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SAP Analytics Cloud for Planning: Integration with SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Group Reporting and SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting

If you adopt SAP Analytics Cloud for financial planning and need to run consolidations with this plan data, this article might be useful to you. Below I am explaining the principles of the integration between SAP Analytics Cloud (SAC) for planning and SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting. These principles also apply to SAP S/4HANA Cloud for group reporting, i.e. SAP’s Cloud solution for group reporting.

Architecture Diagram

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Click on the picture to enlarge

Explaining the Architecture and the Data Flow

Pieces of Software: Accounting and Group Reporting, S/4HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud

Let’s describe the different areas of the chart:

  • Top: Finance/Accounting. This is the accounting world in which transaction data is recorded at company code level and at general ledger account level (G/L account). The chart of accounts is usually quite detailed here.
  • Bottom: Group Reporting. This is where the financial consolidation takes place. This requires collecting the data of consolidation units, processing this data and analyzing the consolidated results in reports: consolidated financial statements and notes/disclosures. The transaction data is recorded at consolidation unit level and at financial statement item level.
    • Consolidation units can be integrated companies, i.e. for which financial accounting is maintained in S/4HANA, and external units that have their own distinct accounting system.
    • Financial statement item is the equivalent of account for group reporting. The chart of financial statement items is less detailed than the G/L chart of accounts. Financial statement items correspond to aggregations of G/L accounts.
  • Left: S/4HANA is represented by the grey frame
  • Right: SAP Analytics Cloud is represented by the yellow frame

Master Data and Transaction Data

The transfer of master data and transaction data is triggered from SAP Analytics Cloud. The SAP Analytics Cloud administrator must create import connections, import queries, import and export jobs (see Data Management tab in the dimension editor and the model editor). Import and export jobs are triggered from SAP Analytics Cloud, either on-demand, or automatically via scheduled jobs (“Pull/push data from SAP Analytics Cloud” approach), with a twist for group reporting plan data, while waiting for a dedicated export feature in a future release (see below).

Master Data: from S/4HANA to SAP Analytics Cloud

S/4HANA Finance and S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting have specific respective master data (e.g. G/L Accounts vs Financial Statement Items), and also share some other master data (Cost Centers, Profit Centers, etc.). The general principle for the integration with SAP Analytics Cloud is that S/4HANA is the master data repository: S/4HANA master data can be automatically replicated into SAC via APIs. The opposite is not possible.

Import connections created in SAP Analytics Cloud allow the SAP Analytics Cloud administrator to replicate a selection of S/4HANA master data into SAP Analytics Cloud: dimension members, attributes, hierarchies. This ensures the data structure consistency between both systems, which is a prerequisite for the exchange of transaction data.

In SAP Analytics Cloud, replicated master data takes the form of public dimensions, i.e. dimension that can be shared across models.

Transaction Data: from S/4HANA to SAP Analytics Cloud

General Principle

In S/4HANA Finance, actuals data records are stored in the ACDOCA table (Universal Journal Entry Line Items table for actuals) and plan data records are stored in the ACDOCP table (Plan Data Line Items). Both tables include notably the G/L Account field.

In S/4HANA Finance for group reporting, the ACDOCU table stores the different layers of consolidation data: reported data, standardization adjustments and consolidation journal entries, of which intercompany eliminations and journal entries pertaining to the consolidation of investments, a.k.a. COI (see the Posting Levels and Document Types characteristics).

In SAP Analytics Cloud, different models can be created depending on the plan granularity and dimensions: company-level data or corporate plan.

Group Reporting, Reporting Logic

The S/4HANA Finance for group reporting reporting logic is taken into account by the transaction data export API. In other words, the GR transaction data export API does not just export raw ACDOCU data: data derived at query run-time by the reporting logic is also available for export: group-dependent eliminations and consolidation journal entries, hierarchical eliminations on virtual elimination members for the following characteristics: consolidation units, profit centers and segment.

Exporting SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting Master Data and Transaction Data to 3rd-Party Systems/Applications

The S/4HANA Finance for group reporting master data and transaction data can be pulled from S/4HANA into systems other than SAP Analytics Cloud (e.g. data warehouse) as long as they support OData services: indeed the export is then based on the same API/web services.

Transaction Data: from SAC to S/4HANA Finance

Company Planning: Sending Plan Data to ACDOCP

The feature to export transaction data from a company code-level model to ACDOCP is available.

Corporate Planning: Sending Plan Data to ACDOCU

The feature to export transaction data from a corporate planning model to ACDOCU does not exist at the time of writing yet (CE2008, OP2020). As suggested by the integration chart above however, this feature is included in the group reporting roadmap. The principle and workflow should be similar to the ones that exist for exporting company code-level data to ACDOCP.

In the meantime, there are two file-based solutions, which both require exporting the model plan data from SAP Analytics Cloud into a csv file as a first step. As for the second step, there are two solutions when it comes to importing the content of the resulting file into ACDOCU. You can choose either solution depending on how complex it is to transform  the structure and content of the SAC export file to match the expected GR import structure, as explained below.

Flexible Upload

You can use the SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting flexible upload application with a compatible import file. This means that the SAP Analytics Cloud export file content must be transformed into an import file matching the expected format of flexible upload files: parameters, column headers, technical names, management of empty values (#), etc.

SAP Group Reporting Data Collection, Data Mapping (see temporary limitation)

A simple way of importing the content of the SAP Analytics Cloud csv export file is to use the SAP Group Reporting Data Collection, Data Mapping application. This application allows you to perform all of the transformations mentioned above in terms of structure and content via mapping rules, and to import the resulting data into SAP S/4HANA Finance for group reporting in one go.

Up to Cloud Edition 2008 and release 2020 FPS0 (on-premise) inclusive, only single-period processing is supported (i.e., one period per source file). The support of multi-period processing is planned for Cloud Edition 2011 and 2020 FPS1.

Release Data: Principle

Actual data (ACDOCA) and plan data (ACDOCP) of integrated companies (i.e. companies managed in accounting) can be released to group reporting (ACDOCU) for consolidations. The ACDOCU table stores both a copy of source collected data and the result of currency translation and consolidation entries triggered in the Data Monitor app and the Consolidation Monitor app (eliminations, consolidation of investments,…)

  • Configuration: the SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting administrator must check the following:
    • mapping-related settings in distinct areas of the program:
      • Company Code vs Consolidation Unit: each consolidation unit must be assigned to a respective source company code
      • G/L Accounts vs Financial Statement Item: an SAP S/4HANA Finance for Group Reporting application allows the administrator to define mappings between source G/L accounts and target financial statement items. It is possible to maintain different mapping versions.
      • For plan data only: Plan Category vs Consolidation Version: the consolidation version (e.g. “YB2” – Budget 2016) must be assigned to the source plan category and the source ledger on which SAP Analytics Cloud data has been exported (e.g. “PLN” and “0L” respectively).
    • Data Collection settings:
      • The data transfer method must be set to “Read from Universal Document” for the relevant global parameters (consolidation unit, version, fiscal year and period).
        • See the Consolidation Unit Change application>Data collection
        • Failing that, the data monitor shows a red dash for the data collection tasks and the tool tip indicates that the task is Irrelevant for the consolidation unit.
  • Operations
    • Source data
      • Actuals: accounting data is stored in ACDOCA for integrated companies
      • Plan: plan data of integrated companies is imported into ACDOCP,
        • via the SAP S/4HANA import financial plan data app (screenshot attached),
        • or via the SAC export to ACDOCP feature if plan data was created in SAP Analytics Cloud,
    • The user triggers the release of universal journal data in the data monitor application for the actual version (e.g. Y10) and plan versions (e.g. YB2, YF1….).
      • By doing so, the program reads these 3 mappings above to make the reported plan data stored in ACDOCA and ACDOCP available for consolidation in the format of table ACDOCU. Then further consolidation-related processes can happen, notably currency translation (C/T), manual journal entries and automatic entries.

Overview of the Operating Steps

Here is an overview of the steps to take to consolidate plan data. Let’s distinguish the case when  plan data is collected at general ledger account level by companies that are managed in SAP S/4HANA Finance, and the case when corporate planning data is collected at financial statement item level.

Company-level Planning (integrated companies)

  1. Importing actuals from ACDOCA into the company-level model for comparison and plan data initialization (SAP Analytics Cloud version = Actual)
  2. Generating company plan data via planning features (spread, distribute, allocate…) or input (SAC version= Budget, Forecast, Rolling Forecast, etc.)
  3. Exporting plan data to ACDOCP (e.g. target plan category = PLN)
  4. Releasing data to ACDOCU (group reporting consolidation version = YB2, YB4, YF1, etc.)
  5. Running consolidation-related tasks (using the data monitor and the consolidation monitor)
  6. Running reports: SAP Analytics Cloud embedded analytics or SAP Analytics Cloud stories using Live connections

Corporate Planning

  1. Importing actuals from ACDOCU into the corporate planning model for comparison and plan data initialization (SAP Analytics Cloud version = Actual)
  2. Generating consolidation unit plan data via planning features (spread, distribute, allocate…) or input (SAC version= Budget, Forecast, Rolling Forecast, etc.)
  3. Current solution: exporting plan data to a csv file
  4. Current solution: using GRDC Data Mapping application or the flexible upload application to transform and import data to ACDOCU (group reporting consolidation version = YB2, YB4, YF1, etc.)
  5. Running consolidation-related tasks (using the data monitor and the consolidation monitor)
  6. Running reports: SAP Analytics Cloud embedded analytics or SAP Analytics Cloud stories using Live connections

Useful links

Documentation

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