Nine Ways to Get More from Your SEM-BCS Implementation

  • by Matt Christensen, Director of Enterprise Performance Management, PRAGMATEK Consulting Group
  • June 1, 2004
SAP's Strategic Enterprise Management Business Consolidation (SEM-BCS) functionality consolidates financial results for reporting purposes. The author reveals key features and benefits of BCS. He also provides tips, advice, and references to optimize your implementation.

Many corporations consist of multiple legal entities. While each of these business units has its independent financial results, they must all be consolidated for management and legal reporting. With the increased focus on cost-effective, efficient close processes and trustworthy financial reporting, a great deal of interest has been generated in SAP’s Strategic Enterprise Management Business Consolidation (SEM-BCS) technology.

Previously, I worked with the R/3-based predecessors of this solution — both Enterprise Controlling Consolidations (EC-CS) and Financial Consolidations (FI-LC) — and recently consulted on a full lifecycle SEM-BCS implementation. Let me illustrate how BCS can make your life easier. I’ll introduce key concepts for customization and provide you with some SAP documentation to support your efforts.

1. Perform direct loads through the consolidation monitor. You can load your reported financial data directly into BCS without using a flat file upload. SAP note 610636 provides sample modification code to implement a customer-defined task, which is executed from the consolidation monitor just like a flat file upload. The data being loaded is validated by the BCS system and overwrites any existing entries in the period being populated.

There are a number of available data sources and customers develop their own ABAP code to enable this user- exit modification. The current version of sample code, which is available as an attachment in SAP note 610636, illustrates how to read from a local InfoProvider that can be either an InfoCube or ODS. Alternatively, a Remote Function Call (RFC) destination is likely already maintained for the source R/3 system, so a remote function module (RFM) could be used to source data directly from R/3 tables, such as GLPCT, GLT0, and/or GLFUNCT.

2. Upload user-defined attributes. If you enhance your Business Information Warehouse master data InfoObjects with custom attributes, it may be beneficial to maintain the master data via the flexible upload method in the consolidation workbench. This enables your power users to configure and load master data records through a friendly interface without accessing the BW Administrator Workbench. By default, your user-defined attributes will not appear in the list of available fields. SAP note 577649 describes a method whereby you can modify the standard configuration so that these custom attributes become available for inclusion in your upload structure.

Matt Christensen

Matt Christensen is the director of Enterprise Performance Management at PRAGMATEK Consulting Group in Minneapolis. He has more than seven years of experience implementing a broad set of SAP financial modules, including configuration and development in R/3, Business Information Warehouse, and Strategic Enterprise Management. Matt holds an undergraduate degree in computer science and an MBA in finance.

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