Boost Productivity in SAP S/4HANA by Using Fiori Apps for Financial Transactions

  • by Anurag Barua, Principal, TruQua Enterprises
  • June 21, 2017
Learn how to create an improved end-user experience by combining SAP Fiori with the SAP S/4HANA engine.
Learning Objectives

Reading this article, you will learn:

  • How you can use SAP Fiori’s user experience (UX) capabilities to navigate financial applications and use them to meet your needs in a productivity-optimized manner
  • How you can gain a comprehensive view of your customer receivables using SAP Fiori
  • Ways you can leverage the Trial Balance Report app for both transactional and reporting needs
Key Concept
The new user experience (UX) that SAP Fiori enables through its intuitive interface and performance-optimized navigation helps you take advantage of the many financial apps that leverage SAP S/4HANA. For example, running the SAP Fiori Trial Balance Report app optimizes reporting processes.

When SAP Fiori converged with SAP S/4HANA starting with the 1511 release, it made sense to combine the engineering work under the hood of SAP S/4HANA with the end-user experience (UX) of SAP Fiori. The relationship was further cemented with the release of the 1610 version of SAP S/4HANA that came with the next generation of SAP Fiori 2.0. Although you can still continue to use your conventional SAP GUI (and in some cases you must because SAP Fiori does not cover each and every use case), WebGUI, or SAP NetWeaver Business Client, there is really no reason why you cannot start transitioning into SAP Fiori, especially if you are a Finance user. Let’s jump right into a few real-life use cases.

Use Case 1: Overdue Receivables/Aging

This very basic financial accounts receivable (A/R) process has posed challenges for SAP users over the years. You can certainly do aging analysis in your source SAP ERP system but your transaction system is not optimized for analytics. Nor is it meant to be a repository of historical data, especially if that historical data does not need to be accessed for any transaction processing.

Some SAP ERP systems retain data for a certain number of years. This is usually determined by statutory requirements. In the US, the general rule of thumb for retaining financial transaction data is seven years. Even if you are compelled to use your ERP system analytics, you will at best be able to view tabular data with minimal to zero visualization, so many companies have been using SAP BW. However, latency is associated with extracting, transforming, and loading (ETL) A/R data into SAP BW. Using BEx or some other BI tools adds time and cost to this.

SAP Fiori on SAP S/4HANA overcomes these limitations. You can do visual overdue receivables analysis using an intuitive front end on large volumes of high-frequency transaction data. You can do that in real time in a centralized location without the data having to make any movement. The SAP Fiori app for this process is called Overdue Receivables. Once you log in to the SAP Fiori Launchpad with the appropriate role, you can search for this app in the search box or navigate/scroll to find it. Figure 1 displays the app in the SAP Fiori Launchpad on the SAP S/4HANA application system.

Figure 1
Overdue Receivables app in the SAP Fiori Launchpad

The most pragmatic way of organizing and categorizing SAP Fiori apps is by business roles with each role corresponding to a list of activities for which an SAP user is typically responsible in the SAP ERP/SAP S/4HANA system. SAP supplies a standard list of roles but you can create your own roles based on the custom set of activities that you need to carry out in your SAP environment. The role I’m using is that of Accounts Receivable, which was customized to my needs. Your SAP administrator (also known as Basis/SAP NetWeaver administrator) can set this up for you. 

Anurag Barua

Anurag Barua is a principal at TruQua Enterprises. He has 23 years of experience in conceiving, designing, managing, and implementing complex software solutions, including nearly 18 years of experience with SAP applications. He has been associated with several SAP implementations in various capacities. His core SAP competencies include FI and Controlling (FI/CO), logistics, SAP HANA, SAP BW, SAP BusinessObjects, Enterprise Performance Management, SAP Solution Manager, Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC), and project management. He is a frequent speaker at SAPinsider conferences and contributes to several publications. He holds a BS in computer science and an MBA in finance. He is a PMI-certified PMP, a Certified Scrum Master (CSM), and is ITIL V3F certified.

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