Enterprise Resource Planning Blogs by SAP
Get insights and updates about cloud ERP and RISE with SAP, SAP S/4HANA and SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and more enterprise management capabilities with SAP blog posts.
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Hello everyone,

this blog will give you a step-by-step guidance of how to set up a workflow for advanced compliance reporting. After making the necessary settings, we will also dive into the process of approving such a workflow item.

Basically, the process will include the following apps:

1.) Manage Teams and Responsibilities

2.) Manage Workflows - Advanced Compliance Reporting

3.) Run Advanced Compliance Reports

4.) My Inbox

5.) Run Advanced Compliance Reports (again)

Let's start with setting up teams and responsibilities.


1.) Manage Teams and Responsibilities

As a first step, some mandatory fields in the header section need to be filled out. Give the workflow a Name and choose Advanced Compliance Reporting as a Type. The Global ID and Category will be derived from those entries respectively.

In the section "Responsibility Definitions", you can specify whether the workflow shall be initiated only for certain Report Categories and / or Report Entities. In our example, the workflow will only run for a German VAT Return Report.

The approvers are maintained under "Team Members". When selecting a user, a relevant function e.g. "Compliance Manager" needs to be assigned. The function is the link between the team and the workflow. When all required entries were made, the status can be set as "Enabled".

After enabling the team, the workflow can be maintained.


2.) Manage Workflows - Advanced Compliance Reporting

To identify the workflow, a Workflow Name and Validity Period should be entered.

The "Start Condition" defines under which circumstances the workflow will be initiated. In our case, a workflow will be only necessary for the German VAT Return. The section "Workflow Steps" defines how the system shall proceed in case of approving, clarifying or rejecting a workflow. For this, click the "Add" button.

The Step Type "Approve Report" is pre-filled and the recipients of the workflow can be defined. By selecting the Role "Compliance Manager", only users assigned to the equal function from the app before, will be able to approve the workflow. In our case, we only use one approver. However, it is also possible to define several approvers and select whether one or all users of this group need to approve the workflow.

The tab "Exception Handling" defines how the system shall behave in case a workflow is being rejected or sent for clarification. As it could happen that information is missing, the recipient and the required action "Provide More information" can be used accordingly.

As the last step, the workflow needs to be activated. So lets see, what effect the maintained workflow will have on the compliance reporting process.


3.) Run Advanced Compliance Reports

Before executing the run for a VAT Return, the activity "Manage Tax Items" should be processed and the status set to "Completed".

When entering the activity "Prepare Advance VAT Return (Germany)", the file will be generated after clicking the "Run" button.

Keep in mind: VAT Return can still be run and downloaded WITHOUT an approval!

However, the workflow will be required to change the status of the report after sending the generated file to the tax authorities. For this, mark the successful run on the left side and click the "Send for Approval" button.

Enter a comment if necessary.

After clicking the "Send" button, the workflow is initiated and the Approval Status of the run will change from "Not started" to "Sent for Approval".


4.) My Inbox

The user maintained as the "Compliance Manager" in step 1 will then receive a notification in his / her inbox asking to approve the workflow.

After clicking the green "Approve" button on the bottom, the approver can also add an optional note.

After clicking the "Submit" button, the notification will disappear from the inbox.


5.) Run Advanced Compliance Reports

When the approver agrees on the VAT Return, the status changes from "Sent for Approval" to "Approved". Also, the buttons "Verify" and "Submit" are not greyed out anymore.

After the report was handed over to the tax authorities the user needs to maintain this by ticking the "Submit" button. Then, the Run will jump from the "Generated" tab to the "Submitted" tab.

Sooner or later, the tax authorities will reply whether the submitted VAT Return Report will be accepted or declined. In that case, the submission status can also be maintained by selecting one of the displayed options.

Afterwards, the "Due Date Status" as well as the "Activity Status" will change to "Completed". As a last activity, only the tax payables would need to be posted.


I hope this blog helps you out in case you need to set up a workflow for advanced compliance reporting. In case of questions or suggestions for improvement, feedback is welcome in the comment section.

Thank you and best regards