As the pandemic drags on relentlessly in repetitive, “two crucial week” intervals, paradoxically time seems to have both slowed down and sped up at the same time.
For example, it feels like the previous edition of my SAP PRESS book SAP S/4HANA Financial Accounting Certification Guide: Application Associated Exam was published just a couple years ago. What? It was published a couple years ago? Well, I guess that means it’s now time to update the book to help you with the latest versions of the certification, including the current 2020 SAP S/4HANA release…. So that’s what I did!
In this blog post I’d like to summarize some of the key new content that the new edition of my book covers, innovations in the product, and changes to the training material scope.
As I have written in the book itself, this SAP certification tests you on core financial accounting processes and configurations. As you would expect from a mature product, these do not drastically change release over release. Also, as the book and certification cover the on-premise functionality, some of the most-exciting new financial accounting developments are not yet relevant (for example: universal parallel accounting, time-dependent tax codes, and others). Having said that, let’s go over the main updates.
New Deployment Options and Changed Products
It is always hard to keep up with the latest product names when talking about SAP S/4HANA deployment, and SAP product names in general. The book is up to date with the newest status as of the beginning of 2021, meaning three deployment options are discussed (public cloud, private cloud, and AnyPremise). Also, any mention of the SAP Cloud Platform has been changed to the now valid SAP Business Technology Platform (SAP BTP). Other smaller updates and naming changes have been made throughout.
Bank Reconciliation Accounts
With SAP S/4HANA 2020, you can create bank reconciliation accounts (G/L accounts) that can be assigned to multiple house bank accounts. This new option helps to cut down on the number of G/L accounts needed to manage your house banks. The account is created with the new G/L account type and can be assigned to multiple house bank accounts. Note that it is still the best practice to have separate G/L accounts for different house bank related processes (bank subaccounts), but these subaccounts can also be the same for multiple house banks.
Investment Support Measures in Fixed Asset Accounting
With SAP S/4HANA you can manage the various investment measures a country offers for purchasing assets. Here you will learn how to define and configure the investment support measures that help you manage the various rules that might be defined for each country in order to take advantage of the investment support measure. For example, you can set the system to not allow sales for assets bought in the context of certain support measures until the predefined minimum retention period for the asset is up.
This is not a new feature for SAP S/4HANA, but it is now included in the financial accounting curriculum, so I also explain it in the updated book.
Intercompany Matching and Reconciliation
The book also analyzes the intercompany matching and reconciliation (ICMR) component that has been embedded in SAP S/4HANA since the 1909 release. The solution helps group entities reconcile intercompany transactions between the corporate entities. This process is becoming more and more complex with the increased number of mergers and acquisitions these days. The ICMR solution works with the system data directly and doesn’t require the usual extraction, transformation, and load (ETL) processes found in traditional solutions. This means you can perform reconciliation and matching throughout the fiscal period without causing potential delays at period close.
As you can tell, there have been some recent changes and improvements to financial accounting with SAP S/4HANA, and you’ll need to know about them to prepare for the official SAP certification exam. With my book, you’ll be able to learn about these new features and the existing core parts of the solution that you should be familiar with. In addition to covering these topics, I provide dozens of practice questions and answers that you can use to test your knowledge before sitting down for the exam. Check out the book and free chapter excerpt here.