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   For printout version go to weblogs.sdn.sap.com/lpt/wlg/19946

Background

Ever since I started using iPod and saw my daughter using her iTouch and Mac every day I was wondering what Apple was all about, but after getting SAPGui show on my iPhone I simply couldn’t resist. Actually, that is not the whole truth. It was my cost accounting professor in the early 90’s who forced us to use Apple machines even though IBM PC compatibles were much more popular with Microsoft Excel getting a clear lead over Lotus 1-2-3. Mainframes were there, but no one even bothered. Oh, and I didn’t even hear what SAP was.

Almost 20 years later, all technologies are still there and the race is still on. And some of us have been there  when no one else even bothered.

iCount

Enter the iPhone. Well, it’s not really a phone. It’s just a pocket Mac, isn’t it? With Safari, it may not work for all the SAP icons and transactions that you normally expect, but there are workarounds for most functions, and I’m sure with the intellectual capital present on SDN it would be a snap to make more standard SAP functionality to work on this increasingly popular Apple pocket hardware.

So, let me show you how accountants can use it today, without begging for help from developers. It’s bean counters against coders. How little has changed over the years!

iProcess

We start, as usual, with the list of our favorite SAP transaction codes. We cannot launch them yet, but we can use the list to enter the ones we are after in the list. For BCS, I have found UCWB, RSRT1, and RSA1 useful, but you can save to the list anything you need in your daily job. You simply enter it in the OK-Code field, press “Go”, and you are on your way to financial reporting mobility. So, who exactly needs paper?

SAPiPhone401

On the other side of the software/hardware delivery you have a saved query that you can further adjust by bringing dimensions like fiscal year or company code down the rows and accross the columns of your schedule. I’m only showing a starting point. As shown below, I have been able to leverage the existing Javascript rendering to accomplish all I need for the fully integrated financial reporting of a reporting entity, so I’m almost ready to file with the SEC.

SAPiPhone402

The next image is for the actual financial statements showing the consolidated trial balance netting to zero as you would normally expect, regardless whether it’s US GAAP, IFRS, or your uncle’s diner’s tax return. The numbers here don’t really make any business sense, but if we wear our IT hat for a minute that should not matter as long as the Overall Result is 0.

SAPiPhone403

This snapshot shows the full drilldown capability as it can be rendered in Safari today. It is not as easy as in MS Explorer or Excel, but it can be done. I have expanded the basic list to show different steps (posting levels) in the consolidation process. It looks like our interco receivables had an open balance of $25K for services delivered to its affiliates in other words interco revenue of $25K for services delivered cross border, both balances having been eliminated, there are no intercompany balances in the consolidated statements.

SAPiPhone404

On the next screenshot, the navigation menu is working but with some limits. The left-hand side navigation can, however, compensate for it.

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If we ignore malfunctioning dropdown menu items (some do work) we can see that the left-hand navigation can mostly do the trick. This pivot table has been created entirely using the left-hand side navigation.

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With the next screenshot, we have left the BEx and come back to webgui to see at the record level the amounts supporting the reported balances. Since ECC 6.0, I have noticed a new version for the good old SE16 – UASE16N. I haven’t investigated the full additional functionality of UASE16N, but we can launch it to get to the underlying manual entry table. You may of course still want to use SE16 or SE16N after getting authorization from your security team first. By now, you may have noticed that the OK-field is now open and works as expected with the “Go” button from the iPhone’s keyboard.

SAPiPhone407

After landing on the next screen, I have entered BCS’s equivalent of the accounting document line item table. The table has been generated dynamically, so your BCS system shows a different name for that table. If you need help you can always ask the question on the Business Consolidation (SEM-BCS)

SAPiPhone408

You should be able to browse any table you want using this interface, but entering the transaction and simply trying to “Go” won’t get you very far, Fortunately you can use the menu navigation to browse the table (Table Display -> Execute -> Online). Batch mode (background) should work, too, but I haven’t tested it.

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By preformatting with the layout, the results can be tailored to your needs. Here I have subtotaled by FS Item to be able to see the detailed line items that have built the balance in the BCS.

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So, one way or the other I have been able to move forward and get the table to display subtotals after making my own layout off line. A quick sanity check again, just to make sure we are looking at the same set of numbers, and that they total to 0. So, it’s a tie and there is no need to reconcile or investigate any further.

SAPiPhone411

The little square works just like in other guis, except that you are now magnifying and tapping with your fingers on the screen instead of the mouse buttons. The detail line item amounts are displayed showing how the cash account’s balance has been built over time. Again, amounts do not make any accounting sense, but I have already written that earlier.

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iGet stuck

In the spirit of the future beta testing of Safari webgui interface on iPhone (and after overcoming all the firewall and security issues) I’m moving to the place where all those adjusting entries can and will be made. But, here I’m hitting a snag. The hour glass shows up as I’m trying to expand the folder and just hangs there.

iKeep trying

There is of course a workaround for that, but we have to leave our Apple Safari and webgui behind and move to MS IE (Firefox won’t work either) on an IBM PC machine. So, in my mind, old is back and we just made the full technology circle, but I’m ready for the sequel already.

Misc

Go to is.gd/di88J for iPhone formatted version.

Edited with substantial help from PSPad

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