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Group Reporting Data Collection - New functionalities from 2021

Group Reporting Data Collection

The consolidation solution S/4HANA Group Reporting is due to its deep integration with S/4 HANA accounting and controlling interesting for companies. The integrative approach is also reflected in the basic functionalities of Group Reporting. Similar to ECCS and SEM BCS, the individual financial statement data is delivered directly from S/4 HANA for integrated companies or via automated interfaces / file upload for non-integrated companies. What are the benefits with the Group Reporting Data Collection app?

  • Do you have many companies that are not integrated in S/4 HANA? 
  • Do you first have to map the individual financial statement data of these companies to the group data model? 
  • Do you want to automate this mapping?
  • Do you want to give the companies the opportunity to enter the data completely manually or to enrich the data after the mapped upload?
  • Do you want to query additional reporting data in addition to data coming from the ERP?
  • Do you want to collect key comments on the individual financial statement data?
  • Then you can't get past GRDC (Group Reporting Data Collection).

Group Reporting Data Collection allows:

  • A pair of flexible and extensive mapping of the data including mapping logs (regardless of whether the data is imported from S/4 HANA, from Group Reporting itself, from an automatically connected source system or via a flat file)
  • Manual entry / enrichment of the data via entry folders

The Group Reporting Data Collection is a young tool that is being actively developed. Especially in the last 1,5 years, many important functionalities have been added. It is therefore worth taking a closer look at the functions delivered from Q1-Q4 / 2021 and Q1-Q2 / 2022. I proceed chronologically. In this article I summarize the changes of 2021. Changes from 2022 will follow in a next article.

Q2 2021 - Collection of text comments for financial data

It was made possible in the entry folders values ​​with the comments. The length of the comments is limited to 10.000 characters and is therefore sufficient for all possible purposes. The comments are visible in other forms within GRDC (Group Reporting Data Collection) for relevant data.

GRDC chart on comments

What is still missing is a way to display the comments in a separate field. You can display the comments of all companies in a segment with the corresponding values. This means that the value can be commented on at the segment level.

It is interesting that the comments are not physically group reporting be written as is the case with numbers. Instead, they stay in the GRDC Cloud (or rather on the BTP – Business Technology Platform). Currently you can view these comments only display within the GRDC. The possibility of consuming these from the reports of Group Reporting is planned for a later release.

Diagram of the functions of GDRC

And finally ... It is an important functionality to enable application-supported commenting on the figures. Through them, the Communication between suppliers of separate accounts and consolidators/reporters facilitated. In addition, it promotes transparency. With the functionalities of displaying in a separate field and the option of displaying reports from the group reporting, the package would be complete. For the future one could think about a possibility of capturing comments on node level.

Q2 2021 - Calculation of the values ​​in the entry mask using layout formulas

With the Q2 2021 release, there is also the possibility of Excel similar calculations added to the entry masks. 

Many functions can be used in the formulas. Here are a number of possible functions by category:

  • 26 date functions 
  • 16 information functions 
  • 26 finance functions 
  • 10 logical functions
  • 11 search functions
  • 75 Mathematical Functions
  • 132 Statistical Functions
  • 23 text functions.

The formulas can be defined per row and/or per column.

In addition to cell references, you can also use the labels in the formulas that you previously defined in the form.

Ways to perform calculations in GDRC

Possible uses of the layout formulas:

  • Information purpose (subtotal calculation)
  • Control purpose (difference between the sum of the statements and the total)
  • Calculation of the KPI's and their storage in the database 
  • Automatic reversal of the data records when the additional financial data for transaction-based capital consolidation is delivered

And finally ... As we can see, the scope of the supplied formula work kit is convincing. Many previously open flanks have been covered by this further development. As a further expansion stage, one could imagine the possibility of being able to store a formula for each cell.

Q3 2021 – Conditional Formatting, Hideability, Resizable, Read-Only, Variable Extensibility

With the Q3 2021 release, a comprehensive package of further developments for manual entry was delivered, which affects various aspects.

Conditional formatting – the functionality is well known from Excel. Allows the cell's fill or font color to be changed to green, yellow, or red, depending on the value of the cell.

Formatting in GDRC

hideability – you can define for each cell whether the value is displayed or hidden there. Alternatively, the entire row or column can be hidden. Hidden values ​​can still be used for conditional formatting or for formula calculation. 

Resizable – you can set the size for each row and column, or alternatively have the row/column automatically adjusted to the length of the content.

write protection – when creating the entry mask, it is possible to define that individual cells, entire areas or the entire mask are write-protected.

Variable expandability – if you want to make a multiple selection for a specific breakdown, you have the option of selecting how this is displayed in the entry mask:

  • Show dimension values ​​with amounts.
  • Show and add dimension values ​​- Show only the booked dimension values ​​and at the same time allow the user to add additional rows or columns for new dimension values ​​when filling the mask.
  • Show all dimension values.
Diagram, explanation, this is how dimension values ​​can be entered.

The middle option is particularly useful for the Delivery of partner information, where the company supplies only a handful of partners out of several hundred possible for certain positions. 

And finally ... A major advancement. The conditional formatting is very useful when enriching the item values ​​with movement types or functional areas. You can use the mapping to post the source system values ​​to dummy elements without such a breakdown. The entry mask then ensures that this value is divided among the normal elements. The variable expandability allows manual data acquisition to be presented in a visually meaningful way, even in cases where the list of possible dimension values ​​is very long.

Q3 2021 - Mapping Protocols (Traceability Protocols)

With the Q3 2021 release, a function of the mapping logs (or traceability logs in SAP language) was delivered. When uploading the data with the underlying mapping, you can now run it with or without logging.

Diagram of how mapping logs are created in GRDC.

If you have selected the function, a log will be available at the end of the import. This makes it possible to trace which input data has been transferred to which output data using which lines of the mapping definition. 

A mapping protocol from GDRC

In the previous screenshot, company financials dates are highlighted in blue in the data model of the supplying entity. Corresponding used lines of the mapping definition are yellow. The corresponding values ​​in the group data model are shown here in red columns. 

This allows you to analyze at any time how the mapping is set up. You can prove to the auditor that the individual financial statement values ​​received by the group have been correctly transferred to the group data model.

Conclusion: A useful functionality that rounds off the already existing mapping functionalities. It also promotes transparency of data transformation.

Q4 2021 – Copy function with possibility of transformation

With the Q4 2021 release, a copy function with a transformation option has been added. It is now possible to use S/4 HANA Group Reporting as the source system for mapping. The data can be selected from your own or another ACDOCU table (database table of the group reporting). This data can be transferred using all mapping options of the GRDC and written back into the ACDOCU table.

What are the possible uses?

1 example: A subgroup XY consolidates the data from several consolidation units in its own consolidation group (possibly on a different data model and/or on the other group reporting entity/tenant). After the data has been consolidated there, it is delivered pre-consolidated to the group as consolidation unit XY. To map this scenario, you must extract the consolidated data from the group reporting of subgroup XY (completely across all posting levels). Set this to posting level "00" and replace the consolidation units of the pre-consolidated companies with consolidation unit "XY". Then upload the result to the group reporting of the group. With the copy function, this is no longer a problem.

2 example: You set up a forecast 5+7. Here you can extract the first 5 months from the ACTUAL version and replace the version with the forecast (possibly also map it to a lower level of detail). Then save the result in Group Reporting.

And finally ... The new functionality not only allows bulk data transfer, but also bulk data transformation.

Q4 2021 - Use of the forms as a link in data entry folders and packages

With the Q4 2021 release, you can link the same forms in different entry folders (folders) and packages. If you want to use the same form in different packages, you must copy the form before Q4 2021 and assign a copy to the new package. This could lead to situations in which the same form is used more than once. In the case of form customization, this customization had to be performed again in each copy (or alternatively delete all copies, adapt the form once and copy it again and paste it in all necessary places).

And finally ... Now you only have to hold the form once and adjust it in one place if there are changes.

Continuation on the further developments of the year 2022 follows...

SAP consultant Dmitrij Rempel

Dmitry Rempel

Solution Expert S/4HANA Group Reporting

+49 (0) 151 - 288 - 952 - 85

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