Composable SAP ERP – SAP Central Finance (SAP CFIN)
SAP Central Finance (SAP CFIN) – back to the SAP roots
As explained in my previous article: Composable SAP ERP – Decentralized Warehouse and 3PL scenarios SAP FI was always used in Composable ERP scenarios as a central Financial Accounting system where many 3rd party systems (other ERP, other FI systems or even other SAP ECC systems) were connected with it and sending their GL postings as show in Figure below.
What are the most common challenges with SAP CFIN?
- Data Quality: The data being integrated from multiple systems needs to be accurate and consistent across all systems. If the master data is not of good quality, it can make it difficult to use SAP CFIN effectively.
- Complexity: Implementing SAP CFIN can be a complex and time-consuming process, especially for companies with multiple (3rd party systems) that need to be integrated. It requires a thorough understanding of the company’s financial processes and systems, as well as the technical expertise to configure SAP CFIN and it’s technical components like SAP Application Interface Framework (SAP AIF) to work with those systems.
- Organizational Change: Implementing SAP CFIN often requires changes to the company’s financial processes and systems, which can be a significant change for the organization. This may require additional training and support for staff to adapt to the new processes and systems.
- Integration with Other Systems: Integrating SAP CFIN with other systems within the company can also be a challenge, requiring a thorough understanding of the other systems and the ability to configure SAP CFIN to work with them.
What are the integration challenges related to SAP CFIN?
In this article I’d like to concentrate on solving the integration issues with SAP CFIN. Having multiple 3rd party systems connected to a single instance can post a few issues:
- adding new connected systems due to rollouts, mergers, or removing them for carveouts can be difficult as many entities need to be coordinated
- updating functions in mappings – SAP Application Interface Framework (SAP AIF) needs a retest or all connected integrations
- each time the business configuration is changed all 3rd party systems need to be tested
How to eliminate the integration challenges related to SAP CFIN?
One of the best known but at the same time least known solutions is to simulate all connected systems with Service Virtualization as shown in Figure below.
This way not only the 3rd party systems don’t need to be available during the testing of any kind of updates to the SAP CFIN but they don’t even have to exist in some tiers (DEV, Sandbox, etc.). Also with the proper setup it’s also possible to validate the SAP CFIN postings automatically using the same approach. If you’d like to find out more about this approach please have a look at this free openSAP course: Avoid SAP S/4HANA Project Delays with Third-Party Systems Service Virtualization