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Author's profile photo Benno Eberle

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Finance Overview

SAP S/4HANA 2021 and multiple SAP S/4HANA Cloud releases in 2021 are available and bring a lot of new innovations and benefits to our customers to drive their success.

Recently we have all witnessed that change is a constant in the world we live in.  For finance professionals, this definitely has increased the pressure to think about how to adapt operational processes, making them more efficient.

Watch this video to learn more from key innovations added to the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release, as well as S/4HANA Cloud releases in 2021, illustrating how technology can support finance to reach these goals.

Let’s continue with specific areas of process efficiency improvements 

PROCESS EFFICIENCY 

How can we optimize – for instance – the closing process in a situation where everyone’s working remotely? How can we further lower the effort needed to execute on payables and receivables?  This is where technology significantly contributes.  Through delivered process monitoring as well as intelligent automation. 

We invite you to have a look at our specific video on SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Advanced Financial closing designed to manage and orchestrate the financial closing process.  Supporting the planning, execution, monitoring and analysis of all closing tasks.

Hear from Maximilian Köbler, SAP Global Finance Solution Management, how this new cloud-based closing hub helps businesses streamline and optimize their closing processes. This includes the current situation of most customers, an introduction to the main functions and integration capabilities as well as newly added features.

Within this context, also the Intercompany Hub and Account Substantiation supports in the automation of these specific closing activities 

A third area where important additional innovations have been added is in the order-to-cash process.  With the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release, a wide range of new automation capabilities have been introduced.  Have a look at the dedicated update video to learn more. 

Hear more from Robin Bau, Global Solution Owner for Order-to-Cash about the latest innovations in the area of bank statement automation, including topics like Remittance Advice processing or Lockbox, shipped with the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release. (or read this blog)

 

THE IMPORTANCE OF CASH 

Process efficiency is always top of mind for the CFO and his or her team.  But what has become even more obvious in times of disruptive change is the importance of liquidity and solvability… or in other words: cash… and how to ensure your business is financed in a healthy way. 

Again, we can refer to the intelligent automation capabilities in the order to cash process just mentioned to showcase the role of technology in this space.    

But on top, key innovations have been added with SAP S/4HANA 2021 in the area of cash and treasury management, including centralized payment processing, insights in the cash position as well as extensions to the treasury ecosystem.  For more details, check the specific update video. 

In our video on Treasury Management we address how this solution supports organizations working capital, payments, and financial risk with integrated, real-time solutions for treasury management is crucial to lower risk and improve liquidity. 

 

FOCUS ON VALUE CREATION 

At the same time, the constant change raises many questions on how, in which form, which business model will maximize the value we create as an organization.  This increases not only the pressure and need for flexibility for business users to model different scenario’s (but there’s also the pressure to deliver these analyses with quick turnaround to respond to changing conditions). 

Based on the simplified data foundation of SAP S/4HANA, we have been able to, not only, answer this growing need for scenario analysis and simulation through delivered content as well as intelligent predictions.  But also by enhancing the concept of event-based processes to address the speed of change.  New business models don’t only put pressure on how to deal with intercompany transactions but also increase the level of complexity in value chains.  In order to address these FP&A challenges, aiming at delivering a 360 view on the organization’s financial performance, important architectural work has been done on not only SAP S/4HANA but also the way it seamlessly works together with SAP Analytics Cloud and SAP S/4HANA for Group Reporting.   

 

Hear from Michel Haesendonckx, SAP Global Solution Owner for FP&A what key innovations are added with the 2021 release that support FP&A professionals. if you want to learn more please check Michel’s blog.

 On top, also specific highlights are addressed in the Group Reporting update. 

Take a look at this video on Group Reporting to find out more about new innovations in S/4HANA Group Reporting enabling customers to extend the solution even further than the standard consolidation tasks. If you want to learn more about Group Reporting read this blog.

The introduction of new business models, nowadays often taking the form of subscription and service-based offerings, also have an important operational process impact on finance teams.  That’s why there SAP is extending the SAP Billing and Revenue Innovation Management solution… on which also a focused update video is released. 

In our video on Billing and Revenue Innovation Management Anne-Christin Ahrens addresses how this solution supports organizations in establishing a revenue management process needed to make the new, innovative business models a reality.   If you want to learn more about BRIM with the Release 2021 checkout this blog

 

VALUE PROTECTION 

Simulating and in the end realizing additional value for the company is crucial… but at the same time worthless if this value is not properly protected.  And that’s exactly where the Governance, Risk and Compliance portfolio of SAP comes in.  With new enhancements in financial compliance as well as document and reporting compliance, SAP is able to address these key areas. Important innovations have also been added for international trade.  This is critical in light of the growing complexity in global supply chains which we mentioned earlier.


To end, it’s been said before:  businesses are more and more data driven.  And while technology helps in many ways, this evolution also presents a risk of cyber-attacks and inappropriate user access – key topics we have been emphasizing.

To learn more please have a look at the specific video:

SAP Financial Compliance Management, SAP’s latest cloud solution for internal controls over financial reporting, now includes over 60 automation controls for SAP S/4HANA on premise, as well as S/4HANA cloud. You can now have a single consolidated view of adequacy of financial controls across both S/4HANA cloud and on-premise.
Watch this Video with Neil Patrick, SAP Global Finance Solution Management, to learn more about the solution and its newest enhancements.

 

Today’s global markets are increasingly complex. Increased tariffs, changing regulations and supply chain shortages are on-going challenges. Businesses need a flexible global trade solution that allows rapid response to this changing landscape while delivering processes to improve compliance and minimize risk.
SAP’s new Global Trade Services, edition for HANA provides performance improvements with a HANA database, as well as a new interface for an optimized user experience.
Listen to Christin Munick from SAP’s Global Trade Services team and learn about not only a new user interface but also the expansion of trade compliance checks in sales and logistics.

 

Increasingly complex mandates accelerated by the digitalization of Tax Authorities are a constant. The every-day compliance challenges you face are evolving making quality of data and the need of best-in-class technology more important than ever.
Listen to Erika Buson, Solution Owner for Global Tax Management, to learn more about the latest SAP’s offerings that help you to comply with all types of mandates, from e-documents to statutory reporting, enable seamless transition to continuous transaction controls and harmonize your processes globally. If you want to learn more please read this blog from Erika

 

Today, cyber risk management is becoming increasingly important to financial planning and execution within an organization.
In this video, Arndt Lingscheid from SAP Global Solution Management, provides a comprehensive look at enterprise risk management and highlights the evolution of cyber-attacks and how they can impact an organization’s financial planning.

 

SAP Cloud Identity Access Governance is our solution to manage the identity lifecyle in hybrid onPremise and cloud landscapes.
Hear from Gero Maeder, Manager Development for Identity Access Governance Solutions , which recent enhancements have been made by the engineering teams to significantly enhance functional scope and external connectivity.

 

As you can see, SAP continues its focus on the different key topics on the agenda of global finance and risk teams.

We hope you ‘ll enjoy these additional deep dives into our innovations – easy to find as well here:

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Highlights for Finance and Risk

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Order-to-Cash

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Treasury Management

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Billing and Revenue Innovation Management

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Advanced Financial Closing

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Group Reporting

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Financial Planning & Analysis

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Financial Compliance

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – International Trade

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Document and Reporting Compliance

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Cyber Security and Data Protection

SAP S/4HANA 2021 – Identity & Access Governance

 

If you want to learn more about the finance concepts introduced in former releases – we highly recommend the introduction videos to be found here:

SAP S/4HANA 2020 – Take Advantage of the Extended Value to Boost your Finance Function

SAP S/4HANA 1909: The leapfrog for Finance professionals to drive enterprise transformation

SAP S/4HANA 1809: Technology meets Finance Expertise

 

If you want to learn more about the new innovations in the SAP S/4HANA 2021 release, read this blog from Sven Denecken.

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      4 Comments
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      Author's profile photo Steffen Mallwitz
      Steffen Mallwitz

      Would have appreciated also a nice slide deck instead of just YouTube videos .... something more tangible!

      Author's profile photo Benno Eberle
      Benno Eberle
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Steffen,

      sure, please find more detailed information about this release here:

      help.sap.com/s4hana_op_2021

      I would recommend you the Feature-Scope-Description document - Chapter 2.5 Page 22ff. for Finance.

      Here you'll find the details you are looking for.

      Author's profile photo Steffen Mallwitz
      Steffen Mallwitz

      Hello Benno,

      clearly appreciate your comment, but the Feature-Scope-Description is quite generic and not specific to the advances in S/4 2021 OP versus last years's release. I am sure you delivered a ton of improvements and innovations, but I am looking for a more tangible presentation of these. What comes closest to it is the the "What's New" documentation and the "What's New Viewer". But it only links to help.sap.com which is again not very illustrative of the actual advances in the functionality. E.g. it contains no screen shots of any new/changed Fiori Apps.

      I am not looking any kind of "complete" documentation, just some of the highlights in a nice short juicy presentation including some nice screen shots 😉

      Kind regards,

      Steffen

      Author's profile photo Josedith Alcalá
      Josedith Alcalá

      Thanks for this article. Really helpful