It was just recently that I was once again reminded how difficult it could be for the Public Sector FI-FM reconciliation to take place with organization that did not follow the standard SAP practice. So, after reviewing the same issues that I’ve seen in the past with State of CA public sector budget related practices, I’ve identified the similarities with another public sector organization in Connecticut as well.
Basically, the issues remain very similar and we can group them to a several recognizable categories.
SAP has and always was able to meet the public sector’s business practices and expectations, however, most of those SAP implementations deal with the following types of issues:
1. BASIS configuration is not fully extended
2. Database upgrade is not fully upgraded
3. OSS notes are pulled back due to heavy custom coding not architectured with integrated point of view within their User Exists
Yes, business processes are complex, but very easy to design with many different configuration and application options when using SAP.
I completely prefer to do it all in SAP and ABAP versus in Excel. However, our client’s seem to prefer to use the Excel to lead and validate the data in SAP.
It takes some serious effort, time and organizational team work to correct this type of practice and to build the best SAP model for such organizations where SAP is used as a secondary system.
Who has the resources and capabilities to assign all those necessary hours of work that would be required to correct such system configuration and space?
However, without the proper configuration in the system, and proper business practice, and without the relevant OSS notes completely upgraded, certain components and objects would not necessarily contain any relevant data. Therefore, to expect that “only one” report that our customers would “only” require, “quickly”, could not be possible. Based on the wrong configuration and lack of master and transactional data within the objects necessary to integrate for such reporting, that is not feasible, so that would be the first realization point that our clients would need to face. Also, the integrated-FM reconciliation report could not be customized in 2 weeks as it wouldn’t be meaningful to assume that integration was possible to take place when certain transactions were posted and settlements took place as if system was properly used and configured. Each business process and scenario would need to be re-evaluated and test prototyped to address any differences in balances between different modules within the organization, which will be addressing the cost flow scenarios as well.
The more we deviate from the standard SAP best practices, the more we need to customize and use the Excel and other tools to compensate the integration. In such case it would take much longer for SAP consultants to produce that CAFR true reporting scenario out of system where SAP was used as a secondary system of record.
Staying very close to SAP teachings will prevent such labor intensive effort and allow the public sector reporting and planning to be as easy as it was intended to be.
SAP IBC Senior Delivery Consultant
Business Process Expert and Integration Architect since 1994