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Author's profile photo Sheldon Edelstein

Financial Planning Options in S/4HANA (1909 Release)

(as of release S/4HANA 1909)

Planning applications have steady evolved at SAP.  In this blog we will explore available planning options with a focus on S/4HANA 1909.

Summary of SAP planning applications:

Quick Overview:

SAP Cloud Platform (SCP) tools are SAP long term strategic offerings. SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning (SAC), which runs on SCP, is SAP’s recommended strategic planning application for most customers.

SAP BPC for BW/4HANA application is the official alternative recommendation for those customers requiring an on-premise planning application.

SAP S/4HANA ERP (Classic ERP Planning Transactions)

The former FI-CO planning t/codes have been removed from the user menu in SAP S/4HANA and the classical planning capabilities have been replaced by modern BPC/SAC functionality and content.

This planning option is not recommended for any new implementations.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for Netweaver

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for Netweaver (BPC_NW) is a mature, fully-functional planning and consolidation application utilized by thousands of customers. It continues to be supported and maintained so customer’s investments are protected. SAP BPC_NW 10.1 version for NetWeaver will continue to receive mainstream maintenance until at least 31-Dec-2024.  Please refer to the SAP Product Availability Matrix (PAM) for support dates by specific product version.

This planning option is not recommended for any new implementations.

BPC Optimized for S/4HANA

Designed to function from within a S/4HANA installation, Integrated Business Planning for Finance (IBPf) was the first dedicated S/4HANA financial planning application. IBPf was rebranded in S/4HANA release 1610 to BPC Optimized for S/4HANA.  A limited embedded BW is provisioned within S/4HANA and provides the support to host the BPC Optimized application.  Caution:  The S/4HANA embedded BW is not intended to be used as an Enterprise Data Warehouse (SAP’s recommendation for EDW scenarios is to use a dedicated BW/4HANA solution instead).

BPC Optimized for S/4HANA provides only the embedded modeling option.  “Actuals” are sourced from ACDOCA and plan data is stored in the ACDOCP table (additional data modeling variations can provide some data model flexibility on where plan data is ultimately stored).

BPC Optimized for S/4HANA (or IBPf) is not the same as IBP (Integrated Business Planning). SAP Integrated Business Planning focuses on supply chain monitoring, sales and operations planning, demand management, inventory planning, and supply planning.

This planning option is recommended for real time planning use cases.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation for BW/4HANA

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11.x, version for SAP BW/4HANA is a new product based on SAP BW/4HANA. This product supports the HANA database and uses SAPUI5 user interface technology. The SAP UI5 user interface is based on standard HTML5, which provides all the benefits of HTML5 and supports languages such as Hebrew and Arabic that are written and read from right to left. BW/4HANA is a new, next-generation data warehouse product that is optimized for the SAP HANA platform, delivering real-time, enterprise-wide analytics that minimizes the movement of data and connecting all the data in an organization into a single logical view.

SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 11 can be deployed in two configurations:

  1. In an embedded configuration, Business Planning and Consolidation is integrated with SAP HANA-optimized processing, through which you can perform SAP HANA-optimized planning.
  2. In a standard configuration, you can use all the functionality that is available in the standard configuration of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver.

This planning option is recommended for new implementations requiring on-premise deployment.

SAP Analytics Cloud

SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) is SAP strategic next-generation software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution built from the ground up that allows business users to plan, discover, predict, and collaborate all in one place.  SAC enjoys the benefits of a modern user interface that allows usage across all mobile devices.

SAC planning has deep integration with S/4HANA and the ability to deploy delivered connectors that allow the free movement of data between S/4HANA and SAC.

Data can be imported (replicated) into SAC from S/4HANA: [ ]

Data can be accessed by SAC using a “live” connection, providing runtime access to S/4HANA data and KPIs:

[ ]

SAC enjoys significant predefined content that makes productive integration with S/4HANA easy and efficient.  For more details on SAC : S/4HANA available content: and .

New planning content for SAC: S/4HANA 1909:

Revenue Planning with SAP Analytics Cloud is new content for SAC: S/4HANA 1909 financial planning (see description for scope item 1YB below):

Listing of all new S/4HANA 1909 relevant SAC content:

To check for the latest new SAC-S/4HANA1909 content, follow this link: and search for “Analytics Cloud”.

This planning option is recommended for all new implementations.


Summary of the Financial Planning Options in S/4HANA:


The right planning solution is both a technical and functional decision. It depends on where the source data is coming from, which features the customer needs and how much data is required to be consumed. The timing of the implementation should also be considered. SAP strategic development will take place within the SCP tools (SAC) and therefore should be your first consideration for planning application deployment.

This is an official SAP RIG (Regional Implementation Group) blog.

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      Author's profile photo Leila Lappin
      Leila Lappin

      Hello Sheldon,

      Thank you for this simple and yet elegant explanation of how the different components can be utilized and what requirements they fulfill.

      For years BPC evolved isolated from other SAP products and now it is in the mix.  It is sometimes hard to understand the role of BPC in future planning, and how other components can be used and in what conditions.

      Once again, your explanation is elegant and complete, as always.  Thank you

      Best Regards,




      each piece plays in SAP's offering.


      Author's profile photo Iago Conde
      Iago Conde

      Hi Sheldon,


      Great summary. When you say "with data replication".. shouldn't we say that data virtualization from S/4HANA is also available?

      Author's profile photo Sheldon Edelstein
      Sheldon Edelstein
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Iago -

      SAC has two data access options when accessing data from S/4HANA: 1) replication of data into the SAC system or 2) establish a Live Data connection which uses a virtual representation of the data.


      Author's profile photo Phani Kumar Gugulapally
      Phani Kumar Gugulapally

      Hi Sheldon,

      Great blog. Just want to understand, Shall we use BPC Optimizer for S/4HANA in S/4HANA CLOUD application? or SAP Analytics Cloud is only the planning solution for S/4HANA CLOUD.




      Author's profile photo Sheldon Edelstein
      Sheldon Edelstein
      Blog Post Author

      Hi PhaniKumar-

      SAP recommends using SAC for all new non-premise deployments moving forward.


      Author's profile photo Thiruveedula Ramana
      Thiruveedula Ramana

      Hi Phani,

      SAC is a native cloud application developed from Scratch for cloud perspective , so it is 100% integrated into cloud providing fully flexible with cloud features  which makes it more economical w.r.t usage as it saves money compared to deployment of  BPC Optimizer for S/4 HANA in S/4 HANA Cloud.


      Author's profile photo Despina Peglitsi
      Despina Peglitsi

      Hello Sheldon,


      Thanks for the useful information! Can you please clarify whether the above functionality is available with SAC licence, or whether 'SAC for Planning' licence is required?


      Thank you,


      Author's profile photo Roland Schwerdtfeger
      Roland Schwerdtfeger

      Hi Despina,

      a planning license is still needed as well as SAC Cloud for planning.

      Kind regards, Roland

      Author's profile photo Philippe Gauthier
      Philippe Gauthier

      Hello Sheldon Edelstein

      Thanks for your presentation, so in case we are import financial data through the application. How can we compute activity price in S4 (we are in 1809).





      Author's profile photo Sheldon Edelstein
      Sheldon Edelstein
      Blog Post Author

      Hello Philippe-

      Within SAC that you may (depending on the specific data model being deployed) have two options for calculating the activity price:  1) use a SAC Advanced Formulas script to calculate the values, or 2)  use a dimension formula (defined directly within the master data definition).




      Author's profile photo Christoph Sommer
      Christoph Sommer

      Hi Sheldon,

      thanks a lot for your blog. Could you please explain, why (and since when) the SAP RIG team decided, that BPC for S/4HANA shall no longer be recommended to SAP customers. I shortly joined a BPC optimized project as a consultant and thought, that this is a great and future-proof solution path, to do planning directly within S/4 within data replication to a BW/4.

      Thanks a lot in advance,


      Author's profile photo Sheldon Edelstein
      Sheldon Edelstein
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Christoph -

      The SAP RIG team did not decide anything, we are only relaying very specific advisories from SAP Product Management on this topic in an attempt to provide clarify on the current state of SAP's planning applications.

      Please note that this blog was reviewed by SAP Product Management prior to publication to ensure the correct messaging on these topics.


      Author's profile photo Graham Johanson
      Graham Johanson

      Hi Sheldon,

      If we are currently mostly on BPC 10.1 classic, is it worthwhile migrating to BPC embedded for SAC integration advantages, or do we wait until SAC is more mature (including ability to run native HANA calculations for more advanced algorithms than what the data actions advanced formulas provide)?  I'm not sure of the benefit of having an integrated on-premises BPC embedded solution working with SAC when I feel that with SAP's R&D clearly being spent on SAC development that we will have all we need and more in SAC at some point soon.



      Author's profile photo Vadim Kalinin
      Vadim Kalinin

      A lot of companies simply can't use SAC due to security reasons. Migrating to embedded is not a migration, but completely new project. What can be done is a migration from BPC10.1 standard to BPC11 standard with performance benefits.

      Author's profile photo Graham Johanson
      Graham Johanson

      Actually, we have already achieved a huge amount of performance benefits using native HANA calculation views for our logic and integrating the data back to BPC using AMDP.  My question was really around the integration advantages of BPC embedded and SAC, but other than the non replication of data and the ability to start BPC processes directly from SAC I don't really see an advantage at this point.

      Author's profile photo Ankit Asnani
      Ankit Asnani

      Hi Sheldon,

      Thank you for this blog. We are a Utilities company with SAP ECC 6.0 on Oracle (still). We do a lot of reporting via SAC BI as well. We are looking for a solution to our Financial Business Planning and Reporting needs, and the obvious solution as your blog states is SAC. But before that, we need to sort out our old ECC version to S/4HANA I suppose. My question is - will SAP S/4 with SAP Analytics Cloud be enough? Or do we also need to consider a new BPC implementation? Please note that we are okay with cloud based solutions and don't necessarily need on-prem.


      Thanks in advance,


      Author's profile photo Masaaki Arai
      Masaaki Arai


      BPC Optimized for S/4HANA  is the main option for S/4HANA On Premise Planning, confirmed by the responsible architect in SAP DEV team.

      Only for customers requiring an On Premise planning solution BPC still is recommended.



      *BPC optimized can still be used for real-time planning on SAP S/4HANA on premise and BPC for BW/4HANA is recommended for standalone on premise deployments



      But no contents have been provided for Group Reporting planning in BPC Optimized for S/4HANA, but the contents for GR is provided only as SAC Planning.


      For S/4HANA OnPrem planning, SAC Planning or BPC Optimized for S/4HANA are the options, but BPC embedded in BW/4HANA should not be the option because

      • No contents for S/4HANA Planning are provided
      • Need to transfer actual data to BW4HANA
      • Additional server is needed.

      BPC embedded in BW/4HANA is the option for the case when they want to plan in DWH layer, e.g. global data gathered from many local systems are stored only in BW/4HANA.

      Regards, Masa