SAP Central Finance - A non-disruption path to Finance transformation
As a part of latest SAP innovations SAP Central Finance has evolved as one of the most preferred option to adopt the innovative platform without business disruption. At Sierra™ Digital Inc we offer the SAP Central Finance services embedded with our own research & experience but before we understand that in details lets understand the concept.
What is Central Finance?
Central Finance if we call it in the simplest fashion is the replication of finance transactions from source ERP (SAP or Non-SAP) to the SAP S/4HANA Central Finance system. It’s also known as CFIN. In CFIN the transactions are not just replicated or copied from source to target system but are actually reposted in SAP S/4HANA universal journal after passing through the transformation stage of mapping and error correction. The data records are updated in table ACDOCA in SAP S/4HANA system.
It’s actually a deployment option that allows organizations to move to SAP S/4HANA Finance by bringing together Finance information from multiple systems however from a systems perspective, Central Finance is a SAP S/4HANA Finance system. Central Finance architecture platform looks like this:
Source systems are connected to SAP S/4HANA via SAP Landscape Transformation (known as SLT) where the data replication is real time.
- SAP S/4HANA system receiving the financial accounting documents in real time from SAP and Non-SAP systems.
- Central Finance process execution mainly in shared services
- Real time replication & business mappings (with or without SAP MDG)
- Error correction and reconciliation reporting
- Single platform for analysis & reporting even multiple systems are transacting
- Improves process efficiency
- Reduce cycle times/transactions cost by simplifying processing methods
- Quickly adapt to changing environment
- Align individual with corporate goals with single source of truth
- Non-disruptive Finance transformation to SAP S/4HANA adopting the latest innovations delivered by SAP and Partners
How it adds value to the business?
Central Finance add value to the business in several ways and have the below value proposition
What business problem does CFIN addresses?
Here is the near to real business scenario:
- How to get a consolidated view of finance data?
- How to manage the complex data flow?
- How to get financial reporting across system with a common thread?
- Complex and lengthy Month end closing cycles due to several systems and reconciliation issues?
- Different set of master data and coding block across systems?
Each object used in the document posting at sender side (Configurational or master data) may need to be mapped to the parallel object is receiving system. SAP provides the option to manage the business mappings for most of the objects like Company codes, Plants, Customer, Vendors, General Ledger etc. When document moves from source system it reads the mappings of the objects and based on mapping the document is transformed and reported in SAP S/4HANA Universal Journal. In case the mappings are missing but are mandators as per system configurations, the errors are generated in AIF and can be reprocessed after mapping corrections.
Is Central Finance fit for your business landscape?
Central Finance is not just suitable for all businesses. Their needs to be a fit Central Finance scenario to justify the investment. Business strategy drives this decision. Below are the CFIN use cases
Is this the only benefit business get?
No, it’s not just replication of accounting data but it’s time to redesign processes to move towards simplification and standardization across business units and subsidiaries. This about the payment process in shared service environment where payment to vendors from multiple systems, connecting to multiple banks in several formats and people with different skills working on the processes.
This can be simplified. With Central Payments this can be achieved. Invoices posted in several ERP systems with several coding blocks can be replicated to SAP S/4HANA Central Finance and payment can be executed from one common system. It looks like this:
Similarly the AR processes where multiple systems are responsible for incoming payments can be done in one common system and efforts can be minimised in cash application and bank reconciliation.
Sierra™ Digital Inc RPA enabled CFIN Framework
- Assess – We assess the present technology state, landscape and process and understand your pain points and vision by implementing Central Finance
- Show – We believe in “showing” rather “telling”. We will do a proof of concept with you
- Action – This is the major stage where we execute the project using our strong capabilities and proprietary applications which enables the path to success
- Sustain – Here we help you in stabilizing the processes, systems and run support for the systems including system upgrade as needed
- Innovate – We will assess the implemented processes and will reduce the manual efforts and touchpoints. Focus will be to automate manual & repetitive tasks using our RPA capabilities
Sierra™ Digital Inc has developed an application where Non-SAP systems can be integrated with SAP Central Finance. Application is named as “SierraCFINConnect” and stands unparallel with any of such product available in market based on its features and benefits. SierraCFINConnect is an application that enables the fastest, low cost and lowest risk integration of 3rd party data into Central Finance by streamlining key aspects of the data integration process.
Key features of SierraCFINConnect:
- Real time integration of Non-SAP systems to SAP Central Finance
- It overcomes the limitation of SAP, where SAP can not connect to traditional database due to legal restrictions
- This product can simplify the implementation and no extra time needed outside the project timelines
- Plug & Play model where our team will fit the package considering the customer data models and database in few weeks into the customer landscape
- Pre-built source connectors are available for an expanding library of systems, covering several systems
- Additional source connectors can be developed on demand in as little as 4-6 weeks each, and new sources can typically be brought on-line in 2-3 weeks each.
- As per statistics 95% of the prospective Central Finance customers have more than 1 Non-SAP system in their present landscape and those needs to be integrated via Central Finance
With our experience with several projects from Central Finance implementation we have understood the pain points of the customers. The Implementation process and the phase till go live is handled by the team of experts and during that phase the real pain is not replicated. After Go live when the data replication starts from several systems to SAP Central Finance the numerous errors are accumulated in Application Interface Framework “AIF” which needs manual intervention from business teams to analyse the error, correct the cause of error and reprocess the document so that it can be replicated.
When the configuration is not changed on daily basis, but master data is a frequently changing object like vendor master customer master and GL accounts. Most of the errors in AIF arise of the mapping issues.
With SierraCFINMAPMASTER the process of error resolution in AIF is automated where mapping issues related to Vendor, Customer and GL accounts are taken care of.
Key features of this application are:
- Automatic updating of mapping (customer vendor or GL) if the object present in the document is not mapped
- Automatic creation of master data and mapping if the object present in the document does not have parallel master data object in the central Finance system
- On the fly document processing and avoids document failure and adding up in AIF error queue
- Email communication to master data team on updates of master data & mapping
- No manual handling of AIF errors which further results in cost benefits due to reduction of efforts & time
- Automatic update of Mapping and creation of master data
- Communication to master data team to ensure compliance and process governance
For More Information Contact