Options for Consolidation using SAP BPC (Blog # 6)

SAP BPC is a world-class planning and consolidation solution. With the introduction of HANA and S4, consolidation has very rapidly transformed. This has left us with multiple options for consolidation. Understanding the similarities and differences of the available options will help you to assess the impact on cost, duration, skills and testing needs for your implementation. This blog is an attempt to catalog them.

Before the introduction of HANA and BW Embedded, BPC Classic was used as the preferred platform for consolidation.The Classic version of BPC Consolidation is available in Microsoft as well as Netweaver versions.

With the introduction of HANA and BW Embedded, we have BPC embedded as another option on the table. The embedded model allows for two different type of consolidation functions.

  • Traditional Consolidation: A separate dedicated application designed to support sourcing of data from multiple systems via periodic replication of transactional data. In addition, Master and Metadata must also either be replicated or maintained directly in both systems.
  • Real-Time Consolidation: An integrated application designed to support real-time access to transactional and Master data within S/4HANA Finance with limited or no data replication of the underlying data, aligned with the S/4HANA Finance concept of support for real-time business.

Traditional Consolidation using Embedded BPC

The look and feel of the consolidation functionalities are very much in line with SAP BPC Classic. When it comes to consolidation functions like the ones listed below, both the Classic and Embedded models are very similar

  • Consolidation Monitor
  • Ownership Manager
  • Control Monitor
  • Journal
  • Business Rules
    • Elimination and Adjustment
    • Currency Conversion
    • Balance Carry Forward
    • IC Data & IC Matching
    • Account Transformation

Having said that BPC Embedded Consolidation has some subtle and fundamental differences from the Classic consolidation model.

Modelling

BPC Embedded Consolidation model uses the bottom-up approach to modeling.  In Classic BPC the modeling is done in BPC interface and this, in turn, creates all necessary objects in the BW side. For example, creating a dimension or Model via the BPC admin console will create necessary info objects, cubes, multi providers etc in the back end. This is a top-down approach to modeling.

But in BPC Embedded, we start by creating necessary BW object like info objects, cubes/ADSOs, Multi Providers, Aggregation Level and Queries first. Then we link this to Consolidation model via the BPC Admin Console.  A substantial part of the time will be spent in BW development, transport, and testing as part of BPC Embedded Consolidation implementation.

Model Type

Classic consolidation leverages a YTD model for consolidation. The period data is automatically made available for reporting purposes only. Similarly, the ability to store and retrieve comments using formula is unique to Classic consolidation model.

In contrast, Embedded Consolidation model uses a periodic model. It doesn’t create make YTD available out of the box, this will need additional configuration. Please refer to our blog for more details on that. The storage and retrieval of comments also need the creation of info objects, aggregation levels, and queries etc. The comment functionality is very limited, and SAP has this in their 2018 roadmap of Embedded BPC.

Signage for Accounts

SAP BPC Classic model differs significantly that Embedded planning uses a key figure based model while BPC classic uses an account based model. In classic BPC, Account dimension contains 4 different possible values for the Account Type (ACCTYPE) property: AST, LEQ, INC, and EXP.  In short, the account intelligence is built into the system. This not the case in Embedded, you may have to configure the account intelligence in your solution. Signage for Account in SAP BPC Embedded (Blog #1)

Real-Time Consolidation

Real-Time Consolidation has no predecessor in the Classic BPC universe. The key difference of a Real-time Consolidation model is its deeper integration with SAP S4HANA. The master data and transaction data flows into Consolidation model in real-time. The data is accessed via the BW virtual info providers that rely on the HANA view to read the transaction data from the ACDOCA and ACDOCC tables directly. The master data is also accessed similarly via the HANA views.

The solution uses ACDOCC table to store the consolidation journals, this is more in-line with SAP’s ERP framework. Real-time consolidation mandates Group Chart of Account. The solution facilitates the conversion of Operational Chart of Account to Group chart of the account via configurations. This is significantly different from the traditional consolidation modeling where this conversion will take place during BW transformation or via conversion files.

Apart from these aspects, the following functions are very similar to traditional consolidation.

  • Reporting via Analysis for Office
  • Consolidation Monitor
  • Controls
  • Journals (interface)
  • Ownership Manager
  • Business Rules
    • Elimination and Adjustment
    • Currency Conversion
    • Balance Carry Forward
    • IC Data & IC Matching
    • Account Transformation

References:

https://blogs.sap.com/2017/01/27/the-next-generation-consolidation-solution-real-time-consolidation/

https://blogs.sap.com/2017/02/10/report-and-input-value-with-ytd-in-bpc-embedded-model/

https://blogs.sap.com/2017/05/11/all-you-need-to-know-about-saps-new-real-time-consolidation/

Conclusion

SAP has made available multiple options for consolidation now. On the million dollar question of which tool you should select for Consolidation solution depends on various factors. Please contact us for your consolidation specific requirements, we will be able to guide you through the process and arrive at best choice suited to your organizational needs.

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