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This blog provides you an overview of innovations in our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 release for Finance. This includes the Hybrid Treasury- and Cash Management, the Accounts Receivables Overview page, Business Exception Detection for SAP Financial Statement Insights and many more selected innovations.

Check out my video below that covers three significant innovations:

The innovations for Finance which are available with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 and which you can look at in the video are:

Hybrid Cash Management and Hybrid Treasury Deployment

As the shift to Cloud is accelerating “Hybrid” plays a key role in this transformation. Winning companies are considering a mix of using their current IT environments and plugging into Cloud according to business priorities. The new Hybrid Cash Management and Hybrid Treasury deployment options allow a dedicated scenario to deploy Treasury and Risk Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and keep the other Finance module like FI in an existing ERP environment. It can be integrated with a central SAP ECC on-premise or with non-SAP ERP through application link enablement via HTTPS. Accounting documents and bank account information are transferred from SAP S/4HANA Cloud Treasury and Risk Management to the ECC.

Fig. 1: Hybrid Treasury- and Cash Management

Cash flow information is transferred from ECC to SAP S/4HANA Cloud Cash and Liquidity Management. Specifically, small business entities can adopt Treasury and Risk Management as well as Cash Management fast and extend to full scope later.

Accounts Receivable Overview Page

Accounts receivable duties include ensuring accuracy and efficiency of operations, processing and monitoring incoming payments, and securing revenue by verifying and posting receipts. With the new Accounts Receivables Overview Page, you can easily access key information and KPIs within the Accounts Receivable area and gain insight into current trends. The app provides a central source of information for the Account Receivable function, and offers a range of filters and built-in navigation to related apps. With the 1808 release we completed a variety of important tiles for example days sales outstanding, receivables aging, top 10 debtors and the cash collection tracker.

Fig. 2: Accounts Receivables Overview Page

Business Exception Detection for SAP Financial Statement Insights

Smart Alerts in SAP Financial Statement Insights is a new feature which aim to detect unusual business situations in revenue and cost accounts. Smart Alerts will pro-actively inform the group controller of potential issues and propose explanations for unusual business situations by analyzing the revenue and cost data. Your business controlling departments and Chief Finance Officer can save a lot of manual exploration and investigation time and focus on value adding strategic decision making. They will never crawl through millions of table entries anymore and still miss critical aspects in the data. With SAP Financial Statement Insights and its smart exception detection algorithm, they can directly focus on points of interest, reach out to relevant contacts and get the issue resolved.

Fig. 3: Business Exception Detection for SAP Financial Statement Insights

Additional significant innovations for finance which are available with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1808 and not mentioned in the video are:

SAP RealSpend – Anomaly Detection

SAP RealSpend is an expense monitoring application designed to enable managers to always stay ahead of their cost situation. They can drill into account or cost-center hierarchies and check expenses for internal orders or profit centers to answer questions like “how do my travel expenses distribute across my projects?”. As an SAP Cloud Platform application, SAP RealSpend extends
SAP S/4HANA Cloud. With its new anomaly detection feature, SAP RealSpend is leveraging Machine Learning in order to automatically detect unusual expenses in the areas of wrong bookings, seasonal effects, unusual amounts or fraud.

Fig. 4: The graph shows all detected anomalies highlighted

We help the responsible managers to detect, report and clarify several types of anomalies and use their input to improve our anomaly algorithms to ensure cost accuracy, budget usage and adequate decision making.

Global Accounting Hierarchy for Financial Statement Versions

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Finance, hierarchies are used to display structured data in financial reporting and analytics, but also in the processes, such as for example allocations, financial planning and authorization management. The customer expectation is to have one modern tool with a consistent UI for the hierarchy maintenance, time dependent hierarchies and a status handling for hierarchies (draft, active).

In addition to profit center, cost center, and functional area hierarchies, Manage Global Accounting Hierarchies now also supports financial statement version (FSV) hierarchies. You can create and maintain FSV hierarchies, import them from the Maintain Financial Statement Versions app, and  assign semantic tags in your FSV hierarchies. You can drag and drop nodes, use the context menu to add nodes and leaves. And the app supports download and upload from and to Excel for every hierarchy.

Fig. 5: Main design time features of Global Accounting Hierarchy for Financial Statement Versions

Enhanced Cost Rate Management

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud cost rates are used to valuate activity consumption in the professional services process as well as in the manufacturing process. In professional services the receiver of activities is customer project, sales order item, profitability segment or cost center, whereas the receiver in manufacturing is the production order or cost estimate.

For the maintenance of the cost rates in professional services we provided already a dedicated Fiori app ‘Manage Cost Rate – Professional Services’ in 1805 based on the condition technique.  Now, with 1808, we also deliver a new app ‘Manage Cost Rates – Plan’ to maintain the activity prices in manufacturing replacing the former ‘KP26’ based app. And ‘Manage Cost Rates – Actual’ to enter actual cost rates for cost center activities and which are used for actual costing. Cost rates in ‘Manage Cost Rates – Actual’ take priority over cost rates in ‘Manage Cost Rates – Professional Services’ and ‘Manage Cost Rates – Plan’. If no actual cost rate exists, a cost rate in one of the other two apps is used, depending on the receiver object for activity allocations.

New Account Determination Documentation

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud for finance journal entries are triggered by business transactions not only in financial areas, but also in other areas, for example, sales and distribution and material management. To enable business transactions to trigger financial journal entry posting automatically, the target accounts for automatic posting are maintained in account determination app. Configuration of account determination belongs to one of the most important implementation steps of your SAP S/4HANA Cloud for finance.

We now provide a comprehensive documentation with detailed information about account determination transactions, G/L accounts to be used and posting examples. It is integrated into the ‘Global Chart of Accounts’ documentation available on the SAP Help Portal and follows the same structure as the “Automatic Account Determination” Fiori app.

SAP Market Rates Management, Thompson-Reuters Data Option

The Market Rates Management package provides daily and historical currency market data for customer SAP S/4HANA Cloud systems. It includes the Market Data service, which is a customizable reuse service that allows you to import daily and historical currency market data. Beside of data from the European Central Bank, the service now can import market data from Thomson-Reuters and the option to bring your own data into the SAP Market Rates Management via a upload API.

For more information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud for finance, check out the following links:

Follow us via @SAP and #S4HANA, or myself via LinkedIn.

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