SAP S/4HANA Cash Management – What is new in release 2021
In this blog post, we will take a look at what is new in SAP S/4AHANA Cash Management release 2021. It is not the purpose of this blog to explain all the new functionalities. I will focus on the most significant developments and try to explain them in more detail. You can always find the complete list of new features in the What is new viewer, either in HTML or PDF format. In addition, I will introduce two new enhancements which have been down ported from S/4HANA Cloud edition into S/4HANA release 2021 via SAP Notes and are planned to be released in the next feature pack.
For delta in the previous releases, you may refer to my previous blogs
- SAP S/4HANA Cash Management – What is new in release 2020
- SAP S/4HANA Cash Management – What is new in release 1909
Bank Account application process
We have the new functionality introduced to support opening new bank account applications. So far the functionality covered only the part of the process for opening a bank account which is normally done within the Treasury department. This part of the process starts with a user accessing Manage Bank Accounts app and creating the bank account. Based on the settings this will trigger an approval workflow where the request to open a bank account is either approved or rejected. It also means that it requires granting user authorizations for the Manage Bank Accounts app which is not always desirable. The new functionality is foreseen to be used by users outside of the Treasury function when requesting the opening of a bank account. With the new FIORI apps, anyone within the company now can send an application for opening a bank account without a need to access the Manage Bank Accounts app. Only after processing the request the process for opening a bank account within the Treasury function will start.
We have 3 brand new FIORI apps
- With the Submit Bank Account Applications app, users can apply for opening a bank account. The user is asked to fill out only the basic information a such as type of bank account, currency, and a reason for the request
- With the Approve Bank Account Applications app, the cash manager can approve or reject the application
- With The Bank Account Applications, app, users can check pending and approved applications.
With Bank Account Management, every time you create a new bank account or make changes to an existing bank account, your changes are saved as a bank account revision. Revisions must be activated before they can be used in daily operations. In the previous release, you could choose one of the 3 activation modes available – direct activation, Dual Control, or Workflow. Now you can choose to use the new activation mode which is called Two-person verification mode. This mode is a more comprehensive version of Dual Control. It means when users create or change bank accounts, the revisions must be approved by another authorized user. Compared to Dual Control this mode offers additional capabilities. With this mode, users can not only approve the changes but also reject them, comment on them, etc. At the moment of writing this blog, you can find the comparison of different activation modes in the SAP Help for S/4HANA Cloud release 2111.
This feature has been made available for S/4HANA 2021 via SAP Note 3098318 – Technical Note for Enabling Bank Account Control Mode “Two-Person Verification“.
Direct Cash Position (based on a bank account balance)
Cash position is simply the amount of cash an organization has at a specific point in time. The current cash position is one of the most important information, cash managers rely on when making their daily decisions. Therefore, it is crucial that it is accurate and up to date. There are 2 ways how to obtain a cash position on your bank accounts. You can either look at your accounting data, which means what is posted to your cash relevant GL accounts or you can establish it directly from data sent from banks. i.e. bank statements.
In the previous releases, you got only the option to display the Cash Position based on accounting data. The Cash Position or Cash Flow Analyzer app which is used to show cash position always read data from the One Exposure table. Here the opening balance is calculated from historical accounting flows.
Starting from release 2021, you can use the new option of displaying direct cash position. With this new functionality, the system reads the opening balances directly from the bank account balance table. There are several possible ways how bank account balance data are updated in the system, you can input bank statements manually, import electronic bank statement files, or get via Multi-Bank Connectivity service or APIs. You can read the blog Corporate-to-Bank Connectivity in SAP: An Overview if you want to learn about different options. What is new in release 2021 is the additional possibility to enter bank account balances directly either by inputting them manually or importing them from a spreadsheet using the new FIORI apps.
There are several advantages of a Cash position based on bank account balance over the old approach based on accounting documents. The biggest advantage is that bank account balance information obtained directly from the bank is usually more accurate. Accounting data are susceptible to different adjustments, you need to make sure that all historical accounting documents are consistent, for example, that correct information such as house bank information and value date is correctly filled in.
To use the new Direct Cash Position, you need to make some configurations. In a nutshell, you have to define settings for integration of bank statements and layout of the cash positioning report.
- In the Fiori App Define Bank Account Settings – Bank Statements (SAP help link), you can define the settings for bank statement integration at an individual bank account level. You can specify whether you want to post the bank statement after being imported, whether you want to import bank statement line items or only balances and what type of import is allowed. These settings were available also in the previous releases but only at the company code level (IMG activity “Integrate with End-of-Day Bank Statements”)
- In the HTML GUI app Define Cash Position Profiles (or transaction FCLM_CP_PROFILE), you can configure cash position profiles that will be used to calculate and display cash position data in the new FIORI app Short-Term Cash Positioning (SAP Help Link). Here you define the layout of the Short-Term Cash positioning app. You can restrict bank accounts. You can define whether you want to see future flows etc.
Then we have 3 new FIORI apps for maintenance and monitoring of bank account balances.
- With the Manage Bank Account Balances (SAP Help link) app you can view or manually enter bank account balances.
- With the Import Bank Account Balances app you can import account balances from a spreadsheet
- With the Monitor Bank Account Balances ( SAP Help link) app – you can see whether the bank account balances are properly updated to make sure that the cash position is accurate and up to date.
And finally, to display the direct cash position, we have the new brand FIORI app Short-Term Cash Positioning (SAP Help Link) where you can view cash position in the layout you defined in the cash position profile. The already existing Cash Position relevant reports based on accounting data are still available and you can use them to view the cash position – the Cash Position Fiori app, the Bank Account Balance FIORI app, Display cash Position transaction FF7AN and the Cash Flow Analyzer FIORI app.)
Flow Builder redesign
This functionality is sometimes referred to as Flow Builder Plus or Flow Builder 2.0. First, it was introduced for S/4HANA Cloud release 2111 and down ported to S/4HANA 2021 release via SAP Note. You can refer to the central SAP Note 3097908 – Optimized Data Model and Algorithm for more details.
S/4HANA release 2021 comes with a newly redesigned Flow Builder. It is a mainly technical improvement that improves the performance and brings some flexibility into configuration. First little basic. What is Flow Builder? The Flow Builder is functionality that is responsible for populating the One Exposure table. One exposure as a single source of truth for Cash Management. It is a large table (technical name is FQM_FLOW) that stores all actual and forecasted cash flows. So, it servers a similar role for Cash Management as Universal Journal for Financial Accounting. Now, the Flow Builder is a program that reads transactional data in Financial Accounting (mainly BKPF and BSEG) and Material Management (EKKO,), which derives all the necessary information (in other words build the flows), and writes them into One Exposure Table. Data from other sources such as SD are populated using a different technique.
The current version of Flow Builder (transaction FCLM_FLOW_BUILDER) is based on AMDP (ABAP managed HANA Stored Procedure) which means that most of the logic is written using SQL and the code is stored and executed in the SAP HANA database. When processing a large number of accounting documents, Flow Builder consumes a lot of memory. This sometimes led to out-of-memory issues and very long runtimes. The main reason for these performance issues is that Flow Builder analyzes large volumes of data. To derive correct liquidity items, it must parse the whole document chain of the respective document.
The new version of Flow Builder 2.0 (transaction FCLM_FLOW_BUILDER_2) addresses some of the shortcomings of the previous version of Flow Builder. In addition to performance improvements, it provides some other capabilities:
- Flexibility in defining update mode for individual company codes
- Supports some additional scenarios for Liquidity item derivation (for example, AP/AR netting, withholding tax,
- Traceability of derived liquidity items (you can display how liquidity item was derived for the document)
- New BADIs available to extend flow builder logic
The new Flow Builder can be activated via Optimized Data Model and Algorithm flag. After you switch on the new Flow Builder logic you cannot deactivate it.
- Bank Account Contract Type – a new attribute Bank Account Contract Type has been introduced in the bank account master data.
- Field Status Groups Supported in Flexible Workflows for Bank Accounts
- Application Logs for Bank Account Management are now available in the standard transaction SLG1
- Health check for bank accounts to identify duplicate or invalid bank accounts
- Enhancements for Manage Cash Concentration – the FIORI Manage Cash Concentration app has been enhanced with fields for payment instruction keys. In addition, you can define a reference text for cash pool subaccounts. The concentration status is no longer used to indicate whether payment requests have been created. Instead, a new indicator Payment Request Is Created has been added to show whether any payment request has been created for a cash concentration.
- Restore Deleted Cash Pools – You can now restore a deleted cash pool in the Manage Cash Pools app using the Restore button.
- Reconcile Cash Flows- Intraday Memo Records
- Enhancements for bank transfers
- New CDS views – Defaultable Business Partner, Risk Business Partner, House Bank
- Account Transfers in Manage Memo Records
- Time Zone Settings for Memo Record Expiration Dates
- OData API: Bank (Version 0002)
- Status Performance Improvements for Monitor Payments and Approve Bank Payments
- The Track Bank Transfers app has been deprecated and will be deleted from the SAP Fiori launchpad as of SAP S/4HANA 2022. The successor app is Monitor Payments.
- The situation template FIN_CLOSEDACCOUNTINPAYCONFIG (House Bank Account to Be Checked) has been deprecated. It is not needed as validation checks are now explicitly included when closing the bank account in the Manage Bank Accounts app.
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