This blog provides you an overview of innovations in our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1802 release for Finance and Contract Accounting and Invoicing. This includes additional machine learning capabilities, predictive accounting, embedded analytics for project financial controller, the first release of the new SAP S/4HANA Cloud Solution Contract Accounting and Invoicing, and much more.
Check out my video below that covers three significant innovations:
The innovations for finance which are available with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1802 and which you can look at in the video are:
Being able to slice and dice every aspect of the company’s performance is of great value to leadership and investors, but Finance is often faulted for only looking backwards. Predictive Accounting extends the reach of Sales Accounting into not yet relevant GAAP processes.
Accounting for Incoming Sales Orders is the first scenario based on Predictive Accounting. When a sales order is created, a revenue posting will be created in the extension ledger. This allows for a more comprehensive overview of all orders and their values for the time period regardless of the billing status. This scope item provides a report of incoming sales orders for a given fiscal period.Fig. 1: New App ‘Incoming Sales Orders’
This screenshot shows how a sales accountant called the new app „incoming sales orders“, which is an analytical list page divided into 3 sections. In the upper section, he can filter for example by customer group, product group or by profit center. In the middle section, revenue is being displayed by sales org, distribution channel and period. In the lower section, the sales accountant can see the single postings in the extension ledger on the right accounts. The orders captured but not yet shipped or billed are being displayed here.
Automated Payment Advice Processing with SAP Leonardo
Account receivable accountants spend significant time in gathering, analyzing and posting payment advice information. The advice information arrives in shared inbox together with various other mails and in various formats, such as text files, screenshots, spreadsheets and PDF. This results in very labor-intense, error-prone and repetitive work. Automated Payment Advise Processing with SAP Leonardo ML adds a cloud Machine Learning service that integrates with SAP S/4HANA Cloud. It drastically lowers manual efforts by automatically extracting additional information about payments from unstructured information PDF documents and uses it to automate the clearing process. What exactly is done by this service: it starts with the upload of the document, then it detects and classifies the regions of interested followed by the text extraction. After the text extraction, it classifies the text and returns structured information. In this video you can see that a PDF payment advise information has been uploaded and has being processed already. The company coded, the customer, the single items and the total have been extracted and classified. This can be reviewed and confirmed by the accountant so that the document is being posted in the system.
Overview Page for Project Financial Controllers in the area of Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management
As project financial controllers are supporting various project managers, it is hard to keep track of all projects. The overview page for project financial controllers provides a dashboard of project KPI’s such as plan, actual and commitment comparison, costs to date by cost component or active projects without revenue postings. This enables them to easily monitor the financial situation of projects in their area of responsibility, identify deviations in time and steer the projects back on track. Watch the overview page in action in this demo video.
Here are additional remarkable innovations not covered in the video:
Simplification of the Internal Order
Internal orders are used to plan, collect, and settle the costs of temporary internal jobs and tasks. An Internal order is a self-contained simple project cost object, i.e. it’s a collection of costs, but not a full project with a work breakdown structure. A simple project is a project definition with one work package. The simple project supports the same use cases and functionality compared to the internal order. From SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1802 the Simple Project replaces the Internal Order.
Fig. 2: The Simple Project replaces the Internal Order
The following Apps are available in 1802 to cover Simple Project(s) instead of Internal Order(s):
- Project Builder
- Projects – Plan/Actual
- Project Cost Report
- Project Brief
- Generate Settlement Rules
- Run Actual Settlement Projects
- Run Actual Overhead Projects
But it is much more than a simplification. You can manage complex jobs or tasks with a multi-level project structure including an overview page and analytics optimized for project financial controllers. Constantly monitor and optimize your projects with the Project Review overview page and Project Briefs including status, milestone, team and stakeholder management on any device. Benefit from a more flexible and scalable solution for managing simple up to highly complex measures. Streamline time reporting, period-end closing, and analytics (no need to differentiate activities by types of measures any longer). And finally increase project managers ‘efficiency and effectiveness with this great solution. For more information check out the blog on Enterprise Portfolio and Project Management.
Contract Accounting and Invoicing
Today, new opportunities for business model innovation lead to new approaches for monetization. Moving from products to services and outcomes require disruptive and innovative approaches in the areas of billing, invoicing and in receivables and payables handling. This shipment provides a first wave of high volume consumption billing and invoicing functionality as well as for an automated receivables and payables sub-ledger. It targets organizations who want to monetize IoT, cloud services or digital content which is paid immediately. It consists of two solutions, the consumption billing and invoicing and the contract accounts receivable and payable.
Consumption billing and invoicing pulls rated events or complete bills from several upstream, multi-vendor rating or billing streams, and then consolidates the information into a single converged invoice. It consolidates service pricing from multiple sources to produce easily understandable invoices. The scope items include invoice creation for usage and service, invoice correction processing, recurring and one-off items, and Fiori analytical apps dedicated to the convergent invoicing manager.
Fig. 3: New App ‘Display Invoicing Document’ for converged invoices
Contract accounts receivable and payable manages receivables and payables with high throughput and automation removing inefficiencies. It aligns secure payment services and provides traceable and compliant accounting, reconciliation and period closing processes highly integrated within SAP S/4HANA Cloud for finance. The scope items cover paid invoice processing, outgoing payment processing daily and monthly closing, external tax audit and also here Fiori analytical apps for the contract accounting manager.
Fig. 4: New App ‘Analyze Unbilled Items’ for billable items
Last but not least, there is now an integration with the SAP Hybris Revenue Cloud for the convergent invoicing to replicate customer and billing data between the two solutions through SAP Cloud Platform Integration.
For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud, check out the following links:
- Sven Denecken’s SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1802 Release Blog
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info: http://www.sap.com/s4-cloudrelease
- Best practices for all the cloud editions here
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