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SAP Central Finance

Global enterprises need to organize and manage processes across regional and company borders. Commercially transparent value flows are a basic prerequisite for professional management of such complex organizations.

The system boundaries that are omnipresent in heterogeneous IT landscapes constantly interrupt value flows. A “single point of truth” is not technically ensured, which is why data occurs in many variants and definitions. This in turn makes timely reporting more difficult, which ultimately hampers professional company management.

SAP Central Finance makes real-time value flows possible in heterogeneous system architectures

SAP Central Finance - Werteflüsse in Echtzeit

Until now, value flows have frequently been merged for reporting purposes with the help of SAP BW, a variety of Excel routines, or inappropriately used third-party applications. In this way, management information systems have often evolved as expert systems that summarize and provide business-critical information with a significant time delay and subject to governance risks. In the past, the only way to rectify this situation was by performing complex system consolidations of existing SAP and non-SAP applications to enable all relevant value flows and the reporting systems based on them to be integrated.

With SAP S/4HANA Central Finance, SAP has provided an enhancement of the classic SAP Finance component that can be used to standardize value flows across fragmented ERP system landscapes and make them available in real time.

Existing legacy ERP systems, including non-SAP ERP systems, are connected to SAP S/4HANA using SAP Landscape Transformation 2.0 components. This connection comprises:

  • SAP Landscape Transformation conversion engine: Configuration of custom harmonization, mapping, and conversion functions
  • SAP LT replication servers and SAP LT posting engine: Real-time transfer of documents from the docked ERP systems to SAP S/4HANA

SAP Central Finance facilitates prompt, fact-based decision making

By using SAP S/4HANA Central Finance, you can realize the following benefits more quickly:

  • More transparent processes and information and more governance through the use of uniform standards across the company
  • Improved business analysis and reporting quality based on standardized, reliable data (single point of truth)
  • Fact-based and therefore transparent decisions in real time

Structure of financial shared services with SAP Central Finance

Documents and/or document chains that originate in an ERP system connected to SAP S/4HANA Central Finance can be processed further. Customer invoices from any ERP system can be transferred to SAP Central Finance and processed further there. The same applies, for example, to central processing of incoming invoices, central cash management, central financial statements including consolidation, and standardized reporting.

The use of centralized processes such as these in financial shared services can lead to significant improvements in efficiency and generate cost-cutting potential without first having to perform costly ERP consolidations to solve the problem of a heterogeneous ERP landscape. Though the use of artificial intelligence technologies for transactional financial processes in the future, the rate of automation will continue to increase, as will the economic appeal of shared services.

SAP Central Finance as a simplified entry route to SAP S4/HANA

Switching from SAP R3 or ERP to SAP S/4HANA poses special challenges for companies.

The central finance concept based on SAP S/4HANA often serves as the first step of an SAP S/4HANA greenfield implementation, which is subsequently extended to include further central processes such as procurement, R&D, risk and compliance management, and so on. The primary goal is to leverage significant business benefits faster and to execute system consolidation tasks in parallel by developing a new platform for global processes.