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Author's profile photo Sorina Ciobanu

What you cannot do in SAP S4HANA Cloud, public edition- a Finance perspective

SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition becomes more and more presents in our lives – either for consultants or customers. As a ready-to-run enterprise resource planning (ERP), it is based on industry best practices, a pre-configured environment and delivers a faster time to value.

In order to achieve all this, SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, comes with certain elements which cannot be changed. There are also some aspects which are just different comparing to SAP S/4HANA On Premise (OP) and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition – and these aspects make certain activities not achievable in the same way.

Let’s review below such elements, from a Finance point of view.

This blog refers to SAP Central Business Configuration (CBC) driven environments.


  1. You cannot change the delivered controlling area. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition comes with pre-delivered controlling area – A000. Similar with SAP S/4HANA OP and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, the currency of the controlling area is set at the tenant level, and it is also what we refer to as the ‘’Group Currency’’. The currency is established during system provisioning, and it cannot be changed later.

In case you are familiar with SAP S/4HANA OP, you probably know of cases where few controlling areas were defined. However, this was/is not a recommended scenario, and more and more customers are looking towards a controlling area merge.


  1. You cannot chance the Finance (FI) primary settings. In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, already from the project Preparation phase, you must establish two main FI settings, also called the ‘’Finance primary settings’’- the main Fiscal Year Variant for the Leading Ledger and the Group Currency. This Fiscal Year Variant cannot be changed later and there is no concept of ‘’shorten fiscal year variant’’ as in SAP S/4HANA OP or SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition.

It is possible later to set up an alternative Fiscal Year Variant for the Local Ledger (non-leading ledger). Please see note 3169537 – SAP S/4HANA Cloud: Release Restriction Note for the Alternative Fiscal Year Variant – SAP for Me for additional details and restrictions.


Additional to this, the system’s default setup assigns the local accounting principle to the Leading Ledger. The recommendation is to change this assignment and have the Leading Ledger assigned to the Group Accounting principle to support for example potential intercompany processes. Please see also Parallel Accounting Using Parallel Ledgers | SAP Help Portal.

In case you have started the project already, so you have some transactional data in the test system and you have not changed this assignment, but you would like to do it, you can consider to remove the transactional data via Reset Transaction Data | SAP Help Portal and then change the assignment.


  1. It is not possible to subsequently introduce an additional ledger. This refers to both a regular ledger- or the specific ledger for Group Valuation (4G). Ledger 4G is available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition with the scope item Group Valuation (5W2) and can only be setup as part of the initial scoping. It is also a non-standard scope item, so it must be specifically requested via a case to SAP Support.

It is important to determine, if scope item Group Valuation (5W2) is relevant for your project. As this scope item applies to the entire group, once set up and ledger 4G activated, it will be automatically available for all legal entities.

Please consider also note 3093830 – SAP S/4HANA Cloud: Release Restriction Note for Group Valuation – SAP for Me.


  1. It is not possible to set up a tax ledger– like in SAP S/4HANA OP or SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition. An option here where would be to use the Extension ledger – Extension Ledger | SAP Help Portal – assuming the tax adjustments can be posted only in General Ledger (GL).


  1. It is not possible to have more than 3 currencies. Currently, your SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition system is delivered with:
  • Company Code currency (currency type 10) which is the local country currency. It cannot be changed.
  • Group Currency (currency type 30) which is set up at the tenant level and it is also valid for the controlling area. It cannot be changed after initial system provisioning.
  • A freely defined currency type – which is up to you to use it and define it as per the business needs.

You can also indicate that any of these currencies is also the ‘’’functional currency’’ and it will be used accordingly in reporting.


  1. You cannot create GL accounts in Test or Production systems. GL accounts are considered configuration relevant objects and for this reason they can be created only in Development system.

Also, it is advisable to copy an existing GL account if you need to create a new GL account.  You also have the possibility to renumber and re-name pre-delivered and existing GL accounts, but again only in the Development System.

When a new standard SAP process is deployed where new GL accounts are also relevant, the system will ensure that duplicates are eliminated.  If for example you are currently using a certain GL code for a different purpose, and this GL code is now delivered as part of the standard solution, the system will read this information and the duplicate account will be delivered with a new value automatically.


  1. It is not possible to issue a customer invoice from FI module – but only from Sales and Distribution, hence as a billing document. For more details, see Output Management for Sales Documents and Billing Documents | SAP Help Portal.


  1. It is not possible to remove master data at the client level, in one go. This is often an expectation inherited from SAP S/4HANA OP and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition and it is related mostly to data migration – in this case master data. In some cases, you would like to rehearse the load of the same set of data few times during the project implementation.

Please consider the following alternatives:

  • According to the master data type – individual deletion features are available.
  • You can also consider archiving via SAP Information Lifecycle Management (ILM), where no deletion is possible.
  • Investigate if the new service called ‘’test data refresh’’ makes sense to be deployed. This service is currently available only for 3SL landscapes, via Early Adaptor (EA) program and it refreshes your test system with the data from Production (master data and transactional data). The main use case is to provide realistic (from Production system) data for testing, once live, but during the implementation and before being productive, it can be used as a workaround to provide an ‘’empty’’ testing box. Your Production system should be empty and refreshing the test system based on it, it will make your Test system ‘’empty’’ again. Please raise a case to SAP support to get more insight into this service.


  1. You cannot edit the Financial Statement Version in the Test or Productive system. They are treated as configuration objects and the changes must be done in Development system and transported across the landscape.


  1. It is not possible to delete all the configuration, once defined. You can get an understanding in this regard by checking the accelerator ‘’ Configuration Activity.xlsm’’ in the roadmap viewer. It is sometimes possible to have the values deleted via expert configuration, but this will be assessed case by case.

This is also applicable for organizational structure elements, so defined company codes for example will always stay in the environment. For additional details, you can also check Guided Framework for Simplified Organizational Structure Set up in CBC for SAP S/4HANA Cloud | SAP Blogs.


  1. You cannot add new depreciation area(s). In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition, the depreciation areas are derived from the accounting principle and country, and they cannot be changed, removed or additional ones added.




For the best experience with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition make yourself and your team familiar with all the aspects impacting such implementation.


Are you aware of any other similar items?




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      Author's profile photo Dick Westman
      Dick Westman

      Good list of important items! Profit center valuation is also not available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, Public edition.

      Author's profile photo Sorina Ciobanu
      Sorina Ciobanu
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you for the comment Dick!

      Author's profile photo Kalpesh Dethe
      Kalpesh Dethe

      Can we have also for all other respective modules ? it will be great Help .

      Author's profile photo Sorina Ciobanu
      Sorina Ciobanu
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Kalpesh,

      I will share the feedback with my colleagues. Thank you!

      Kind regards,


      Author's profile photo Thijs Verhagen
      Thijs Verhagen

      Since the 2308 release you can add an additional depreciation area for customer specific reporting. Via Scope Items 5HG & 5KF (and only for new implementations)

      It's still limited, but there are some possibilities.

      Author's profile photo Sorina Ciobanu
      Sorina Ciobanu
      Blog Post Author

      Thank you very much for the comment Thijs.