After a good number of years of trading, it’s very common for businesses to find themselves working with different systems, either SAP or non-SAP, initially deployed as part of a roadmap or implemented during an acquisition process. And regardless of the reasons that led them to this multiple ERP’s landscape, there is a shared theme: growing complexity, hard to reconcile financial data and a lack of dynamism in the decision making process.
But there is also another frequent scenario in organisations that have been running SAP for many years: they want to harness the power of S/4HANA with minimal disruption to existing processes and operations.
The answer to both scenarios is SAP Central Finance.
SAP Central Finance – How does it work?
It is a separate SAP instance to your existing SAP (and non-SAP) systems, replicating all financial data in one place using SAP LT Replication Server. This happens in real-time, so there’s no delay in data availability. A fundamental element of this mechanism is the business mapping. Source values such as GL accounts or cost centres are mapped to a standardised value in SAP Central Finance. This gives the perfect opportunity to harmonize master data, as well as providing the required degree of flexibility when it comes to integrating different Chart of Accounts or any other data elements.
Once financial documents are in SAP Central Finance, users can navigate back to the source system seamlessly, without the hassle of connecting to several systems at the same time.
SAP Central Finance – How to get there?
There’s different roads to SAP Central Finance. It all depends on the customer’s business case and the processes that want to be centralised. It is possible to start using SAP Central Finance for Reporting only in a first phase and then move Finance operations as part of a second phase, in which case the system of record for Finance transactions will be SAP Central Finance, whilst all non-finance processes remain in the source system. Later on, when the business is ready, non-finance processes can be migrated to complete the transition to S/4HANA.
The move to SAP Central Finance also provides an opportunity to rationalise landscapes that have multiple SAP instances in a controlled manner. A phased approach is recommended to minimise risk and disruption.
SAP Central Finance – Why now?
Now more than ever being able to get real-time insights from your business data and quickly readjust is crucial. Planning and forecasting tools capable of moving as fast as markets move became essential to all organisations.
At the same time the risk of going through an implementation project should be kept at a minimum when uncertainty is common place across the global economy. The time to leverage next generation technologies such as embedded analytics and predictive capabilities is now and the way forward is SAP Central Finance.
Stepping stone into SAP S/4HANA
S/4HANA capabilities available from the start
SAP HANA database processing power
Pace of implementation tailored to customers' needs
Intuitive user interface (Fiori)
Master data standardisation opportunity
Future-proofs integration of external systems