Unleashing the Power of SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public Edition: Efficiency on the Rise: Harnessing SAP Build Process Automation for Financial Performance in Project-Based Services
Ignite Your Competitive Edge with Differentiation for Financial Performance in Project-Based Services
This blog is intended to complement my previous blogs on automation and augment professional services scenario described in SAP S/4HANA Cloud for Professional Services – The Collection
Customers are looking to be more proactive and understand possible areas of innovation opportunities with project-based services implementation.
A Professional Services company wants to improve efficiency in managing incoming payments and recording accurate journal entries, which can be time-consuming and prone to errors. To address this, the company evaluate the solution with SAP Build Process Automation, which can greatly enhance the efficiency and accuracy of financial processes for Cash Management Specialists and Project Managers.
In the project-based services implementation, the End-to-End Engagement to Cash process is initiated by the Project Manager – Commercial Services. Project Managers utilize the “Plan Customer Projects” Fiori App to create a customer project. The project manager is responsible for maintaining work packages, time-based planning, work package staffing, and billing information throughout the project lifecycle.
During the creation of a customer project, the Project Manager inputs various details including Service Organization, Cost Center, Profit Center, Customer Project Name, Project ID, Stage (In Planning), Duration, Currency, Description, Public Project (set to “YES”), Restrict Unstaffed Posting (set to “YES”), and Use Project Billing (New) (set to “YES”).
The Project Manager continues to manage work packages and time-based planning by assigning resources to specific business roles like senior consultants and junior consultants. The automation capabilities provided by SAP Build Process Automation enable efficient mass creation, updates, and deletion of work packages and work items during the execution of both commercial and internal projects. Refer SAP Build Process Automation bot “Mass Maintenance of Work Packages and Work Items for Projects (4J1)”
For more comprehensive information and specific prerequisites, you can refer to the documentation related to the Scope Item J11.
Create Customer Project and Work Packages with Staffing Resources
To enhance the tracking of time for staffed resources, Project Manager use “Manage My Timesheet” feature within Time Recording – Project-Based Services. This feature empowers staff members to directly record their time entries for the respective work package, ensuring precise time tracking and streamlined project management. For more detailed information on this functionality, please refer to scope item J12.
Unlocking efficiency potential by automating time sheet processes for Project-Based Services Organizations where mass creation, update, and deletion of timesheet records of project resources for commercial projects (customer/internal) can be achieved. Time sheet data driven excel templates are provided with “Mass Creation and Update of Timesheet Entries for Commercial Projects” (4JJ)
Billing Specialist monitor billing elements, preparing project billing requests, and generating billing documents using the “Manage Project Billing” Fiori app.
SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition has the feature to allow billing customer projects based on fixed price, time and expense, periodic service, or usage-based criteria. In the time and expense scenario, Billing Specialist utilize features like write-offs and postponement of recorded amounts or quantities. There is also an option to enable an approval workflow for project billing requests.
Scope item 4E9 replaces the previous project billing process achieved through the Release Billing Proposals app. For detailed information, please refer to the “Manage Project Billing” section in the Professional Services of product assistance for SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
To initiate the billing process, the Billing Specialist should open the “Manage Project Billing” app, select one or multiple billing element lines, choose “Prepare Billing,” create a “New Project Billing Request,” and then submit it.
After preparing the billing data in the “Manage Project Billing” application, Billing Specialist or billing team member can preview the invoice and look at the actual invoice printout that would be sent to the customer now. Additionally, the invoice can be previewed in the “Manage Project Billing Requests” application.
Project Billing Request – Billing Document Request Created
Once the customer invoice is generated, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition provides effective monitoring of customer payments and supports essential accounting and financial closing activities during period-end processes, ensuring accurate financial reporting.
The bank statement items are entered in company’s ledgers. SAP’s bank statement processing technology supports and facilitates company’s accounting by importing bank statements and bank statement items, by identifying matching open items, and by posting and clearing the items. Learn more with Documentation link
Automatic processing Bank Statement and Bank Statement Items
Once the Project Billing Document Request and Invoice is generated, Journal Entry is created that need to be cleared with matching incoming payment bank statement. Cash Management Specialists receive bank statement files via email
Cash Specialist immediately realize the value with the bot Mass Upload of Bank Statement Files (4X2) that scans unread emails based on specified keywords, extracts the bank statement file attachments from these emails, and uploads directly into the “Manage Incoming Payment Files” Fiori app on SAP S/4HANA Cloud.
Automatic upload of the files to SAP S/4HANA Cloud for processing the bank statements and clearing the matching Journal entries, increase effectiveness and reduce dependency on staff during weekends, holidays, and other absences.
Journal Entry (Ex. 9400000039) used in the sample scenario have the reference number (Ex. Reference: 12052023) which matches with the Reference (Ex. 12052023 on line # 61) MT940 file (bank statement) received for upload into SAP S/4HANA Cloud that helps to clear the journal entry by matching incoming payment from bank statement. There is additional text available on the MT940 File (Ex. at line #86) to show up as the memo line on the bank statement and can be used as reference.
Mass Upload of Bank Statement Files (4X2) BOT in Action
Example Journal Entry with Reference field
SAP Build Process Automation “Mass Upload of Bank Statement Files (4X2)” bot scans unread emails containing specified keywords and extracts the bank statement file attachments from unread emails and imports the files into the Manage Incoming Payment Files app. Bot have the functionality to fetch the bank statement files from a predefined folder and uploads the files into the Manage Incoming Payment Files app. Bot then saves log file to predefined folder and emails the log file to specified recipients which saves time of cash specialist to perform manual checks that payment posting status.
The Cash Specialist verifies using automated process that the payment amount matches the invoice amount ensuring that there are no discrepancies between the payment received and the amount stated on the invoice. The Cash Specialist checks the customer’s account to confirm that the payment has been fully credited and ensure that there are no outstanding balances remaining in the customer’s account. If the payment is correctly credited, the customer’s balance should be reduced to zero.
Invoice Completed and Journal Entry is cleared with Matching Bank Statement
Cash Specialist informs the sales team that the payment has been received and the corresponding invoice has been fully paid. This communication ensures that the sales team is aware of the timely receipt of payment and eliminates the need for further follow-up on the payment.
Finally, Automatic bank statement processing rules run in the background and automatically process bank statement items and update the payment information in SAP S/4HANA Cloud . Refer documentation link for more details
Once the payment information is updated automatically in the system, the Cash Specialist closes the transaction. ensuring that all relevant documents, such as the invoice, receipt, and payment records, are properly filed and archived for future reference which helps to maintain a comprehensive audit trail and facilitates easy retrieval of information when needed.
Automation of the process helps streamline payment processing, account reconciliation, documentation and maintain efficiency even when staff members are unavailable. Fully automated bank statement process includes accurate record-keeping and accounting, Transaction Closure and Documentation
SAP Build Process Automation provides an intuitive, unified development experience for Financial Performance in Project-Based Services, enabling fusion of business users and developers to work together and solve challenges faster. Users can create and manage processes and workflows using a no-code process builder. Learn more here Learning Journey for business experts and Tutorials for developers
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More Information on SAP S/4HANA Cloud:
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud community topic page: here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud release info here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, release info here
- Latest SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, release blog posts here and previous release highlights here
- Product videos on our SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition and SAP S/4HANA YouTube playlist
- SAP S/4HANA PSCC Digital Enablement Wheel here
- Early Release Webinar Series here
- Inside SAP S/4HANA Podcast here
- openSAP Microlearnings for SAP S/4HANA here
- Best practices for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, Community: here
- Feature Scope Description here
- What’s New here
- Help Portal Product Page here
- SAP S/4HANA Cloud ABAP Environment Community here