This article covers some of the differences
between S/4HANA and previous versions of SAP.
Simple Finance was the first part of the Business
Suite to be rewritten to run on SAPs new superfast
in-memory HANA database. Simple Logistics followed, and
the combined new product, with New GL and New Asset Accounting
as prerequisite, became known as S/4HANA.
S/4HANA exists as the S/4HANA Cloud which
is a standardized Multi-Tenanted Cloud (i.e. all customers
share the same software instance although the data is secure
and private). This comes with a mandatory Fiori user interface,
quarterly releases, and bespoke programming is not possible
as you are sharing your system with others. There is also
the On-premise S/4HANA with greater flexibility, freedom
to customize as before, and optional Fiori and annual releases.
The exact functionality will vary depending
on the release, and this article is mostly based on S/4HANA
1610, which is the October 2016 On-premise release, although
some of the functionality below may already be available
in the later enhancement packs of ECC6. I have used print
screens mainly from the GUI to help users to compare the
functionality, but mostly the Fiori apps are quite similar.
A lot of the ECC6 functionality is still available
in S/4HANA in the SAP GUI; sometimes transactions are enhanced
and easily recognized and both the old and new co-exist
(e.g. FAGLL03 and FAGLL03H), and sometimes you are redirected
to new functionality automatically (e.g. FK01->BP). It
seems where the letter H is added at the end of the transaction,
it tends to be a new S/4HANA specific transaction, the letter
N has often been added to new transactions anyway, including
those introduced with the New GL (and some are already available
in later versions of ECC). The letter L at the end of some
transactions seems to allow posting to different ledgers
e.g. FB01 and FB01L as well as a lot of the new asset transactions,
but these are just guidelines not strict rules.
Described as the new User-Experience, Fiori
replaces most of the SAP GUI transactions, resembling the
more user-friendly Smartphone apps instead of the traditional
SAP GUI menu structure. Fiori is available on multiple devices
i.e. desktops, phones, tablets etc. Informative, interactive
apps are available so you can already see the number of
outstanding items, or account balances on the face of the
Fiori app before you click on it to drilldown further, see
Figure 1. Some apps have graphs, calendars (e.g. leave requests),
pie charts etc. and the launch pad can contain customized
apps and also personas transactions in the same style as
the Fiori apps.
Figure 1 Two Fiori Tiles
Ledgers and Currencies
In addition to the normal parallel ledgers
which were introduced with the New GL, there are now Extension
Ledgers (original called appendix ledgers). The difference
is that with an additional parallel ledger, postings are
physically made to both the leading ledger and the parallel
ledger, with only adjustments made to the parallel ledger,
whereas extension ledgers have to be linked to a base ledger
and only take delta postings. Therefore, when you run a
report for the extension ledger it pulls in both the base
ledger and the extension ledger to show you the complete
picture. The extension ledgers however cannot be used in
There are now 8 additional freely definable
currencies available, although they may not all be available
in other modules and a conversion project would be required
to ensure historical data is dealt with appropriately.
HANA has the power to calculate on the fly,
which means that for financial transactions, index tables
such as BSIS, BSAS, BSID, BSAD, BSIK, BSAK, BSIM, FAGLBSIS
and FAGLBSAS, as well as aggregate tables such as GLT0,
GLT3, FAGLFLEXT, KNC1, LFC1, KNC3, LFC3, COSS, COSP are
no longer required and have been removed. FAGLFLEXA and
some other New GL tables are now obsolete and there are
also new customizing tables.
However, if you have your own ABAP reports
using these tables, dont worry as there are now Compatibility
views with the same name, which recalculate the same values
as the tables would have had, allowing any bespoke programs
reading the information to continue to function. There are
new tools which you can run prior to migration, which allow
you to check which of your bespoke programs are read only
and will continue to function and which need rewriting.
In any case you may find that some of your bespoke programs
are no longer required because that functionality is now
available as standard, or that it will be more efficient
to rewrite them using the new tables anyway.
This is the name of the enhanced financial
document in S/4HANA. A Universal Journal is created whenever
anything is posted to Finance from any module and each journal
can be displayed as before using the display document transaction
FB03. Many of the journal entry, invoice entry and other
posting transactions are still available in the SAP GUI,
so you can still for example use FB50 or FB50L (by ledger)
to post a journal, although the Fiori equivalents are more
user-friendly. The Universal Journal is the Single Source
of Truth for finance, Controlling and COPA, and includes
all the cost objects traditionally found in Controlling
such as cost centers, internal orders and WBS elements as
well as columns for the standard CO-PA characteristics and
up to fifty additional characteristics. See also the next
section on merging Finance and Controlling. New reports
are available, mainly in Fiori, but the old Controlling
reports continue to work (using compatibility views), including
those for planning
ACDOCA is the
name of the Finance modules important new S/4HANA
table, which is based on the Universal Journal line items,
containing all of the financial fields, as well as a lot
of information from other modules. Figure 2 shows an extract
of the ACDOCA table showing some of the asset and material
ledger fields available.
Figure 2 ACDOCA Table Showing Some of the Fields
Single Source of Truth
Finance and Controlling are now merged, getting
rid of data redundancies and the need for reconciliations,
and making visible the internal CO actual postings in FI
as well. The real-time FI-CO integration is also obsolete
and Controlling data is stored in the new finance table
To have only one field available in the Universal
Journal for both the GL account and cost element numbers,
the cost elements are contained inside the GL account master
records. To achieve this, there are now four types of GL
account, instead of the previous two, i.e. Balance Sheet
and Profit & Loss - see Figure 3.
Figure 3 GL Account Type
If you select Primary or Secondary Costs as
the GL account type, then on the Control Data tab you will
see Controlling Area settings such as the cost element category
(see Figure 4). The dropdown options in Figure 4 are based
on choosing primary costs as the GL account type. Categories
relating to secondary costs are available if you choose
the secondary costs GL account type. Cost element groups
are still available.
Figure 4 Cost Element Category
Default account assignments from the cost
elements are automatically migrated to the OKB9 configuration
transaction and configuring cost object defaults in OKB9
is the only option going forwards.
An additional column appears in Transaction
OB52 (opening and closing periods) for postings from Controlling
to Finance, (although you still need OKP1 at Controlling
Area level), and you have the option of selecting the posting
period variant prior to entering the time interval screen.
Account-based profitability analysis must
be activated but you can still use costing-based profitability
analysis in parallel. Initially realignment was not supported
but this has been brought in with release 1610.
If you click on the colored icon at the far
right of the top menu bar in the S/4HANA GUI and choose
options (see Figure 5), then go to Interaction Design->Visualization
2 you can choose whether to use the enhanced search or not,
or only with a keyboard shortcut (Ctrl + Shift + Q), see
Figure 5 GUI Options Menu
Figure 6 Enhanced Search Functionality Settings
The enhanced search functionality can be used
in many places, for example in the vendor line item report
to find the vendor by name (Figure 7), by vendor number
(Figure 8) by postcode, country, search term or anything
else available on that specific enhanced search screen.
If you search for example for a material (Figure 9) you
will see different search options.
Figure 7 Enhanced Search Using Name
Figure 8 Enhanced Search Using Vendor Number
Figure 9 Enhanced Search for Material
Vendors and Customers
Customers and vendors can only be maintained
using the Business Partner functionality (of which there
is of course a Fiori equivalent) and if you try to use the
old codes e.g. FK01/2/3 or XK01/2/3 to create/amend/display
a vendor or FD01/2/3 and XD01/2/3 to create/amend display
a customer you will be redirected to transaction BP.
Many of the screens are fairly similar to
the old master data transactions, but a lot more data is
available and one Business Partner may have roles in MM,
SD, and FI. Employees, banks and other contacts can also
be set up as Business Partners. Multiple relationships can
be specified and new time dependent data is available for
e.g. addresses and bank data. See Figure 10 and Figure 11.
You will need to migrate your customers and vendors to Business
Partners as part of the migration if you are not already
Figure 10 Business Partner Payment Tab
Figure 11 Business Partner Identification Tab
Figure 12 Business Partner Relationship contact example
Line Item Reports
The old reports, such as FBL1N, FBL5N and
FAGLL03 still exist alongside FBL1H, FBL5H and FAGLL03H
which have slightly different screens. The selection screen
is quite similar, although note that the additional selections
button (the red, green and blue stripy one) now appears
halfway down the selection screen instead of at the top
and is labelled Restrictions. Once you execute the report
however, things look somewhat different and the line items
start off summarized by period.
Figure 13 Transaction FBL1H
If you want to see the line items you need
to select the lines that you want to see and click on the
icon on the right call line item report. This will take
you to your normal FBL1N screen. In Figure 14, I chose only
the last period, i.e. period 6 in 2017 containing one row,
(the cleared payment for the previous period). In Figure
15, I chose period 12, 2017 to show the other display setting
in FBL1N. (to toggle between the two, go to Settings->
Switch List in the top menu in the line item display).
Figure 14 Vendor Line Item Display Called from FBL1H
Figure 15 Vendor Line Item Display Called from FBL1H
By clicking on the vendor number in the body
of the report, you will be redirected to the vendor master
data (held in the Business Partner transaction)
FSCM replaces the previous Accounts Receivable
credit management transactions (e.g. F.28/F.31/F.32/F.33/FD32)
and the Sales transactions (VKM3/VKM5). If you are not already
familiar with FSCM, this already used the Business Partner
functionality prior to S/4HANA and has additional functionality,
in areas such as Credit Management, Collections Management
(including collection worklists), Dispute Management. It
also has additional reporting and allows you to import external
The Material Ledger is mandatory (although
Actual Costing is still optional) and there are also new
tables for material documents (MATDOC), a Cost of Goods
Sold variance split and no locking of tables. The material
number field is extended from 18 to 40 characters and this
information is available in the Universal Journal document,
and therefore the ACDOCA table for reporting in finance.
Note that the extended material functionality can be switched
off if for example you have a multi-system landscape.
Global trade Services (GTS)
GTS replaces the foreign trade functionality
in Sales and Procurement. This allows the pulling in of
data from different systems, and is extensively integrated
with SD and MM.
Only the new Revenue Accounting and Reporting,
which supports IFRS15, is available in S/4HANA, i.e. the
SD Revenue and Recognition is no longer available.
The Legacy System Migration Workbench is still
available in S/4HANA, but it is not recommended for migrations
as it has not been amended for the new data structures,
and some functionality is not available e.g. transaction
recordings cannot be made with the Fiori transactions.
The Maintenance Planner tool has to be used
for a system conversion, which among other things, checks
add-ons, active business functions and industry solutions
to ensure that they can be converted.
Central Finance is a new concept introduced
with S/4HANA. It allows users with a large and distributed
landscape to replicate both SAP and non-SAP finance data
real-time to a central S/4HANA system, but still allowing
drilldown to the original document in the SAP systems.
There is a suite of programs, Cash Operations,
Bank Account Management (BAM) and Liquidity Management that
replace the classic cash and liquidity management, and you
can centrally manage the actual and forecast cash positions
from SAP and non-SAP systems by using the One Exposure operations
Hub. Transactions such as FF7A and FF7B (cash management
and liquidity forecast) are now Fiori apps.
House banks and house bank accounts, which
are now master data, can be managed by users in Fiori, along
with banks hierarchies or groupings, overdraft limits, signatories
and approvals flows and additional reporting such as the
foreign bank account report, helps compliancy. The hierarchy
uses the bank business partner role
Bank accounts can also be downloaded and uploaded
to and from Excel, for reporting, migrations and mass changes.
They are created in the productive system, but still need
to be replicated to the development and quality assurance
systems etc. as configuration for payments and bank statements
still needs to be made in the development system and moved
through quality to production as usual.
If you dont want to implement the full
Bank Account Management (BAM), then Basic Cash management
is also available, previously known as BAM Lite.
Other Fiori apps available include for cash
operations include the Incoming bank statements monitor,
cash payments and approvals, cash position reports, transfers,
Figure 22 Examples of a Few Bank Management Apps in Fiori
FI12_HBANK is the SAP GUI transaction for
the user that replaces the House Bank icon in the customizing
transaction FBZP, (see Figure 23), although you will find
more functionality in the Fiori App such as the hierarchies
and groupings. After entering the company code on the first
screen you can display, amend or create new house banks.
Figure 23FI12_HBANK - House Bank Transaction in SAP GUI
New Asset Accounting
- You still have the choice of using the parallel ledgers
brought in by the New GL or accounting for different accounting
principles using a different range of GL accounts. However,
even if you use different accounts for the different accounting
principles, you still need to set them up in asset accounting
as dummy ledgers. You no longer need to set up delta depreciation
areas where you have additional accounting principles, but
you do need to have a one to one match for each currency
and ledger in Finance with a depreciation area in Asset
The depreciation areas are now equal (i.e.
depreciation area 1 does not have to be the leading ledger)
and transaction ASKB, (post additional depreciation areas
periodically to finance), has been removed because you can
post all depreciation areas to Finance in real-time if required.
Because all the postings are real-time, you can navigate
and drill down to most of the financial documents not just
those in depreciation area 1.
As with finance, a lot of the tables are now redundant and
a lot of the asset information comes across via the Universal
Journal in table ACDOCA. The asset balance sheet accounts
are now all reconciliation accounts even those in
the additional depreciation areas, which prevents manual
postings that are not updating the assets. The depreciation
run posting has been improved and the depreciation journal
contains asset information at line item detail so in the
GL line item report you can see the amounts by asset, see
Figure 16 Depreciation Account in GL Account Line Item Display
You can also drilldown to the asset accounting
from the finance document (click on asset accounting icon
in Figure 17) to see the postings by ledger group.
Figure 17 Finance Document for Asset Acquisition
In Figure 18, you can see the Technical Clearing
account functionality. This is required to post the other
depreciation areas in real-time, whilst allowing the flexibility
to post each asset differently in each ledger. Some accounts,
for example vendors, customers, GRIR account and tax accounts
cannot be posted to unilaterally i.e. in one ledger and
not others. Therefore, the acquisition or retirement posting
is split into at least two documents. The first is called
the operational posting and has a blank ledger group i.e.
it posts equally to all ledgers.
The posting for an acquisition is credit vendor
and debit technical clearing account. The second, valuating
posting, then posts between the technical clearing account
and the asset with a separate document for each ledger.
To get to the posting for the additional ledgers and currencies,
you have to click on the A/P Currency icon (which stands
for Accounting Principle/Currency) and you can see the document
in Figure 22 shares the same operational posting with document
1900000019 but has a different valuating posting with document
7000000073 instead of 100000048 which was the document number
for the leading ledger.
Figure 18 Figure 14 Drilldown to Ledger Postings by Asset
Figure 19 Asset Acquisition, Parallel Ledger Posting
Accounting Principle and Depreciation Area
are new fields now available in many new transactions (e.g.
ABZOL instead of ABZO, or ABUML instead of ABUM and so on),
so there is no longer a need for depreciation area specific
Settlement rules can also be ledger specific
if required, see example in Figure 20
Figure 20 Ledger Specific Settlement Rules
this is now carried forward as part of the finance transaction
FAGLGVTR, in other words both the general ledger and assets
are carried forward together
instead of statistical cost elements with
cost category 90 there is now a special field in the GL
account master record only in fixed asset and material reconciliation
accounts called Apply Acct Assignments Statistically in
Fixed Asset Acct/Material Acct.
Figure 21 Asset Statistical Account Assignment
I have written more about New Asset Accounting
in my latest E-Bite Introducing New Asset Accounting in
SAP S/4HANA you can find out more at https://goo.gl/qIbdQZ
which is a short cut to the SAP Press site. This book covers
how new asset accounting works in S/4HANA and is aimed at
users who are new to SAP as well as those migrating from
earlier versions of SAP.