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Author's profile photo Thierry AUDAS

Harness the Power of Financial Planning and Analysis in SAP S/4HANA with SAP Analytics Cloud

This post was last updated in September 2020, please go to the latest version here.


Business leaders increasingly rely on CFOs and finance teams to support them in making strategic decisions. In an ideal world, that support comes in the form of cloud analytics. But a number of organizations still rely on outdated financial planning and analysis solutions (FP&A)—in some cases, that means Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

Becoming an intelligent enterprise demands a different way of thinking and a move towards insight supported by machine learning and predictive analytics.

An intelligent FP&A solution such as SAP Analytics Cloud brings together planning and analysis, predictive analytics, and business intelligence capabilities in one easily accessible application, eliminating the need to gather data from disparate tools and spreadsheets.

How do we achieve that?

Simple Cloud-Based Planning

SAP Analytics Cloud is a single, simple cloud-based planning solution to enable collaborative business performance. The planning and analysis capabilities of SAP Analytics Cloud is directly embedded within SAP/4HANA Cloud. These new data actions and pre-built content for FP&A enable our users to orchestrate and execute multi-step planning processes within a single system, without moving from tool to tool and getting lost in multiple spreadsheets.

This is achieved by:

  • Deep integration with SAP and non-SAP data, which allows for seamless data flows of trusted data, instead of yet more data silos which overwhelm already pressured FP&A teams
  • Offering a simple and intuitive alternative for data entry back to SAP Business Planning and Consolation
  • Using advanced formulas to solve complex scenarios
  • Bringing analytics to your data with a live connection to on-premise investments. With live data access to SAP S/4HANA, data replication is also avoided.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud delivers best practice FP&A content for quick time to value. The system fully supports best practice and LoB content for a rapid start. What’s more, in-context social collaboration capabilities and Smart Assist deliver automated insights directly into your planning process.

Its simple streamlined planning also includes a broad range of tools to deliver intelligent solutions such as full P&L, balance sheet and cash flow planning, variance analysis reporting, predictive forecasting, and planning at any level.

Smarter Decisions Are Supported by Built-In Intelligence

SAP’s cloud analytics solution supports annual and long-term strategic decision making with built-in intelligence, ideal for FP&A professionals trying to align operational plans to financial results. Even better, it can be adopted across all business functions.

And it is the only cloud analytics platform that allows users to plan, discover, elaborate, and predict within a single model, while offering integration with a range of SAP sources. This allows for seamless data flows of trusted, harmonized data. An Excel-like interface also enables your organization to model and plan data from your browser for ease of use.

Bottom Line

By leveraging SAP Analytics Cloud embedded with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, FP&A can become a better business partner, supporting your organization to make smarter decisions based on analytics delivered in real-time. Organizations that seize the opportunity offered by digital transformation and embrace the benefits of cloud analytics will quickly reap the rewards and move towards their goal of becoming an intelligent enterprise.

SAP is committed to delivering the intelligent enterprise to its customers to empower them to unlock significant new business value with SAP Analytics and SAP S/4HANA.

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