Starting in 2025, SAP will no longer support SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) systems, only offering and supporting SAP S/4HANA ERP systems. This should come as no surprise to anyone, of course, as they made the announcement a few years back—we even wrote an article about challenges you may face during your migration to SAP S/4HANA—but these things have a way of creeping up on people. 

The migration from ECC ERP to S/4HANA will be one of the most difficult challenges businesses and their finance teams will face over the next few years. Some companies are already on their journey, but a majority are just starting the process. 2025 might still seem far off, but don’t let it sneak up on you. Successful migration of finance from ECC to S/4HANA requires careful planning and execution. It’s not something you want to leave until the last minute.

This article will explain how to prepare your financial data when migrating from ECC ERP to S/4HANA. Let’s get started. 

Considerations for Migration to SAP S/4HANA

The first step in the migration from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA finance is to prepare your data for migration. Here’s what you need to consider before getting started: 

  • Determine what data should be archived and/or migrated
  • What approach will you take to cleansing the data
  • How long will that cleansing process take
  • What tools and techniques will you use to cleanse the data
  • How much data will you need to archive 
  • How your financial master data will match the changed functions in SAP S/4HANA Finance 

Steps for Data Preparation 

To implement and use SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA, you will need to migrate the existing user data from the G/L Accounting (FI-GL), Asset Accounting (FI-AA), Controlling (CO), and Material Ledger areas. Why is this migration necessary? Because SAP Accounting is powered by SAP HANA, so it needs to rest on a uniform data model for all accounting areas. 

Here are the recommended steps for data preparation: 

Data Aging 

Before migrating, you’ll need to decide what to do with obsolete data. It’s an important step because if there is a lot of outdated data migrated to S/4HANA, the clutter will impact system performance. The process of “data aging,” which shifts specific data within a database to get more working memory, can help with this issue. There are three categories you need to bucket your data in: 

  • Hot data: operational data
  • Warm data: data that doesn’t need to be stored in the main memory of the database
  • Cold data: data that isn’t required unless referenced for historical reasons

Data Cleansing

Another essential step is cleansing the data. In many cases, organizations skip this step to save time or effort during what is admittedly a complicated process. That can lead to issues in the future, however, such as data inconsistencies, formatting, and compliance problems. Here are some best practices to follow when conducting data cleanup: 

  • Verification: Verify that your contact information in SAP is still valid for marketing purposes. 
  • Duplication: Find and remove all duplicate data in the SAP system. 
  • Normalization: Standardize all your data fields in the new system. 
  • Editing: Add or change fields that are missing. 
  • Governance: Implement data governance rules to eliminate the need for data cleansing down the road. 

Data Archiving

Finally, you’ll need to archive any outdated data before migrating to SAP S/4HANA. This step will help to decrease the amount of transactional data that’s migrated to the new system. Reducing the volume of data can lead to a faster migration now (and for future upgrade projects), as well as less production downtime and fewer errors. 

How Surety Systems can help 

These data preparation steps should increase your chances of a seamless and successful migration. The process of migrating your financial data from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA is a complicated process, however. One that’s difficult to do well but easy to do poorly. A successful migration takes careful planning and experience with the right resources, tools, and best practices. But if your migration seems daunting, Surety Systems can help. 

Our senior-level, US-based SAP consulting team has the expertise in the migration of financial operations and any other SAP-related needs. Our consultants can be a valuable resource to answer questions or partner with you on your company’s migration. 

Contact us today to get started.