Following on from my previous post on SAP Central Finance, I now turn the spotlight to the data integration tasks associated with this technology. Obviously the development of a unified, single source of the truth for finance is meaningful due to the fact that:
Such consolidated data is needed to fuel on-demand analytics
These centralised postings also allow you to run the complete range of harmonised financial reports
As a result, your company has a solid foundation on which to base its long-term decision-making and business strategies
So let’s delve deeper.
Creating a Single, Integrated View of Your Enterprise Financial Data
A good place to begin is with the challenges that need to be overcome: It’s not an uncommon situation for accounts payable, accounts receivable, and payroll users to have to use multiple systems to complete day-to-day tasks – with every connection, data conversion, and disparate user interface creating the potential for errors and version control issues.
With Central Finance, this hassle goes away. Instead, the solution enables the consolidation of financial data into a single global instance. The result: one centralised, trusted platform for planning – supported by real-time data that stimulates proactive and predictive reporting capabilities.
Dig Deeper: Successfully Implementing SAP Central Finance Whitepaper
The key word in all of this is centralised. In the past, achieving a unified view was an activity that caused more than a few headaches. Finance would find themselves busy trying to bring together data from multiple systems, and then finding ways to integrate all these different sources.
Not so with Central Finance, which solves this particular problem – and in doing so removes hours (if not days) of manually intensive, error-prone work.
Components of a SAP Central Finance Data Migration Project
That’s not to say however that all this integration work suddenly vanishes into thin air. Oh no. There are still the multiple steps associated with data integration:
Prepare – where you need to define team roles, systems, and schedules
Extract – collecting and staging source data
Profile – analysing and cleansing source data
Design – creating and staging target system schema
Map – sourcing fields to target fields
Construct – manually enriching the data
Transform – simulating and validating loading
Load – running the data into production systems
The difference with Central Finance is that you have a platform purpose-built to duplicate finance documents into a new central finance instance that’s executing on S/4HANA.
Learn More: Watch the Demo to find out how Syniti delivers better outcomes, faster while lowering your risk on an SAP Central Finance migration.
4 Activities Critical to SAP Central Finance Integration Success
Amid this activity there are four main tasks that require particular attention:
#1 Data extraction: where the data in each source system – often found in its own proprietary format – is made available to Central Finance. Automating as much of this work as possible demands significant knowledge of the source systems.
#2 uploading data to SAP: a task that involves complex validation and transformation as data is moved into an SAP-specified format for entry into staging tables and then into Central Finance. Again, experience is invaluable here – particularly of SAP load formats.
#3 master data harmonisation: think customer names misspelled, product names abbreviated, addresses contracted etc. – all can compromise the final outputs of Central Finance. Here an effective Master Data Management capability is called for, to ensure master data is effectively cross-referenced from different source systems before loading into the platform.
#4 write-back to source: an ultimate end-goal for many finance teams is the ability to make changes in their systems (payments, adjustments etc.) – and to see these updates reflected in the various source systems. Step forward Central Finance, and its write-back capability for enabling authorised payments to be cleared in the source ERPs – thereby ensuring all systems maintain the same synchronised records.
It should be kept in mind that integrating data from SAP sources is easier due to the mapping and replication process being based on the same underlying application. The challenge with 3rd party data, as described above, is the need for conversion into SAP nomenclature. Hence the value of external tools like those available from Syniti (recommended by SAP).