SAP FI, also known as SAP Financial Accounting, is the true backbone of SAP accounting. It is the module that records financial transactions of services and goods. In some cases, it can also be used to record all your financial endeavors as a whole.
However, we’ll talk more about that later.
Usually, the SAP FI module is used alongside CO (Controlling). As the name suggests, it’s all about controlling things like profitability and costs. These are commonly discussed together as they go hand-in-hand and known more commonly as the SAP FICO model together.
Do you find it all to be a little confusing?
Well, it’s quite natural. After all, we’re trying to cram a huge amount of information within a small section. So, to help you out, we’ve broken it down into a few sections and offer a useful overview. Here’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog –
- An overview of SAP.
- Taking a look at the SAP Financial Management Software.
- How does it benefit you?
- Tools of SAP Finance.
Apart from that, you’ll find some additional information regarding the topic here as well. So, please keep reading till the end and let us know what you think.
What is SAP?
Let’s start from the basics, shall we?
SAP, in essence, is a software program that can help an organization manage its regular business processes. Besides this, you can also use it to develop a solution that can facilitate proper information flow and effective data processing.
But why do people use SAP?
Well, truth be told, SAP can help quite a lot in almost every aspect of your business. For example, it can improve the accessibility or visibility of your database.
Apart from that, it can also boost your overall efficiency by enabling you to automate most of the tedious business processes. And you can also customize an ERP system in your own way. That’ll help you create a better organizational ecosystem and work more effectively.
Introducing… SAP Financial Management Software
The SAP financial management software does exactly what’s advertised. It can improve your overall business agility with proper budgeting, financial planning, and forecasting.
It covers everything you can think of, and probably the most robust business financial software available in the market. You can keep track of every purchase no matter how big or small. The software is very mature and integrated with all ancillary modules such as Sales & Distribution to ensure a fully integrated system. This is all maintained in a centralized database monitoring the process from start to finish.
Needless to say, SAP has been around for 50 years now, and their systems are secure and proven to work as advertised.
Benefits of SAP Finance
Whether you believe it or not, SAP finance can be massively beneficial for your business. Let us keep reading to know more about this context.
Advantage – 1: Unlock Growth.
Innovating your business model can bring about new growth opportunities. It can help in increasing your overall cash flow and getting a continuous revenue stream.
In addition to this, you can also make a proper predictive analysis with SAP finance. Thus, it will be easier for you to assess the financial impacts accurately.
And you can also make the right forecast to enable new business models. The program might also be able to let you know if your business is getting into a financial hole or not.
Advantage – 2: Control Cost Expenditure.
Working with a human being can help you offer the much-preferred “human touch” to your product lining. However, it can also reduce the overall organizational efficacy.
Hence, if you want to take care of the pesky, boring tasks, it might be best for you to opt for an SAP finance-based program. With it, you can automate everything and ensure that your tasks are being completed within the timeline or deadline you’ve been provided with.
Also, with SAP finance, you’ll have to depend less on the efficacy of people. Therefore, even if you hire fewer workers, you can still complete your work quickly and efficiently.
Advantage – 3: Get a report of… ANYTHING.
As mentioned before, SAP finance keeps track of whatever you’re doing – both on the front and the back of your business.
Therefore, even if you make a single transaction, it’ll be noted in the program instantly. When you’re making a monthly financial assessment, it’ll be easier for you to get the required information in a single place. And, you can find everything else with just a single click too.
The platform also comes with –
- Real-time reporting (to ensure that you are getting the financial information instantly after the transaction has been made or performed).
- Flexible reporting (you can report about some financial decisions you have made whenever you want).
As a decision-maker, real-time reporting allows for what SAP calls insights to action. Get real-time insights into what’s happening in the organization.
What Does SAP Finance Come With?
The SAP financial management software is quite exotic, to say the least. And it comes with a lot of features and functionality to make your finance organization flexible and robust. These may include the following –
FP&A – Financial Planning and Analysis.
The financial planning and analysis tools are all about planning, evaluating, and executing all simultaneously. This makes it much easier for you to respond or adapt to unexpected changes in market conditions, and help make informed decisions.
Apart from these, the FP&A tools can also help you –
- Save a lot of time and lower the consistency of errors.
- Get a more accurate prediction within a small amount of time.
- Allow you to plan extensively and analyze it all through your business.
If you can integrate the same with SAP S/4HANA, you can also get live connectivity from it. However, it might be better if you collaborated with someone who’s an expert in this. It may help you get the most out of the system without making any mistakes.
Accounting and Financial Close.
The accounting and financial-close tools are all about processing things automatically wherever possible. Having access to HANA in-memory database makes things blazing fast, reducing a lot of the headaches associated with month’s end close.
It can also help you make a much better decisions by providing accurate data. Also, as you are getting all the insights from a single source, you no longer need to deal with reconciling two separate reporting tables.
When it comes to managing your cash or financial segment, it’s always best to get some sort of real-time visibility. That’s where the integrated treasury management system is going to be ideal for you. Let us tell you how it can help you out –
- It can optimize liquidity, cash, and working capital. You can manage your future cash flows and much more.
- You can streamline bank communication and various payments. You can also centralize enterprise-wide payments within the SAP solutions. This reduces fraudulence and increases transparency.
Treasury management can also help you track wherever or whenever you’re making an investment. So, it’ll be easier for you to simulate threat severity, automate various financial assets, and respond to changes quickly.
Governance, Risk, Compliance, And Cybersecurity.
These tools primarily focus on improving your business infrastructure’s overall security. For example, it is capable of –
- Leveraging predictive capabilities to improve your overall risk management. It can also support real-time visibility, increased automation-related, etc.
- Reducing cyberthreat by managing your website or data structure in the right manner. The program can also manage all your user data and ensure secure storage. This includes flexible monitoring features too.
- Finally, it can also make all the compliance procedures much more agile than before. Allowing you to optimize your global trading department and reduce more than one issue, like changing market opportunities, geopolitical risks, etc.
This may also be useful with organizational hazards or risk management. However, in that case, you’ll need to set up the right tools and embed intelligent controls.
Revenue Management and Accounts Receivable.
These tools tend to focus more on monetizing your services and products with new business models. Each of them is streamlined on a specific quote-to-cash procedure, AR or automated accounts receivable, and comprehensive revenue management.
So, how does it help?
- To begin with, it can support nearly everything-as-a-service. With it, you’ll be able to renovate almost everything and maximize your revenue streams as a whole.
- In addition to these, you can also create an updated billing model, including a one-time, consumption-based offering and subscription module for your business.
- Also, it can decrease the level of DSO in your organization. This enables high invoice-matching rates as a whole.
Finally, you can also establish an exception-based AR management system to focus on making all of the resolutions quickly. It can also provide your customers with 24×7 visibility of their outstanding bills and increase the overall transparency.
Where Can You Use SAP FI?
Thanks to the flexibility it provides, SAP FI can be used for any business scenario you can imagine. Supporting multiple currencies, group and segment specific reporting, and many more.
Keep reading to learn more about it.
- Cash journal (to keep track of where your money is being spent).
- Accrual (to check how much additional income you’re getting).
- Inventory (to oversee the amount of money or resource you’ve left).
- Fixed asset (to note the support you currently have in your organization).
- Master data governance (data quality and compliance).
Besides these, it can also be used for fast-close functions, tax accounting, general ledger, fast-close functions, and much more. However, if you want to make the most out of it, you will need to hire someone who’s particularly proficient in it.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
We think we’ve captured a good amount of information about SAP finance in this article. In this section, we’ll try to answer some frequently asked questions.
Are SAP and ERP the same?
SAP is a software company that provides various ERP software solutions for businesses. ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. There are many non-SAP ERP software models in the market, but SAP is the leader.
Is SAP FI difficult to learn?
SAP finance can be a little tricky to use, especially for a beginner. Not only is SAP FI the most mature module in the space, but it requires a lot of Finance and Accounting business knowledge. Especially when it comes to global organizations, understanding financial reporting standards can really help in setting up an SAP system correctly.
Which industries lean heavily on SAP FI?
All of them. No for-profit business is successful without money coming in, and money going out. That’s simply how business works. Every organization that uses SAP is likely using SAP FI.
Many SMEs have started using SAP FI to take care of their financial woes. However, it might be a little costlier than other solutions. Make sure to do proper financial planning prior to using or implementing it in your organizational infrastructure.
The Bottom Line
When it comes to learning how to use SAP FI, you can’t make the most of it by following an article on the internet.
Instead, it’d be best if you went through one of the many excellent online courses available online. This way, you’ll be able to get hands-on experience on the topic.