The Data Upload Feature in SAP NetWeaver 2004s Enhances Sarbanes-Oxley Consolidations Compliance

  • by Peter Jones, BI Solution Architect, M16 Solutions
  • January 15, 2007
SAP NetWeaver 2004s includes automatic data uploading functionality that enables compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.
Key Concept
The data basis defines the data model for a Business Consolidation system. The data basis is created in the Consolidation Workbench and is a combination of characteristics and key figures. The relationship between the characteristics and key figures, and the construction of the data streams for the collection and storage of data, are also part of the data basis. For example, it defines the posting level of the data that you can retrieve and the components from which you can upload data that are standard in SAP NetWeaver 2004s.

The most recent improvement to the consolidations process in SAP Strategic Enterprise Management-Business Consolidation System (SEM-BCS) enhances compliance with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Starting with SAP NetWeaver 2004s, SEM-BCS has moved from an interfacing uploading process for financial data to an integrated uploading process. This was the final step in the four following major areas requiring IT support for compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley:

  • The uploading or collection process for the data to be consolidated
  • The specific business rules that are applied to the data to generate the consolidated reports
  • The process that is followed for the consolidation itself
  • The reporting aspect of consolidations

Since the last three items are activities that SEM-BCS has accomplished for a number of years, I’ll concentrate on the first one. An SAP system now can offer consolidation functionality that generates consistent and validated information from multiple source systems via the SAP NetWeaver Business Intelligence (SAP NetWeaver BI) platform.

I’ll take you through a demo of the new upload process, which ensures accuracy and reduces reporting cycle time to meet increasingly short deadlines. In addition, it provides a full audit trail capability and the ability to generate the reports required for internal and external auditors.

The new process uses Real-Time InfoCubes and Real-Time DataStore objects, which in the 3.5 version of BW were referred to as Transactional InfoCubes and Operational Data Store (ODS). The system manipulates the collected data using specific business rules and processes to generate consistent consolidated financial and managerial data for use in reporting to stakeholders.

Consolidation Process

One process in SEM-BCS that did not satisfy Sarbanes-Oxley requirements until SAP NetWeaver 2004s is the integration of data with the SAP NetWeaver BI system that supported the consolidation process. Through the initial series of versions in the SEM-BCS functionality, users have used interfacing methods such as manual data entry or Excel uploading processes.

Using these types of data entry processes in SEM-BCS, you would need to be aware of the touch point of the actual Excel spreadsheet you’re using to upload the data, the format of the Excel spreadsheet, who extracted the data from the source system, and who uploaded it into SEM-BCS. During this time, you could manipulate or change the data. Rather than reducing the amount of manual intervention, this process increased it.

 

Peter Jones

Peter Jones is a business intelligence solution architect in the areas of CO, EC, SAP BW, BI, BusinessObjects, Planning and Consolidation (BPC), and SEM for MI6 Solutions. He is certified in all these areas and is a subject-material expert for SEM, CO, BI, and BPC, with over 14 years of experience in these areas working for SAP and MI6 Solutions. Currently, he is involved in projects incorporating SAP BW 7.4, HANA, BPC 10.0, and EPM 10.0. He has consulted in all those areas for the last nine years. Peter was an SAP instructor for seven years and has written several books about SAP NetWeaver BW, FI/CO, and has recently revised his book about BPC Implementation to version 10.1. He is a contributor to Best Practices for Financial Reporting in SAP, an exclusive anthology of articles that delivers unparalleled guidance on how to optimize financial reporting processes with SAP applications.

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