How to Create a Profitability Report Based on Custom Characteristics in SAP S/4HANA

  • by Rajesh Phanibatla, Senior Manager, Hitachi Consulting
  • June 5, 2017
SAP has simplified financial and management reporting with embedded SAP Business Intelligence (BI) content. Learn how real-time transaction and master data updates in BI enable accurate reporting with most updated key performance indicators (KPIs), thus eliminating the need for a data load into the cubes as in the older versions.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you’ll learn:

  • How SAP has simplified analytical reporting with the advent of SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) Optimized for SAP S/4HANA
  • The steps to create a custom report in Profitability Analysis (CO-PA) using embedded SAP Business Intelligence (BI) and SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) content
Key Concept
SAP Business Planning (SAP BPC) Optimized for SAP S/4HANA has integrated the Analysis for Office add-in for Excel workbook planning, analysis, and reporting, which was previously available only in the SAP Business Intelligence (BI) and SAP Business Warehouse (SAP BW) worlds. These analyses for office workbook templates can be used for cost object planning processes such as internal order, cost center, and profitability analysis (aka market segment planning) planning.

SAP has introduced a lot of functionality changes with the release of the SAP S/4HANA Finance (formerly sFIN, Simple Finance, and Smart Financials) add-on and also in the new SAP S/4HANA Enterprise Management solution. The solution design approach not only simplifies the underlying architecture but also provides a better user experience.

One of the key changes is in the SAP Integrated Business Planning for finance solution framework, which is now referred to as SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) Optimized for SAP S/4HANA.

Profitability Analysis (CO-PA) planning can often become quite complex due to user-defined characteristics in CO-PA. Older releases of SAP software used transaction code KEPM for CO-PA planning and used Report Painter transaction codes such as KE31 and KE34 to create reports for analysis. These transactions looked very complex from the end-user perspective. With the innovations in SAP BPC Optimized for SAP S/4HANA, creation of the reports for planning and analysis has become much simpler and user-friendly (mainly due to Excel-based reports).

SAP delivers the following InfoCubes for actuals reporting and planning financial data in SAP Business Intelligence (SAP BI):

  • /ERP/SFIN_V01 – Financials Actuals via SAP HANA
  • /ERP/SFIN_R01 – Financials Planning

In the older releases, these InfoCubes existed in a separate SAP BW system that had to be loaded with the transactional and master data to enable BI reporting. With the release of SAP BPC Optimized for SAP S/4HANA, these InfoCubes are embedded within the ERP system, thereby eliminating the need to load these cubes. (They are updated in real time.)

In addition to the above InfoCubes, SAP delivers predefined aggregation levels. An aggregation level contains a set of characteristics and key figures from a real-time InfoCube for:

  • Cost center planning
  • Internal order planning
  • Functional area planning
  • Market segment planning (CO-PA planning)
  • Profit center planning
  • Profit and loss (P&L) planning

The aforementioned InfoCubes and aggregation levels can be readily used. However, complexity arises when you have user-defined characteristics in CO-PA and users want to plan on these dimensions.

In this article, I cover the entire process for creating user-defined characteristics in CO-PA and leveraging SAP BPC Optimized for SAP S/4HANA based on these characteristics for reporting. The release used for this article is SAP S/4HANA 1511 Feature Pack Stack 02 and the version of SAP HANA studio is 2.2.12. SAP HANA studio enables you to manage an SAP HANA database, create and manage database authorizations, and create your own data models.

I describe the following activities that need to be performed for creating user-defined characteristics in CO-PA and leveraging SAP BPC Optimized for SAP S/4HANA based on these characteristics:

  1. Create user-defined characteristics in account-based CO-PA
  2. Assign and generate InfoObjects
  3. Adapt SAP HANA views based on table ACDOCA to report by the user-defined fields
  4. Create aggregation levels and planning functions
  5. Set up variable filters in the aggregation level
  6. Create input-ready BEx queries

Rajesh Phanibatla

Rajesh Phanibatla is an SAP FI/CO architect at Hitachi Consulting US SAP Practice. With more than 13 years of consulting experience, Rajesh has been part of SAP full lifecycle implementation, enhancement, and production support projects. He holds a master’s degree in business administration with a finance major and has been part of SAP S/4HANA and SFIN Add-on (version 1.0 and release 1503) implementations.

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8/1/2017 5:07:19 AM

Adding test comment
6/7/2017 9:43:41 AM
József Zérczi

Very clearly explained and documented.
Thanks for sharing this.

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