• The future of consolidating: Within S/4HANA?

With the arrival of S/4HANA 1809 (SPS00), there will be an introduction of ‘Group Reporting’ within the on-premise version of S/4HANA. This means group reporting functionality within S/4HANA.

How does this compare to the existing consolidation and reporting solutions in the EPM domain of SAP? Group Reporting has been available for some time in the cloud version, so we can estimate what this means for the on-premise variant.

In this article, we provide a first overview of the possibilities of this solution.

By Gert-Jan van den Berg, August 2018

The future of consolidating: Within S/4HANA?

What is the purpose of ​​Group Reporting within S/4HANA?

If you want to consolidate in real-time within S/4HANA, this is only possible with SAP BPC Optimized. This is the current version of BPC that contains the functionalities to meet all consolidation needs when using S/4HANA. Optimized uses the well-known consolidation engine from the BPC Classic version, combined with BPC Embedded and real-time technology.

This is slightly different with Group Reporting. Group Reporting can be seen as a module within S/4HANA. This module does not use BPC technology, so the data collection and consolidation technique has been completely redeveloped by SAP to integrate even better with S/4HANA. You would therefore not need a separate BPC environment to consolidate. In practice, it remains to be seen whether it really gets that far.

The following functionalities will be available in Group Reporting from the upcoming S/4HANA release:

–          Connection with ACDOCA (Actuals) for Actual figures from S/4HANA
–          Upload functionality
–          Data validations
–          Journal entries
–          Currency conversion
–          Intercompany Eliminations
–          Equity Consolidation using business rules
–          SAP Fiori UX user interface and integration with SAP Analytics Cloud
–          Standard Intercompany Matching reports

Will BPC Optimized disappear with the arrival of Group Reporting?

So, consolidating into S/4HANA, is that the future? At the moment, BPC Optimized is the fully functioning solution that fulfills all consolidation needs, partly due to the use of the proven and successful BPC consolidation technology. Group Reporting does not yet have all the consolidation functionalities that BPC does, and is therefore not yet a full replacement for BPC.

However, we now know that SAP will fully focus on Group Reporting and will not develop BPC Optimized further. In time, Group Reporting does indeed seem to be the replacement. Still, it is not yet clear what timeline SAP has in mind.

Group Reporting in 2019

Based on the roadmap from SAP, there will be a further development of Group Reporting. The following functionalities are planned for 2019:

–          Possibility of Matrix Consolidation
–          Automatic consolidation of investments
–          Setting up different group structures by means of Ownership Manager
–          Multi-currency consolidation
–          Integration with planning applications

Curious for more information?

Together with our sister company Plainwater, we will extensively test whether the promised functionalities of the 1809 release are sufficient to consolidate within S/4HANA. We also keep an eye on new developments and stay in touch with SAP about this. As soon as we have an update in this area, it will of course appear online.

Consolidation & Corporate Reporting SAP