A vital part of building the business case for SAP S/4HANA is to help organisations envisage how their current SAP R/3 processes will look in an S/4HANA landscape.
The mapping of ‘as-is’ and ‘to-be’ scenarios plays a key role in a successful implementation, ensuring that all existing business processes will be included and well-orchestrated in the new system. In addition, revisiting existing processes provides a business with the ideal opportunity to identify inefficiencies in their current processes and drive innovations based on the functionality of the new technology. This ensures the offerings of S/4HANA are maximised for the business and further value is added.
Below, I’ve gone through a simple mapping exercise to provide an illustration of the differences, starting with a receivables management scenario in which standard R/3 transactions are used. Accounts Receivable Accountants normally kick-off their day with the analysis of overdue items within their portfolio of customers, either through the Customer Line Item Display (FBL5N) or the Collections Worklist (UDM_SPECIALIST), or both. Once they have the big picture of overdue items, they start contacting customers to clarify the individual situations. If there is a reason why an invoice is not being paid, then the Accountant will probably want to create a dispute case (UDM_DISPUTE) or a promise to pay through the Collections Worklist once the customer commits to a certain payment date. If the invoice is finally paid, then the Accountant will be clearing the incoming payments against the corresponding open items (F-32) or eventually posting the incoming payments manually if need be (F-28). On the other hand, the Accounts Receivable Manager checks the progress of collections throughout the day using the Collections Worklist (UDM_SUPERVISOR) and opens disputes (UDM_DISPUTE). In addition to this, they should keep an eye on relevant KPIs such as DSOs and promises to pay, which are usually monitored using BW reports.
How does this process look in S/4HANA?
In the world of S/4HANA, all of the functionality described above can be covered with just a handful of ‘tiles’ per business role. Each ‘tile’ is a Fiori app which have two key elements:
- Real time visibility of the progress of receivables.
- Easy-to-consume user interface.
The following images show the tiles that would allow us to cover this functionality using the two roles detailed above: Accounts Receivable Accountant and Accounts Receivable Manager.
Accounts Receivable Accountant
Process Collections Worklist
As the name of this app suggests, it is the equivalent to R/3’s Collections Worklist, as can be seen in the image below. The layout is certainly easier to utilise and navigate than transaction UDM_SPECIALIST and some features have been conveniently relocated.
By drilling down to the Customer level, the full contact history is now available from a pop-up by simply activating the feature “Show Contact History” from the bottom right of the screen below. Notes are visible on the top right, along with the “Due Date Grid”, which is also a pop-up that gives us a bar chart representation of overdue items for this customer using the red/green Fiori colour-coding. The “Payments” tab has been replaced by “Cleared Items” which shows the details of the invoices that were cleared in real time. Invoices, Disputes, Promises to pay and Resubmissions are the other tabs in this app, all of them with the number of open items visible and a greatly simplified user interface.
Manage Dispute Cases
In this example, this tile shows all the dispute cases that are assigned to me as “Processor” but there is one app per disputes role available, as well as an “Open Dispute Case” app to raise dispute cases regardless of your role within the process. Again, the app is very easy to navigate and the link to other relevant apps is made available from the pop up shown in the image below:
The “Related Apps” feature allows the user to jump into other apps that will help with the resolution of the dispute case. All the facts that are covered by UDM_DISPUTE are also available by double clicking on any dispute case and this includes drilling down to business partner, invoice, billing document or any other object that is configured at dispute case type level.
The other three tiles in the Accounts Receivable Accountant dashboard will allow the user to Display Customer Balances (FBL5N), Post Incoming Payments (F-28) or Clear Incoming Payments manually (F-32) to support his daily Collections and Disputes tasks.
Accounts Receivable Manager
The dashboard for the Accounts Receivables Manager is illustrated below and is entirely focused on KPIs. The main focus here is to give the Manager an accurate picture of Receivables on a single screen. Let’s look at look at what each of them can provide:
This works out the percentage of open/completed items in the Collection Worklists of all your specialists and therefore gives a good indication of the specialists’ performance, distribution criteria for collections groups, feasibility of collection targets, etc. Within this app, collection figures are shown according to segments, processors and countries, among other slices.
Open Disputes and Promises to Pay show the amount of money that is being disputed and has been promised by customers. Both apps show all the relevant details of the dispute cases and promises to pay with a variety of options in terms of layout and graphical representation.
The app Days Sales Outstanding show the average number of days it takes to collect money from customers. Thresholds can be predefined and the details of outstanding receivables can be displayed using a number of different characteristics.
Finally, Overdue Receivables show the ratio of overdue amounts receivable/total open amounts receivable and, again, thresholds and warnings can be configured. Overdue receivables can be analysed with this app by due periods, company codes, customers and AR Accountants, amongst others.
Last but not least
Fiori apps and SAP GUI transactions are of course not mutually exclusive and, if this suits your needs, business processes can be mapped to both apps and transactions as part of your roadmap to S/4HANA because they can happily coexist. An excellent source of information for available Fiori apps and all that can be achieved with them is Fiori Apps Library, where they are listed by roles, as well as other useful categories, such as industry and line of business.
As highlighted by Mark Chalfen in Enabling business transformation with S/4HANA, the move to S/4HANA is not an upgrade to a higher system release or version. It is an opportunity to re-design more efficient business processes and this can be way easier than you think!