When talking to the VP of Enterprise Architecture in a Swiss-based manufacturer, he told me he was quite confused with all the recent SAP marketing around S/4HANA, SAP Simple Finance (oops, now S/4HANA Finance), HANA Enterprise Cloud (HEC) and the user interfaces that come along with all this like Fiori. He was looking for the big picture, the real no-nonsense one.
Most up-to-date version can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/9-must-knows-before-implementing-sap-simple-finance-sfin-koerts
So I explained that in essence S/4HANA is ‘just’ a new name for the same good old Suite functionality (ERP, SRM, CRM, …) – the difference however is in that the Suite can now run on an in-memory database called HANA. Okay – and you can source S/4HANA from the cloud and you have more alternatives when it comes to the graphical user interface – one of them being Fiori.
So, how does this relate to SAP Simple Finance (sFin)? Well, the Financials coding was the first part of ERP optimized to run on HANA. The functionality itself or the way to configure the system hardly changes (unless you want to use the Fiori apps…).
SAP Simple Finance is an add-on to ERP, which means it is a standard product developed to work on top of SAP ERP (ECC6.07 to be precise). The official name used to be ‘SAP Simple Finance add-on 2.0 for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA’ aka sFin 2.0. However… as of October 2015, SAP speaks of S/4HANA Finance and it includes the ‘Simple’ coding. SAP S/4HANA, on-premise edition 1511 became available in November 2015 (hence, 1511…). By the way, SAP S/4HANA CLOUD 1506 has been restricted available since June 2015.
SAP ‘Simple Finance’ includes SAP Accounting powered by SAP HANA, SAP Cash Management and SAP Integrated Business Planning (IP and BPC and embedded BW) for Finance and additional innovations in the areas of Treasury and Financial Risk Management, Collaborative Finance Operations and more. The FI and CO tables are now combined in the Universal Journal, a single line item table.
Before you jump into an SAP Simple Finance implementation however, there’s a few things you and your team must know*. Note: the below does not go for S/4HANA 1511.
9 must-knows before starting your Simple Finance implementation:
1.The finance add-on replaces the classic Financials applications in your SAP ERP system. In contrast to accounting in SAP enhancement package 7 for SAP ERP 6.0, Simple Finance comes with a simplified data model. Totals tables and application index tables have been removed and replaced with HANA views with the same technical names. A full list can be found at the bottom of this article. This means the impact needs to be assessed on your interfaces, your data warehouse, your authorization profiles, and potentially your monitoring tools;
2.Some industry solutions and SAP ERP add-ons are not fully compatible with SAP Simple Finance, like Asset Accounting (FI-AA). Carefully assess compatibility with other components in your landscape;
3.The user experience is likely to change. Assess the impact on the required skill-set in your teams and the potential need to rewrite documentation and/or training materials;
4.Handle the required SP levels for SAP ERP 6.0 EHP7 and for SAP NetWeaver 7.40 with the utmost caution and as described in the administrator’s guide; 5.Before you install the Finance add-on, you must prepare the migration of application data. These steps require specific financials application knowledge; 6.Install the finance add-on using the Software Update Manager (SUM). Ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of it from the SAP Service Marketplace. In addition, you must install two SAP HANA Live packages using the HANA Lifecycle Manager (HLM);
7.To run the financials applications, you must migrate the application data first. For SPS 02, SPS 03, and SP04, some additional configuration is required. For more information, see Installation of and Migration to the SAP Simple Finance Add-On for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA;
8.Read the Release Information for SAP Simple Finance add-on for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA (note 1925902), and;
9.To conclude, make sure your team reads the Release Scope Information (note 1968568).
The following tables were replaced by SAP HANA views with the same names:
•The line item, totals tables and application index tables of General Ledger Accounting (GLT0, BSIS, BSAS and FAGLFLEXA, FAGLFLEXT, FAGLBSIS, FAGLBSAS)
•The totals tables and application index tables of Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable (KNC1, KNC3, LFC1, LFC3, BSID, BSIK, BSAD, BSAK)
•The line item and totals tables of Controlling (COEP for certain value types, COSP and COSS)
•The material ledger tables for parallel valuations (MLIT, MLPP, MLPPF, MLCR, MLCD, CKMI1, BSIM)
•The Asset Accounting tables (ANEK, ANEP, ANEA, ANLP, ANLC)
MENDEL KOERTS is the founder of ENSEAD Advisory and Associate Director with Gartner Consulting. As an Enterprise Architect he has specialized in IT Strategy, Architecture, and Governance, predominantly SAP related. Opinions expressed in this article are strictly his own.
* Based on the Administrator’s Guide SAP Simple Finance Add-On for SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA, document version 1.0 – 2015-01-29