Run the Right Rolling Forecast Report with Actual Data from SAP SEM-BCS
- by BumSoo Lee, Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory
- November 14, 2012
Learn how to work around a reporting issue that occurs when you run a report on SAP planning InfoProvider (SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Integrated Planning [BW-IP] or SAP Strategic Enterprise Management-Business Planning and Simulation [SEM-BPS]) for planning data and actual data from SAP Strategic Enterprise Management-Business Consolidation System (SEM-BCS). The issue happens since SEM-BCS is a consolidation tool that has a reporting engine (i.e., a function module attached to the reporting virtual infoprovider) that reads a consolidation group hierarchy, Entity, and trading partner information to retrieve right intercompany elimination entries by consolidation group, but neither BW-IP nor SEM-BPS doesn’t have such a tool to have the right results.
A rolling forecast is a revised plan to reach a target based on actual facts that are different from what was originally planned. The attribute of a rolling forecast is frequent modifications (mostly once each month, or at least once a quarter) and a mixture of plan and actual data.
A colleague of mine once told me, “People make a plan only to change it in the future.” I just smiled when I heard it, but it is true. As we all know, the situations and assumptions (e.g., economic environment, available resources) on which we base our plans and forecasts definitely change. That is the main reason to do a rolling forecast, which is a type of planning based on the facts currently available. The corporate planner revises the plan based on actual numbers that have changed since the planner initially prepared the plan. The numbers are, for example, actual revenue and expenses, exchange rates, interest rates, or economic growth rate.
A Problem During a Rolling Forecast
Rolling forecast reports need to retrieve plan and actual data together. For example, if you do a rolling forecast for May, you need the actual data from the beginning of the year to April and the forecasting data from May to the period for which you are planning. When corporate planners use SEM-BCS actual data for the past period, while making a rolling forecast, they face a reporting issue on actual data in planning InfoProvider. That is because the SAP planning InfoProvider (SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse Integrated Planning [BW-IP] or SAP Strategic Enterprise Management-Business Planning and Simulation [SEM-BPS]) doesn’t have any function retrieving the right elimination entry properly based on consolidation group, posting level, consolidation unit, and trading partner. SEM-BCS is a consolidation tool that has a reporting engine (i.e., a function module attached to the reporting virtual infoprovider) that reads a consolidation group hierarchy, entity, and trading partner information to retrieve the right data for intercompany elimination entries by consolidation group, but neither BW-IP nor SEM-BPS has a reporting engine that can retrieve the right InterCompany transaction balances.
Some companies also use SEM-BCS as a reporting tool for rolling forecast data. They import planning data to SEM-BCS and run consolidation functions at the end of the forecasting process. However, it is very hard to accommodate the process because rolling forecast data needs to be imported into the SEM-BCS system and go through the complete consolidation process to have the right reporting results whenever there are any data changes and updates on intercompany transactions. Even though you use this approach for your rolling forecast, you still have the reporting problem in the planning InfoProvider while you are working on forecasting until you copy the forecast data to SEM-BCS and go through the whole consolidation process.
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