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There has been a fair amount of discussion around SAP’s go-forward strategy with consolidation and financial close applications, with a lot of customers who currently use BPC (Business Planning and Consolidation) or some other consolidation solution (eg. Hyperion), trying to figuring out what’s the appropriate roadmap to pursue in the future.

In the consolidation process, the common challenges companies are facing now can be summarized as following:

  • Data collection: uploading financial related transactional information from disparate systems into a consolidated system

  • Intra-company reconciliation: a lot of manual work and communication lead to errors and risks

  • Time consuming: it’s hard to monitor the process and status among different subsidiaries

Group reporting is SAP innovative reporting and consolidation solution built into SAP S/4HANA which means that you have 1 centralised database and no longer have to export the data into another application such as Business Warehouse where the information is suddenly no longer in real time. Data from the transactional system and the consolidation system is connected and therefore is happening in a live environment.

However receiving data and up to date information is almost useless unless you have the right tools to analyse it and make accurate decisions.

Group reporting also includes SAP Analytics Cloud functionality which contains readily available reports to view live data around financial consolidation. These reports are easily configured for the end user, for example, you are able to add new dimensions according to the individual requirements.

Not only are you able to use live data to run consolidation reports, but you are able to take this a step further and use the consolidation data to budget, forecast and compare the plan data with actuals.

We could certainly write books full of technical information outlining the differences between both applications, however there is one game-changing benefit that I want to talk about – Real Time.

Real time seems to be a buzz word that you’ll likely hear in marketing from any software company, but what is it? Real time computing essentially means that your system is ‘live’ so you are able to respond to events at the time that it is actually happening. SAP S/4HANA is SAP’s intelligent system which enables the transactional information and analytical information combined into one single system which is the foundation of ‘Real Time’.

Using Group Reporting in SAP S/4HANA can help put any business with multiple entities ahead of the game by allowing you to make timely and accurate decisions based on real time data.
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