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This was an SAP-provided webcast Featured Content provided earlier this month.  I heard on another webcast that Simple Finance is a prerequisite to S/4HANA - see S/4HANA Next Generation Webcast Notes

Please note that the usual legal disclaimer applies that planned future items are subject to change.  These are my notes as I heard them.  Also I don't have any hands-on experience with this solution.

Figure 1: Source: SAP

Figure 1 shows new challenges, one is business trends, the other is technologies

Volatility increases complexity of the business

CFO’s create more business value with less resources

Finance team has to create more analytics across the enterprise Big Data

Have to find answers on these trends and how to support CFO’s

Figure 2: Source: SAP

Finance is “stuck in old releases” with “fragmented system landscapes” and takes a lot of work to “keep the lights on” with less time on innovation

The goal is to “turn this around”.

Figure 3: Source: SAP

Simple finance add-on supports CFO needs and additional services

New dynamic planning possibilities across the value chain to take action

Go more in direction of automating operations

“Faster adoption of innovations” through HEC (HANA Enterprise Cloud)

Figure 4: Source: SAP

Simple Finance is the basis

New architecture eliminates redundant structures and “on the fly” aggregations

Fiori UI works on all devices

It can be deployed in cloud or on-premise

Processes are at the bottom of Figure 4

Figure 5: Source: SAP

Achieve “single source of truth” by deleting aggregate tables with direct access to line items for analysis and reporting.  This also includes integrated planning and predictive forecasting

Figure 6: Source: SAP

Figure 6 shows the next level of details with “improvements in 5 areas”

New Fiori UI’s and analysis possibilities

Figure 7: Source: SAP

Figure 7 shows more details of the planned innovations for Simple Finance add-on.

Smart Business Executive Edition is planned with more advanced graphics shown on the slide (planned) – business experts can go in and define a dashboard, rearrange screen

This includes pre-built cockpits in SAP to consume data from A/R, A/P, drill down, alerts via KPI’s and jump to line item level

Integrated Business Planning combines SAP Accounting with planning product

SAP Finance with planning – a smooth/seamless experience – consume master planning and actual data in real time.

It is realtime with no data copying

For Simple Finance 2.0 add balance sheet planning, new concept Universal journal – additional reports to make it easy to report actual versus planning with different objects

You can create intermediate master data during planning cycle

You can retract plan values into SAP accounting to do a budget check

Figure 8: Source: SAP

Single source of truth is one of the deliverables of Simple Finance

Version 1 combined managerial & FI documents with a link in a logical document.  Planned innovation is one step further – create new single repository for all line items in finance called the Universal Journal – repository of all journal entries – take all dimensions in GL, cost elements, asset accounting, material ledger – all converged into a single structure called the Universal Journal

One line item table with all this information – this replaces the logical document.

Views from before are now in compatibility views

Can put all the reporting tools in the Universal Journal to slice and dice

Cost elements and GL accounts will merge; will no longer have 2 separate master data elements for GL and cost element.  It will all be in the same table – another step in “simplification”.  This is the biggest planned innovation – universal journal

With a faster/earlier financial close, there is an earlier insight into profitability

When post to a cost center and able to derive information early through a “soft close”

Asset accounting – 1.0 removed most of the period posting runs.  Now periodic posting runs are now gone.  This allows faster insight and a faster close cycle.

There is no need to align GL with asset accounting any more. The Universal Journal takes this away.

Figure 9: Source: SAP

Like the story of unification of FI and CO but what happens if I have a different view from management? In the context of universal journal is the planned innovation called Appendix ledger, such as for IFRS.  In the appendix ledger you can do additional posting (first release will be manual, future more automatic)

Appendix ledger stores delta of base ledger so it is “lean”.

Figure 10: Source: SAP

How get benefit of Simple Finance and adopt?  Customers may not want to touch existing landscape

In 2014 called Central Journal and it is now called Central Finance

Idea is to deploy simple finance in a new instance, could leverage existing instance, with the data replicate in real time in new environment

Planned – not just replicate GL postings – post open items, replicate secondary CO postings

When replicate know how to “go back” to see postings in Simple Finance and see line items and jump back to source system

Need to do data harmonization (MDG) – it can be leveraged in Central Finance deployment

Plan to support soon the intercompany reconciliation in Simple Finance instance “real time” without batch loading

Part 2 is here: SAP Simple Finance Roadmap Webcast Part 2