This is the question we are regularly asked when we present the S/4HANA for Group Reporting consolidation solution, the answer deserves, before a categorical statement, a clear explanation in order to understand the architecture of this not so new consolidation tool!
SAP S/4HANA brings two essential elements of an accounting software, the database and the calculation engine. Based on HANA, an In-Memory database launched by SAP almost 10 years ago, S/4HANA benefits from a high computing power, a mandatory prerequisite for a transactional accounting software, allowing to bring revolutions in data models.
The data model:
Based on a fast and robust engine, the data model has been greatly simplified, where before we had to deal with limited machine power, it was the storage architecture that was adapted. Now, all the local accounting data, but also the fixed assets, the analytical axes, are found in a single table, in the name of ACDOCA, called Universal Journal.
This model, inspired by Business Intelligence, allows easy restitutions, where all the information is easily available, ready to be used by the end users.
Aren’t we mixing things up by having local and group accounting in the same table?
The genesis of S/4HANA for Group Reporting brought a second table based on the ACDOCA, the ACDOCU or Consolidation Universal Journal, sharing a good part of the Master Data of the first one, but also having its own dimensions, at an aggregated level, making it possible to add a consolidation engine.
The consolidation engine is not based on a local account mesh, but on reporting accounts, which are a grouping of local accounts, allowing for a consolidation tool that is easily configurable, but with a higher granularity of restitution.
What happens when we do not feed the local accounting?
But how to feed SAP S/4HANA for Group Reporting without local accounting?
It is now that enters the Group Reporting Data Collection architecture, an Apps allowing both to import flat files and to transform them into the S/4HANA for Group Reporting format, but also to enter information, financial or not, in input masks inspired by … SAP Financial Consolidation!
The input files or input forms can contain the accounts and movements of the entities, but also additional information such as Cost Center, Profit Center, Segments, Business Aera, but also to integrate the partners of each of these dimensions, as long as the information is available in your ERP sources.
Another option is to integrate SAP Central Finance into your application landscape, which is a governing ERP that allows you to collect data from other ERPs, SAP or not, in the SAP S/4HANA Finance data model, and then consolidate this data with Group Reporting.
There are many feeding options, there is one that will fit your environment.
So to the question : Do we need S/4HANA to have a consolidation with Group Reporting, the answer is yes. However, what we need is the storage and computing power of S/4HANA, not necessarily the local accounting data!
Let’s keep in mind that all consolidations, all reporting, are based on local data, it’s always a huge plus when these are in the table … next door!
Do you have more questions about SAP S/4HANA for Group Reporting?
We will be happy to discuss it with you!