EHP 5 delivers a lot of new functionality – but what will bring the biggest improvements for your Financials team?
I was pleased to have SAP financials expert and Financials 2012 speaker Paul Ovigele join me on September 20 to take your EHP5 questions and get Paul's advice on how to make the most of these updates for your Financials processes.
Questions included topics such as enhancements for CO, timeline for EHP implementation, impacts on current FICO processes, profit center reorganization, waiting for EHP6, and skills needed to manage EHP5 installations.
Visit the Financials forum to review the entire thread, or read this edited transcript of the questions here:
Allison Martin, conference producer, Financials 2012: Welcome to today's forum!
In this one-hour Forum, we invite you to ask your questions on the new functionality in EHP5 and what impact this will have on your Financials teams.
Paul Ovigele is an independent consultant & regular speaker at SAPinsider’s Financials conferences – and he’ll be presenting three sessions at our upcoming Singapore event this October. Paul is also the author of the SAP PRESS book 100 Things You Should Know About Financial Accounting with SAP and a long-time technical advisor for SAPexperts Financials hub.
Paul, thanks for joining us! We'll start with some quesions that have already come in to the Forum:
Nathan Genez: Of all of the available business functions in EhP5, which are the ones that you think...
- Have the most useful new functionality in FICO?
- That customers have implemented most often thus far?
Paul Ovigele: I think this depends on the functionality that you have already implemented.
For example, if you have Material Ledger, then I think the "Multiple Valuation of COGM" function is pretty useful; if you have the profit center scenario activated in New GL then the "Reorganization" tool is valuable.
These are the two areas that I have been asked about the most. The closing tool is also getting a lot of traction.
Riyazali Momin: What is the typical timeline we are looking at to implement EHP?
Paul Ovigele: Riyazali,
I always like to say that you should plan around six weeks. I am involved more on the functional than the technical side, and the shortest timeline that I have had was split into 2 - 4 weeks for the technical part (installation) and 2 weeks for the functional part (testing, etc).
Note that in this particular situation, no new business functions were activated - only regression testing was needed.
Nathan Genez: How should a customer that is already live on ERP and FICO approach implementing an EhP?
Paul Ovigele: The installation of an Enhancement Pack will require heavy involvement from the technical team (both on the business side and with the help of a basis consultant). Having a refreshed an updated client will be useful.
From the functional side, the key is knowing what business functions you want to turn on on performing rigourous integrated and regression testing.
Nathan Genez: What is the typical process and expected timeline for implementing a small number of business functions in EhP5?
Paul Ovigele: This certainly depends on which business functions are being turned on. Some require more extensive testing than others.
If for example, you are using document splitting for PCA or segment reporting and you are reorganizing thousands of profit centers, you may need several weeks to ensure that all scenarios have been tested.
On the other hand I just recently activated (for a client) the FI_APAR_PAYMT_ADV function for sending payment advices to vendors, and this took a few days to completely install and test.
shyamv09: First of all, thanks very much for answering our questions on impacts of EHP on FICO.
Did you come across any impacts on the standard FICO processes by upgrading to a EHP even without activating any business functions?
If so could you please list some of those impacts like changes to standard screens, t.codes, reports etc.?
Paul Ovigele: Hi Shyam,
I just spoke (see above) about the shortest implementation that I was a part of, in which there were no business functions activated. In that scenario there was no impact (that I can recall) on the FICO process. Note that this client was using classic GL and not new GL.
Also note that depending on how many custom programs, transactions and reports you have in your system, this could be different in your case.
VishalThakur: Are there any enhancements for CO centric processes like Product Costing?
Paul Ovigele: Hi Vishal,
As far as Product costing is concerned, the main enhancement is "FIN_CO_COGM", which allows you to calculate an alternative material ledger run using a different actual version (so that you can map this to a separate accounting principle and ledger). This functionality is only relevant to you if Material Ledger has been implemented in your system and you are interested in performing parallel accounting.
patriciajenkins: I am interesting in the functionality of profit center reorganization in EhP5. Please give an overview of this functionality.
Paul Ovigele: Hi Patricia,
This functionality is only relevant if you have the New GL and you want to reorganize your profit centers (merge, separate, delete, etc) in order to have proper Balance Sheet reports per profit center. An overview of the steps you need to take are as follows:
- First, create a reorganization plan and specify the profit centers to be combined, the controlling area and the reorganization date (first date of a future period)
- Then start the object list generation from within the reorganization plan and specify the objects such as materials, internal order, cost centers, etc, that will be affected
- Perform reassignment from within the reorganization plan, which changes the profit centers on the objects specified in the object list generation
- Then start the Balance transfers for the reassigned objects, which makes a transfer posting in the SAP General Ledger from the old to new profit centers
It therefore saves you the time of changing the master and reversing and reposting the transactional data that the old profit centers resided in order to reflect the change.
patriciajenkins: Regarding your response on Profit center reorganization, does this functionality cover all applicable SAP integrated processes such as SD, Procurement, etc.?
For example if the profit center is changes on the material will the profit center change flow to all documents where this material is assigned. Also will it consider follow-on transactions/documents such as good receipts, invoicing, etc.
Paul Ovigele: The answer is yes to both questions. When you perform the step called "object list generation" the system will look for all the master data where the original profit center existed. Then when you perform the "Reassignment" step, the system will locate the dependent objects (which are derived from the master data, such as sales orders, purchase orders, etc.) and perform the changes there as well.
CireeLoftus: Is there any difference in the Profit Center Structure from ECC 5.0 to ECC 605?
Paul Ovigele: Hi Ciree,
I am not sure I fully understand the term "Profit Center Structure" - do you mean "Standard Hierarchy of Profit Centers"? In any case one of the differences between profit centers in ECC5 and ECC6 (if I can recall correctly) is that you can use perform assessments (FAGLGA11) in the New GL for Profit centers by using Statistical Key Figures as an allocation base.
MaryAdams: Can you recommend some documentation that provides an overview of what is in EHP5 for FICO?
Paul Ovigele: Hi Mary,
I recommend that you look at the release notes for EHP5 via the service marketplace (help.sap.com/erp605). You need you ID for this. You can then click on "What's new - Release notes".
robertbjames06: We are currently on ECC6.0 (with Classic GL) and have not implemented any Enhancement Packs as of yet. We are planning to implement EHP6 next year.
1) Our business is currently not interested in committing the resources to this project. What benefits can we best sell to our Business users to buy into the project?
2) Can you comment on any Enhancement Pack project accelerator services which analyze code and limit testing? Are these service worthwhile in your experience?
Paul Ovigele: Hi Robert,
(1) This really depends on how your business operates. In my experience the New GL is a huge reason why you may want to be on the latest enhancement pack. The profit center reorg tool helps you to rationalize your current profit centers in order to have meaningful profit center (and segment) balance sheets. However, this is dependent on whether you need balance sheets by profit center - not everyone does.
Also, if you have a very painstaking and time-consuming month end process, then the closing cockpit (along with its EHP5 enhancements) will allow you to coordinate month end tasks across your organization, automate accounting processes such as accruals, allocations, reconciliations, etc, provide you with an overview of all the relevant closing tasks along with their statuses and persons responsible, etc.
Additionally, if you perform parallel accounting (e.g. US GAAP and IAS) and you want actual costing functionality, then the "Multiple Valuation of Cost of Goods Manufactured" functionality will allow you to create actual costs for each accounting standard.
(2) I cannot recommend any Enhancement Pack Accelerators at the moment (I leave that to the more technical guys :-) ) but can find out from a colleague and post it at a later date on this website.
shyamv09: We plan to implement SAP treasury and risk management ( Money market, Securities and loans) in our company. We also plan to upgrade to EHP 6 from ECC 6.0.
1. What are the new and critical functionalities related to treasury module with EHP5 and later?
2. Will it be a good idea to implement the treasury after we upgrade to EHP 6 so as to cut down on the time spent on regression testing?
Paul Ovigele: Hi Shyam,
(1) I have not implemented any of the Treasury/risk functionality for EHP5 so I cannot be specific here, but I recommend that you read the release notes (see above for how to locate) as there is some new functionality in this area.
(2) I think it is good practice to upgrade first and then implement the Treasury functionality for the exact reason that you have mentioned.
Allison Martin: Thanks to all who posted questions and followed the discussion!
That wraps up today’s forum – thanks for joining us, and thank you, again, to Paul Ovigele for taking these questions today. Paul, I’m looking forward to seeing you in person in Singapore!
Paul Ovigele: Thanks everyone!
Allison Martin: A full summary of the forum will be posted on Insider Learning Network tomorrow, and you can post your questions here in the Financials Forum at any time.
I invite you to join us at Financials 2012 Singapore October 16-19. Paul Ovigele will be there, presenting three sessions. He’s covering maximizing your existing FI/CO landscape, inventory evaluation and costing, and his final session is on incorporating profits and/or accounting processes into the GL.
You can find more details on all the Financials 2012 Singapore tracks & sessions here and listen in to my interview with Paul for a preview. And please be sure to introduce yourselves to us at the conference!
We’re also looking ahead to this spring’s Financials 2013 conference in the US. Keep tabs on the event from our website, and visit us in Las Vegas, March 19-22!
Thanks again for joining us, and I hope to see you in person at one of our events soon!