SAP S/4HANA unraveled: Can Efficient Finance Management Take You to the Top?

When evaluating an IT solution, you can draw several parallels with sporting disciplines. Speed, power, agility: These are the attributes that make for great athletes and successful software alike. In this blog post I will examine SAP S/4HANA Finance, the first solution for the next-generation business suite, and see whether it can really give businesses a head start.

Is SAP S/4HANA Finance a true all-rounder?

The decathlon is a grueling contest. Comprising ten running, jumping, and throwing events, it is a sport that requires an all-round athlete. Similarly, effective financial management requires solutions that are fast, powerful, precise, and reliable. The new generation of software from SAP promises to deliver by combining its leading products with SAP HANA and SAP Fiori technology.

Increasingly, I see businesses that have grown in size and complexity and find themselves having to ‘hop’ between diverse systems to obtain the data they need. This is both frustrating and time-consuming. SAP S/4HANA Finance provides a single source of information for all accounting entries by merging finance and controlling. Data is no longer stored in silos, but all in one system.

The advantage is that more organizations will be able to respond to requests for financial reports in real time. According to a recent survey by CFO Research, only 12 percent of respondents could do this – meaning that by the time the analysis is generated, it is already out of date.

Most companies I’ve visited required several separate programs for month-end closing. But with SAP S/4HANA Finance you require fewer additional programs, which saves users time and effort, and reduces IT costs. It automatically posts financial statements online, cutting out several monthly closing processes altogether.

S/4HANA Finance has been the first module of the radical new SAP S/4HANA ERP system. The NTT DATA Business Solutions Expert, Dr. Axel Sieker, compared S/4HANA Finance with a decathlon athlete – explore his findings:

Still several hurdles to overcome?

However, not all processes are automated yet: While the central system significantly simplifies accounting processes, some month-end closing tasks still have to be performed by running special programs. SAP interfaces are undergoing a transformation, but with the current release, we still haven’t reached the point where working exclusively with SAP Fiori apps is a possibility.

What SAP S/4HANA Finance can do, however, is accelerate accounting processes, freeing up more time to focus on other important tasks. It makes finance easier and less error-prone. Furthermore, with the experience of NTT DATA Business Solutions, existing SAP customers can enjoy a non-disruptive switch to SAP S/4HANA.

Given that SAP S/4HANA Finance is a revolutionary development based on brand-new technology, it is probably the most stable SAP product I’ve ever seen. That is why I view the introduction of the new business suite as one of the most exciting changes in the SAP consulting business in the past two decades. And we’re only at the start. On your marks!

Want to find out more?

Contact our S/4HANA specialists to find out the individual finance solutions for your business. Alternatively, you can review our portfolio range to see which tailored solution can answer your business process or finance management questions.


In the next post, Raimund Lips and Dr. Axel Sieker will explore the logistics module of SAP S/4HANA, and offer their expert insights.

About the author

As Head of Financials and Controlling at NTT DATA Business Solutions, Dr. Axel Sieker is heavily involved with all new developments concerning SAP S/4HANA Finance. Having previously worked as an accounting consultant, he has 18 years of experience with SAP solutions.

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