in mind, and its many features are sure to improve your current process.

Need help getting SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting 1809 set up correctly? Surety Systems has your back. With our network of senior-level SAP consultants, we have just the skills you need to get your financial data in tip-top shape, saving you time, money, and effort moving forward.

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