Governments across the globe are increasingly becoming data hungry and this has had a profound impact on regulations related to legal compliance and specifically periodic reporting. Conservative estimates say that there are more than thousand legal reports that an organization with global presence needs to send to authorities, naturally not all of them are supported in SAP solutions for advanced compliance reporting (ACR) out of the box.
To enable customers and partners to address this last mile of reporting requirements, ACR offers the Define Compliance Reports application (Design Time). The two key purposes of the design time are as under:
- Enable the customers and partners to create custom legal reports which are not currently available as a part of the standard SAP offering. This would be a completely new report owned and managed by the creator.
- Enable the customers and partners to extend standard legal reports to adapt them to customer specific requirements. When customers and partners extend standard reports, they can add capabilities on top of the standard delivered content and any subsequent changes or updates by SAP on the standard content would seamlessly flow in simplifying the maintenance of the report.
For more introductory information on the ACR design time, you can have a look at this video.
In this blog series, we would take a closer look at the design time artefacts and also a step by step guide on creating those artefacts.
The three pillars of Design time are Report Definition, Report Category and Reporting Activity. To realize any reporting requirement using ACR, we need to create the three and link them together. Let us look at them in detail.
Report Definition: Essentially, the core of any reporting requirement is the actual legal report output that needs to be sent to authorities. A Report Definition is like a skeleton or a template of the actual legal report documents. It contains information like the number of documents/files, the output format, the layout of the output fields, the data mapping etc.
Report Category: A report category is the representation of the characteristics of any reporting requirement. It contains information on the various phases of submission, the organizational unit levels of reporting, the numerous sub steps in a reporting process and whether the report would be sent electronically or manually. If there are multiple versions of a report, they’re technically grouped within the report category.
Reporting Activity: Reporting is typically a multi-step process and each sub process is emulated via a reporting activity in ACR. Reporting activities can be of the type report generation and non-report generation. While the report generation activity helps in the generation of the actual documents for submission, the non-report generation activities help in pre or post processes associated to the same.
In the subsequent blogs of this series, we’ll explore the details of how to create each of these artefacts and how to link them together and consume them in the Run Compliance Reports application.