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Intelligent ERP Update: SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 Release for Finance

This blog provides you with the latest and greatest innovations that our SAP S/4HANA Cloud 1908 release has in store for you in Finance. To name just a few highlights: Bank Statement Reprocessing Rules, Real-Time Production Costs and Work in Process for manufacturing companies, Time Dependent Tax, additional Financial Planning Content and Apps, Market Rates Management, Inter-company Reconciliation, Intelligent Process Automation and more.

Watch my video and get a quick overview of our 1908 highlights:

Bank Statement Reprocessing Rules

Bank statements can be entered into the system automatically or manually. In both cases, SAP S/4HANA Cloud assigns and clears the payments automatically. If the automatic processing is not successful, manual reprocessing is required. With bank statement reprocessing you can now create and manage bank statement reprocessing rules. This allows you to automate user-based reprocessing of bank statement items, which enables you to spend more time on more important tasks. Cash application specialists can easily define reprocessing rules based on manual reprocessing activities and apply them to other bank statements. These rules can be run standalone, in a group, or automatically when a new bank statement is posted. This increases efficiency, throughput, and quality, and decreases errors and costs.

Fig. 1: Automating Bank Statement Reprocessing Rules

Real-Time Production Costs and Work in Process for Manufacturing Companies

Product Costs Control gives an insight into the cost of goods manufactured for your product, so that you can establish product costs, which include planned costs, target costs, actual costs and work in process. The new solution delivered updates work-in-process calculation and overhead calculation in real time by linking the posting to the events in the make-to-stock and make to order scenarios. All manufacturing orders executed according to this scope item are then triggered as real-time orders. End-user friendly Fiori apps let you analyze the real-time-work in process, the real-time production costs, and variance postings.

Fig. 2: Real-Time WIP Reporting

Time Dependent Tax

As of SAP S/4HANA Cloud release 1908, time-dependent tax (TDT) calculation is available. Certain tax rates are effective within user-specified timeframes to allow you to adapt to current or planned changes to tax rates. This new feature impacts more than 80 apps that involve tax calculation. TDT offers a simplified maintenance when tax rates change – fewer tables to maintain, fewer tax codes to create. It supports various stakeholders: Business Experts, who do not have to create tax codes so often; Accountants and Business Experts, who no longer must perform such extensive maintenance when tax rates change – previously, nearly 170 customizing tables had to be maintained when new tax codes were created; and Finance and Sales departments, because the risk of inconsistencies in tax rate.

Fig. 3: Time Dependent Tax – Validity Periods

Additional highlights not covered in the video:

Revenue Planning Content and Delete Financial Plan Data App

Integrated Financial Planning provides extensive planning, budgeting, forecasting, and simulation functionality based on the ACDOCP. From a technological perspective, SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is the main planning tool for S/4HANA Cloud for finance. Integration between S/4HANA and SAC is available for S/4HANA Cloud and covers transaction and master data exchange. The main planning table, ACDOCP, is connected to SAC and serves as single source of truth for planning data in SAP S/4HANA Cloud to integrated with financial processes. Planning areas integrated content has been provided for most areas, such as P&L, Balance Sheet Planning, Cash Flow, Cost & Activity Planning, Cost Center, and Project Budgeting SAC.

Fig. 4: Available Planning Content

Now, with 1908, we provide additional planning content for revenue planning. Revenue planning with SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is based on the S/4HANA data model in FI/CO and is fully integrated with it. You can derive and plan sales prices, simulate and plan sales quantities, plan deduction and derivations in percent, calculate revenues, and inspect the planned profit & loss revenues. It is part of the overall integrated planning process where you can run complete P&L and BS Planning and Simulations.

Fig. 5: Revenue Planning – Quantity & Revenue 

In addition, we deliver a new app ‘Delete Financial Plan Data’ that complements ‘Import Financial Plan Data’ and ‘Copy Financial Plan Data’ with the possibility to permanently delete financial plan data from the system to ensure data consistency. This might be necessary, for example, if you want to clean up previously imported plan data.

Market Rates Management

The new SAP Cloud Platform-based application, called SAP Market Rates Management, Refinitiv data option, offers out-of-the-box connectivity to comprehensive pricing and reference data from the Refinitiv Financial and Risk business and is available to SAP customers worldwide. The partnership makes it easier for chief financial officers, treasurers and corporate finance teams to access pricing and reference data to more accurately calculate foreign exchange transactions. SAP Market Rates Management integrates foreign exchange and money market data and other data types from Refinitiv for more accurate pricing of any global transaction.

Fig. 6: New Market Data Overview Page in SAP S/4HANA Cloud

Intercompany matching and reconciliation and Activity based consolidation of investments in Group Reporting

The Intercompany Matching and Reconciliation (ICR) is introduced to speed up your intercompany reconciliation process from company close to corporate close. It matches transactions without any ETL (extract, transform, load) processes and reconciles your financial data in real time. By defining flexible matching and reconciliation rules, you can achieve high automation and continuous reconciliation. In addition, its in-app communication and workflow features eliminate the latencies very often seen in dealing with intercompany discrepancies, and at the same time, improves visibility and transparency of your reconciliation process.

Fig. 7: Intercompany Reconciliation – Display Reconciliation Status

Beside of the rule-based consolidation of investments a new variant ‘Activity based consolidation of investments’ has been added. The system performs C/I calculations and postings by processing one automatic posting task of category Consolidation of Investments. The postings of the automatic C/I task are categorized in activities which reflect various business transactions and are predefined and fixed by SAP, for example first consolidation, subsequent consolidation, and total divestiture.

SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation integration

SAP Intelligent RPA is an automation suite where AI bots mimic humans by replacing clicks, interpret communications, or make process suggestions. For finance you can now download first SAP Best Practices bot templates for SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation integrated with SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Let us, for example, have a look into ‘Automated Upload of Manual Entries via API (CE)’. Uploading and maintaining financial journal data are often done manually today. Financial accounting staff extracts journal entry data from Excel files, which can come from third party sources via email. Once the data is extracted, the staff then manually enters each line item into SAP S/4HANA Cloud. In short, the bot automatically collects data from Microsoft Outlook, extracts and validates the data, then post the Journal entries into SAP S/4HANA Cloud using an API. This automation reduces manual effort and time for data entry, increases accuracy in extracting and entering data in systems and accelerates upload using an API.

Fig. 8: Intelligent Robotic Process Automation: Automated Upload of Manual Entries via API

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

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

 

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