5 Reasons to Learn SAP Simple Finance

Category: SAP S/4HANA Finance Posted:May 24, 2017 By: Ashley Morrison
5 Reasons to Learn SAP Simple Finance

While the deployment of SAP Simple Finance is an expensive process, the perspective of a customer will always help to clear things up with regard to why Simple Finance is the next step in the evolution of SAP ECC.

Introduction of SAP Simple Finance

Even though Simple Finance sounds at the outset like a contradiction in semantics alone, SAP claims otherwise. SAP has built its product with a lot of well-thought-out feature frameworks that bring about simple-to-use features along with real-time SAP HANA-powered and Cloud-based functionalities which are all-pervasive in the IT domain today.On June 3rd, 2014, the SAP SE CEO Bill McDermott announced his company’s new finance solution during the keynote speech at the famous SAPPHIRE NOW user conference which was held in Orlando in the USA.

What is SAP Simple Finance?

Salvador Gimeno, Desco is an SAP Leonardo Digital Transformation Expert and a Director at CoE SAP Leonardo at SAP. He goes on to say SAP Simple Finance is the new ERP Financial Solutions portfolio which is built for SAP HANA enabling actual real-time analytics at the most granular level across various financial dimensions.

Organizations are currently often faced with the dilemma of how to adapt rapidly to growing complexities in external condition and how to adapt to fresh technology to maintain a competitive edge in the market.

The website CFO.com routinely conducts surveys and according to its most recent surveys, around 76% of CFOs see a mostly growing requirement to be further involved with operational business units. While 73% of CFOs go on to say that finance executives in turn say long term strategic planning is the hottest area of fresh demand. Along with these two facts, it also goes on to say that around 58% of CFOs, in turn, say that the enterprise’ line-of-business managers find difficulty in utilizing finance information systems to recognize and comprehend the data needed to make effective decisions.

In essence, ERPs have ended up being complex with an insufficient level of dynamic ability to fulfil real-time information requirements that CFOs presently need. There are major challenges with processes such as real-time treasury, month-end closing, financial risk management, financial consolidation with subsidiaries, real-time financial analysis and even a response to the ones already due.

With the innovative approach to resolve present issues of financial departments and CFOs, SAP aims its capabilities in attacking the inherent complexity in Finance by reconstructing its worldwide, holistic solution to tap into the vast feature reserves of SAP HANA.

 SAP Simple Finance spans the following areas of Finance:

  • Financial Planning and Analysis
  • Accounting and Financial Close
  • Treasury and Financial Risk Management
  • Collaborative Finance Operations
  • Enterprise Risk and Compliance Management

Present situation of SAP Simple Finance

  • The technical software components of SAP Simple Finance have successfully cleared ramp-up and are generally available since August 1st, 2016.
  • The software has been released for every Industry with the sole exception of Joint Venture Accounting for Oil & Gas and Mining.
  • It has been localized for all 62 country versions.
  • SAP has released Fiori User Interfaces for GL-, AP- and AR-Accountants in addition to Cash Managers which are localized for 39 of the 62 countries which include Germany, UK, Netherlands, US, Canada, Japan, Australia, Brazil and Mexico.

 The Details of SAP Simple Finance build

SAP Simple Finance is the new version of SAP ERP Financials and Controlling, rebuilt based on SAP HANA paradigms in order to take complete advantage of the possibilities provided by SAP HANA, and to eliminate any limitations or constraints emerging from the disk-based database paradigms, which are no longer applicable.

In these terms, SAP Simple Finance has generated a fully new data model for the SAP Financial modules, where all sub-totals, aggregates, and consolidation tables have been removed. The wholly new financial data model will include the information related to modules of Finance, Controlling and Profitability Analysis (CO-PA).

The SAP Simple Finance user interface is touted to be SAP Fiori, enabling personalized, advanced and consistent user experience across the applications, and for every device such as a desktop, tablet, or mobile.

The SAP Simple Finance offering

  • Facilitation of high-speed actual real-time analytics at the most granular level across every financial dimension without any constraints.
  • A consolidated view of real-time harmonized or completely integrated financial and management accounting data for all existing subsidiaries, to aid in ensuring enterprise-wide consistency and minimization of reconciliation time and errors.
  • The ability to utilize prediction, simulation, and analysis to assess the financial implications of strategic business options which are all in-built.
  • Optimization of Business Processes which are mostly event-driven processes along with real-time execution.
  • An aesthetically superior and highly functional HTML5 based user experience with SAP Fiori, providing personalized, modern, advanced and consistent user experience on all applications and devices.
  • A wide array of On-premise, hybrid, and cloud deployment options, and a simple and non-disruptive migration path.

SAP Simple Finance sees FI, CO, and CO-PA line items being stored at identical levels of granularity and are linked on a 1:1 basis. This in turn facilitates a convenient reconciliation along with a harmonized internal and external reporting with drill-down to complete detail across every dimension. Reporting is also known to be no longer limited by application boundaries.

Checkout the Article-SAP HANA, S/4HANA, and S/4HANA Finance in a Nutshell

Five Reasons to Learn SAP Simple Finance

1. All about Simplicity

In spite of SAP’s recurring mention of their In-Memory, Big Data, ERP, and Analytics capabilities, this user conference referred more to buzzwords such as simplification, simplify, and more. It was one of the primary themes at the user conference just referred to.

The conference also dealt with the challenges that the efforts towards simplification would bring.

This explains the name of their product for finance solutions being named Simple Finance. The President of SAP Platform Solutions, Steve Lucas has said that Simple Finance offers a major leap into the future of finance departments around the world as it harnesses two essential SAP functionalities. One is the time-tested and market-leading finance solutions that SAP that tailor made to fit the needs of the customer. The second is the real-time nature of in-memory technology that is the hallmark of SAP HANA.

The consolidation of such components enables enterprises to execute mission-critical processes in real-time on SAP Cloud, thereby establishing what can only be described as a new benchmark in the IT industry.

SAP Fiori was also highlighted by the CEO of SAP SE, telling the users gathered in Orlando about data and processes which exist, being built for mainly controlling and not for collaborating.

McDermott said that this, Simple Finance will prove to be a game changer on various levels for users and organizations worldwide aimed especially for the enterprise software industry.

The take-away for organizations, McDermott said, is the capability to execute strategic decisions and take appropriate action by gleaning from insights instantaneously as they come in. This is because they will relate to risk and compliance, financial applications, accounting and treasury, and also planning.

Simple Finance solutions reside on SAP’s secure, flexible and reliable SAP Enterprise Cloud and are driven by the SAP HANA platform.

SAP Simple Finance solutions also have solutions that are constructed particularly for around 25 industries in more than 50 countries which are in compliance with local and global needs of finance departments.

2. HANA Strength

SAP has over 40 year’s expertise in delivering software that meets global standards, meeting the software needs of organizations across the world.

Even though SAP welcomes software partners, it does not subject itself to the decisions of a third-party database vendor such as Oracle which proves to be the case for most financial and related solutions such as Salesforce.com

3. Simple Finance Value Proposition- Adding value to the enterprise

  • Superior and enhanced business advice resulting from more relevant and timely insight
  • Enhanced corporate alignment and agility resulting from direct end user access to insight
  • Effective management of working capital and financial risks functioning at enhanced levels
  • Lowering of IT complexity
  • Minimization of cost for manual report generation and data reconciliation
  • Minimization of operational risks resulting from fraud and several other noncompliance activities

4. Simple Finance: The Future of Finance

Today sees SAP customers tapping into the vast advantages of putting an end to the conventional limitations of the database architecture. The in-memory technology, being the pride and joy of the SAP enterprise, has great potential, yet does not adequately or completely address persistent data aggregates, SAP HANA has seen to still rely on aggregate data views. Simply put, the value addition which backs Simple Finance is the removal of conventional aggregate limitations which facilitates financial and controlling reporting to be consolidated into a single view. Until recently reconciliation means accessing of several tables like the FI tables for the General Ledger (GL) data or CO tables for profitability and even cost centre data- all this now comes as built-in. The unique value proposition of SAP Simple Finance which makes it stand out from the SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA is that it addresses redundancy along the stack with regard to data mining.

SAP Simple Finance impressively looks into and resolves the redundancy of data mining in all its dimensions, thereby enabling info and insight at the immediate access of the user or customer. All this is also being done in seconds. This is the key to comprehend the power and simplicity that SAP Simple Finance brings in. One has to remember that the issue here is not just the use of SAP HANA as a highly powerful database to go through vast amounts of financial data at astonishing speeds. The focus here is to accomplish real-time enterprise-wide finance via SAP HANA by even merging other data and applications which are non-SAP into SAP Simple Finance Feature Subsets. This has very real implications- for instance if an enterprise is smack in the center of a 10-year infrastructure project plan can still accomplish a live SAP HANA reporting environment without needing to remove an existing project plan and having to start from the ground up.

What’s more, the functionality such as Central Journal is a big component of the manner in which financial data is merged in SAP Simple Finance. This aids in new SAP customers comprehending the value of moving to this new solution, whereby they can gain from linked data along with dashboarding, additional reporting, and even modeling functionalities. SAP Simple Finance eliminates the entire need for information silos by going to the line-item level as the single source of truth for Payables, GL, Receivables, Revenue and cost, and even Fixed asset data. Prerequisites for SAP Simple Finance are simple as expected, SAP HANA and enhancement package 7 for SAP ERP 6.0. This applies to both net-new and pre-existing SAP Business Suite powered by SAP HANA users.

5. Step ahead with Simple Finance

It is not common in the current market scenario for customers to have a vested interest in finding how efficiencies in their monthly close can be optimized. It also raises questions such as how to minimize redundancy or shorten closing cycles. SAP Simple Finance steps in at this juncture to answer a lot of similar questions, and it is done in a manner that makes it easy to establish a business case scenario and even show an ROI. But a lot more is at stake here than just the speeding up of processes, it is also to transform finance into a tool that can be used as a strategic partner to the enterprise.

The tremendous potential here is with respect to real-time reporting, dynamic and integrated forecasting, along with accelerated analytics. This means finance teams will not only expend time in the collection and analysis of data, or manually altering spreadsheets. Alternatively, they can merge with external and internal stakeholders to model future performance and construction scenarios based on possible external events or even the actions taken by market competitors. Finance teams therefore will gain from enhanced agility, adaptive capacities to rally around brand new challenges, and a whole lot more. The availability of real-time dashboard reporting coupled with extensive “what-if” scenario reporting, enables organizations to plan resource allocation and usage enabling marked resilience, even in the face of major foreseeable changes. This real-time reporting accounts for effects of environmental or behavioral changes in processes, such as turnover, system failure, or capacity peaks.

Go through our SAP S/4HANA SIMPLE FINANCE EXAM C_TS4FI_1610 Certification Made Easy  to crack the Interviews

SAP Simple Finance Planning

Planning is an excellent instance of SAP Simple Finance dynamically alters finance function and also simultaneously makes way for innovative opportunities. In several finance enterprises, planning turns out to have more complexities than is actually needed. This is because of siloed approaches that are used in conventional data structures. There will be a cost plan, sales plan and even a profit and loss or P&L plan and the list goes on. But it is worth noting that such plans are not really different as they exhibit granularities inherent within a P&L statement.

SAP Simple Finance here enables the planning on the above-mentioned granularities present at the line-item level. Integration of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation of the front end with the SAP ERP back-end in SAP Simple Finance is really useful for SAP users. This is because users will be liberated from the hassle of resorting to redundant planning which is based on business warehousing architecture.

Data being accessible in real-time across the whole range of financial applications enables users to ask unique questions which might be outside the scope of prepared reports. Such granular data structure is central to revolutionary predictive models which may otherwise not be possible. Without this, enterprises would have to deal with the close process that drags out to almost five days, along with several dozen analysts’ data mining from a plethora of disparate sources.

SAP Simple Finance is known to cut down on complexity in mostly two ways. The first way is already stated above being placed at the process level. The second is a detailed simplification in system design. Customization can be achieved at the line-item level, which results in an added field being available in all the reports from the new single source. This, in turn, signifies that upgrades or re-implementations are unnecessary. SAP Simple Finance can basically decrease the visibility of system deficiencies or an application’s structural issues with flexible and adaptable onboarding, supporting and enabling continual change in the system itself along with supporting process change.

SAP Simple Finance revolutionizes reporting by offering real-time updated integration with the transactional system. It is no longer required to have separate reporting database for database performance purpose. Journal based real-time reporting is touted to be the new standard with Simple Finance enabling the whole spectrum of integrated financial reporting.

Checkout the Article-Users Should Know About: SAP S/4HANA Sourcing & Procurement


SAP Simple Finance is the giant step ahead for all enterprises the world over provided they embrace SAP’s vision of Finance driven strategic decision making. SAP’s newest ERP offering is bound to change the way enterprises around the world do business on a daily basis leading to large-scale changes in the transactional processes geared towards highly accelerated processing speeds. This being said, SAP Simple Finance offers a bright future for any individual or organization that has the vision to build its Finance architecture around it. If you are planning to take up a certification in SAP Simple Finance, then, there wouldn’t be a better time than now!

I hope that by now you have had an overview of SAP S/4 HANA Finance. Before you enroll in ZaranTech’s certification course on SAP S/4 HANA Finance, do check out the S4 HANA Finance demo:

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