SAP Advanced Financial Closing (AFC) has been SAP’s strategic solution for orchestrating closing processes since 2018. This cloud-only application runs on the SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP) and controls closing processes in one or more SAP accounting systems.
Whether or not your finance team was using Financial Closing cockpit, as companies on ECC accounting releases evaluate your move to SAP S/4HANA, and/or RISE with SAP S/4HANA Cloud, you should take advantage of this point in time to optimize your financial close. Many processes and the programs behind them change with SAP S/4HANA, which means that you must perform a process analysis anyway. The switch provides a good way to update, standardize and harmonize the closing template. If you skip this step and only do a simple technical upgrade, you will miss adopting
simplification of underlying data structures
redesigned processes, like Universal Allocations (since SAP S/4HANA 2019) and Automated Account Balance Validation (since SAP S/4HANA 2023 )
While SAP has had other closing capabilities in the past, for example the SAP S/4HANA Financial Closing cockpit, you should always be evaluating SAP AFC.
Companies using SAP AFC report the following benefits:
Immediate access to the newest innovations within AFC without upgrades (software-as-a-service)
Integration with latest S/4HANA accounting innovations and content
Improved user experience with mobile phone and tablet access to monitor or approve closing tasks
Increased automation based on job chains and strong dependency logic
Ownership of the solution by business users
As soon as you know your harmonized closing steps, or if you have optimized the close for many years already, This content points out the S/4HANA Innovations and re-designed/HANA-optimized transactions and jobs.
The mass change functionality in AFC allows your finance team for quick maintenance of the relevant fields for orchestration. You will be very fast to roll out your template to other entities.
SAP AFC can be used as a closing hub to orchestrate your tasks across multiple SAP systems and entities. To connect an SAP S/4HANA on premise or private edition system, SAP requires a minimum release of SAP S/4HANA 1809 SP4 from May 2019 for use. SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition and SAP ECC 6 systems can also be integrated. This means that SAP AFC can be used not only in connection with cloud-only applications but can also be embedded in hybrid system landscapes.
Closing Hub Szenario with Hybrid System Landscape
An AFC project can be started quickly. The System Provisioning and Basis Setup to connect the systems only takes a few days – and you will need only one productive tenant. You can connect your systems using the Cloud Connector, or, when connecting ECC systems, to the ERP Connector. This is described in the administration guide on SAPhelp.com.
For companies already using FCC, there is no need to wait for an FCC migration scenario or download-and-upload functionality with SAP AFC. As shown above, your team should re-evaluate their closing procedures with the newest innovations – and leverage the great closing content SAP provides. By setting up your closing template, your business team gains the skills to make the settings by themselves – they will own the solution going forward. They will be able to take advantage of the latest functionality to orchestrate your closing and accelerate your processes with relentless automation.