The consolidation solution S/4HANA group reporting is particularly strong due to its deep integration with S/4 HANA accounting and controlling. 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.
- Do you have many companies that are not integrated into 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).
- A 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
Q1 2022 - Master data extension when creating forms (add-hoc master data)
With the Q1 2022 release, it became feasible to create add-hoc master data. It enables the form creator to define new breakdowns for existing dimension combinations in the form designer and to have them filled with data in the respective form. Of course, it allows the process flexibility to be increased enormously - you will be able to react to the requirements at very short notice and to collect the necessary data promptly. On the other hand, it softens the group's master data processes to a certain extent.
Restriction: Since this further development also requires adjustments on the Group Reporting side, this solution currently only works with S/4 HANA Cloud. With the on-premise solution of S/4 HANA, the functionality will be delivered with version 2022 (end of 2022).
Conclusion: An additional option to make the data acquisition processes more flexible was implemented. The future will show how it will be received in practice.
Q2 2022 – Automatic deduction interface from ERP (SAP ECC)
With the Q2 2022 release, an automatic SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) connection has now been implemented. A SAP ECC API was delivered for S/4 HANA Group Reporting. It is now possible to extract and map the data from ECC from Group Reporting at any time.
Conclusion: What was only possible in Q1/2021 as a flat file interface has now been expanded. The deductibility from the previous system is a must for every consolidation solution. The package is rounded off by the integrated mapping with the log function, including for deduction interfaces.
Q2 2022 - Text Queries
With the Q2 2022 release, you can now also define text queries. Technically, it is based on ad hoc elements that were delivered in the Q1/2022 release. Now you can define these ad hoc elements as questions - up to 5.000 characters long and also with line breaks. Responses - up to 10.000 characters are saved per item viewed.
You can define a visual error message for response fields if no text has been entered.
You can also store the questions conditionally - for example, a response is only required if certain values in the form were not supplied.
Questions and answers entered in one form can be displayed/changed in another form.
Similar to the comments, answers are not stored in the Group Reporting database, but directly in the GRDC (or more precisely in SAP BTP). The evaluation of responses from Group Reporting reports is not yet possible.
Conclusion: The system-supported recording of the responses from local companies directly when the individual financial statement data is delivered enables all the necessary information to be delivered via one channel. At present, the employees in Group Consolidation/Group Controlling usually receive such comments via additional e-mails. The connection between the numbers provided and the comments is usually time-delayed and fragile. Commenting directly upon entry will make communication between consolidation units and the group more efficient.
Even if you only briefly go into the individual further developments, it is a lot if all the improvements of the last 1,5 years are considered. We see that SAP invests a lot of resources and energy in the further development of Group Reporting Data Collection. Progress is fast. The solution can already be used efficiently for upload mapping and manual data entry. But further improvements follow. The following further developments are planned for the next 12 months:
- Gradual data release with different deadlines (Q3/2022)
- Use of several years and months in one form (Q4/2022)
- Mapping the questions/answers to specific data points and better condition definition (Q4/2022)
- Support multiple data centers for GRDC (Q4/2022)
- Copying the rows from dynamic forms (Q1/2023)
- Integration of manual entry into GRDC and data monitor (Q1/2023)
- Navigation between forms (Q2/2023)
We are following the further changes with excitement and will inform you about the most important innovations.
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