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Implementing a tax engine as part of an SAP S/4HANA migration is a “win-win-win” proposition that generates value for tax, finance and IT teams.

Per Brian Wilchucsky of Vertex, an SAP Endorsed App found on the SAP Store,"one of the best ways tax groups can ensure a tax engine is included in the ERP migration is by staying as informed as possible about the finance transformation and – more specifically – about relevant SAP S/4HANA migration drivers, strategies and practices."  That’s why Brian thinks SAPinsider’s new SAP S/4HANA Benchmark Report is so valuable.

Based on survey responses from 161 members of the SAPinsider community, the report covers numerous aspects of SAP S/4HANA migrations, including adoption status, factors driving migration, external factors affecting migration plans, solutions that enhance the value of SAP S/4HANA and deployment best practices.

The report’s executive summary highlights several important points, including the fact that SAP’s upcoming end of mainstream maintenance date (for core SAP releases) will not be extended. SAP CEO Christian Klein stated explicitly in SAP’s 2022 earnings call that SAP would not extend the end of mainstream maintenance beyond 2027. Their position on the situation is that they have provided multiple options and they expect customers to decide which is appropriate for them... Whatever decision is made, organizations must plan for the impact of the 2027 maintenance position.

This helps explain why the maintenance date marks the top driver of S/4HANA migration, followed by digital transformation pressures and the opportunity to re-engineer processes, respectively.

The report contains a wealth of insights that will help tax professionals, in particular, deepen their knowledge of ERP cloud migration challenges and approaches. It concludes with a four-point game plan designed to position S/4HANA initiatives for success:

  1. Don’t delay: The longer an SAP ERP system has been running, the more complex it is likely to be. For any sort of plans for replacement, a move to SAP S/4HANA, modernizing or re-engineering processes or eliminating legacy code, the sooner that process is underway the better.

  2. Carve out sufficient time for planning and deployment: The biggest challenge identified by respondents for moving to SAP S/4HANA was finding the time to prioritize the project. This does not suggest that the project was not important to their organizations. It indicates that, as a lengthy and resource intensive project, it is difficult to dedicate the necessary resources.

  3. Scrutinize deployment options and licensing: Organizations are presented with options for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, including public cloud, private cloud, hyperscaler and customer data center options. It’s recommended to take the time to understand the real differences between SAP S/4HANA deployment options so that any decisions made will be fully informed ones.

  4. Pick the right partner: Partners and system Integrators play a major role in any large-scale ERP deployment, and only a small proportion of organizations do not plan to use them in any move to SAP S/4HANA. While the most likely roles for partners are project management and change management, they can help optimize workflows, develop new code, share knowledge and assist with data cleansing.

As always, this report provided excellent guidance – and I’ll leave you with another perspective, courtesy of Vertex, on why tax automation should be included in ERP cloud migration roadmaps.

Note: Blog by Brian Wilchucsky, Sr. Director, Global SAP Practice, Vertex