SAP just launched SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1702 yesterday, with innovations across all Line of Businesses. You can find more details in this post.
In this blog, I will focus on SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud 1702, SAP’s latest cloud product update dedicated to Finance departments. With it, customers can start their journey to the digital core in the public cloud with a simple, easy-to-use and modern finance solution. It includes selected procurement and order management capabilities to help customers run end-to-end finance related activities SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud is built as the center of a modular cloud suite, with core finance capabilities like accounts payable, accounts receivable, credit management, bank account management and more. This means that you can start your journey in public cloud with a modern digital finance solution, and evolve based on your company’s needs and strategy. As you can see in the picture below, you can start with SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud and expand your scope to S/4HANA Enterprise Management Cloud that provide all the SAP ERP SaaS capabilities, or later to S/4HANA Manufacturing Cloud (planned).
S/4HANA Finance: the foundation of all kinds of businesses
SAP S/4HANA Finance not only supports the finance department, but also the surrounding processes that lead to financial bookings, such as basic sales and procurement processes. It also integrates with other SAP solutions like SAP SuccessFactors, SAP Ariba, and SAP RealSpend, a finance solution running on SAP Cloud Platform. SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud is a starter ERP including core finance functionalities like universal journal or soft close as well as order-to-cash and procure-to-pay processes. As a result, SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud is the go-to solution for the upper-middle market to start using the public cloud. Let me mention a few selected key innovations in SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud 1702
Machine learning to automate cash management
The integration to SAP Cash Application Solution helps automate the invoice-matching process and provide the prediction results back to SAP S/4HANA Cloud with the help of machine learning. It improves the cash application process by automating the labor-intensive process of clearing incoming bank payments with corresponding receivable invoices. SAP Cash Application is a cloud-based (SAP Cloud Platform, Cloud Foundry) solution that leverages machine learning technology to provide matching prediction result based on historical data.
In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, the integration process can be scheduled to extract historical data and replicate to machine learning platform as machine training data. Afterwards, it can be scheduled to extract open receivable items and replicate to machine learning platform for scoring. The prediction result from machine learning is proposed when the customer reprocesses the bank statement items.
Intercompany Capabilities for cost Allocation and sales order processing:
With the latest update in SAP S/HANA Finance Cloud 1702 release, we bring new functionality for intercompany processes for cost allocation in the general ledger. This functionality enables accountants to reduce effort during intercompany cost allocation. For example, the process starts with the posting of a document between two company codes. Both company codes are in one country and both do or do not use the extended withholding tax processes. In a cross-company code transaction, the system posts a separate document with its own document number in each of the company codes. Individual documents are linked by a common cross-company code number. The system generates line items to balance the debits and credits in each document.
With 1702 a new type of SAP Fiori app has been introduced that combines intuitive navigation filters in combination with drill-down and list-page driven activities in one single page – called analytical list page. For example, in the SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud, we include an analytical list page called Supervise Collections Worklist that allows you to:
- Monitor the status of groups, teams and collection specialists
- Allocate and re-assign worklist items
- Assign collection specialists and temporary substitutes
Integration to SAP Concur solutions
In this global village, we travel a lot and we need help making arrangements and managing expenses. Integration to the SAP Concur solution is a financial integration that enables users to plan trips and create expense reports. Integration to SAP Concur solutions can be performed as a direct connection or via the SAP Cloud Platform integration service. Financial integration helps you quickly process expenses for significantly accelerated payments. With this integration you can save time, optimize resources, and future-proof your investment. It provides end-to-end, timely visibility into spending— from pre-trip plans to final settlement of payments. It enables successful financial posting and full process transparency on both sides.
SAP S/4HANA Finance, G/L Account line items – reporting view
This app allows you to check general ledger (G/L) account line items, and display open and cleared items for open-item-managed accounts, or all of the items for an account. You can select the line items based on a key date or after the clearing date in connection with a key date. If you are selecting all items, you can also choose a posting date range. You can show numerous additional characteristics, and also swap the order of the columns in the list. And, if you need to continue processing and analyzing the results list of G/L account line items, you can export it to Microsoft Excel.
SAP S/4HANA Finance, Adjust inventory values
With this app, you can adjust the inventory values of materials to eliminate inconsistencies that can arise in connection with the non-exclusive locking mode. For example, when the non-exclusive locking mode is active, rounding differences may lead to incorrect inventory values under some conditions, or even to outright errors such as a zero inventory quantity but a nonzero inventory value. To eliminate such problems and ensure that the inventory values of your materials correctly reflect the inventory quantity and material costs, you can run the “Adjust Inventory Values” job during period-end closing.
On a final note, I would like to highlight the new localizations of SAP S/4HANA Finance Cloud 1702: Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Malaysia and United Arab Emirates (18 countries in total).
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
- S/4HANA cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- Product documentation and What’s new in 1702 available here
- Best practices for all the cloud editions here