As everyone knows by now, there are essentially two versions of SAP’s S/4HANA ERP product. When it was first released we had the On-Premise (OP) version and a new Cloud version. Since 2015, the naming and marketing around what is actually cloud and what isn’t cloud has been extremely hard for some people to discern. For instance, SAP is now pushing S/4HANA Cloud Private Edition which is basically the OP version of S/4HANA but it’s delivered or hosted in a Cloud framework. Some purists might disagree with some of my verbiage (that’s fair) but that only speaks to the difficulty with trying to describe SAP products within a cloud realm right now. SAP keeps changing the marketing and wording around this and it’s also a topic that few IT professionals fully understand past a rudimentary level anyways.
One way that I frequently use to explain the differenent S/4HANA versions, regardless of what SAP is calling them at the time, is to show how much they can be configured. Traditional SAP ERP systems are configured using the Implementation Guide, aka the IMG or SPRO. For instance, below is a familiar screenshot of the standard Implementation Guide from an S/4HANA OP 2021 system. Other than the size of it, it is the same as it was way back in R/3 release 2.2 (when I first started on SAP).
The IMG hasn’t been managed well over the years. As SAP has rolled out new modules within the ERP solution, they’ve just appended them to this already large folder hierarchy. It’s no longer nicely structured around Accounting, Logistics, and Human Resources. For instance, Commercial Project Management (CPM) which is a relatively new solution to SAP and was previously an add-on to the PS area sits at the very top of this structure. Who put CPM first in line? At the bottom of this IMG is a new node called “Explosives Management for SCM Extended Warehouse Management”. Shouldn’t that be somewhere in the Logistics area? There’s a node about 30 positions north of it for SCM Extended Warehouse Management… that would be a good landing spot, right? Instead, it’s directly at the root node of the IMG which makes it harder to find what you’re looking for and isn’t a good look either (it just looks poorly administered to be honest).
However, I still think it’s still a good solution to managing all of the various settings that we functional folks have to deal with. There is a lot to maintain in an ERP system and I can still get to where I need to go relatively quickly with this structure. I just wish SAP would spend some time and clean it up. Maybe give it to an intern as a summer project.?.?
The cloud versions of S/4HANA are different. They have specific tiles called SSCUI (Self Service Configuration UI) tiles that are used to maintain the (extremely) few settings that are available. Most of this is done at the ‘Manage My Solution’ app. From there, you can branch into the different areas (GL, AP, etc.) to access the configuration settings that you need.
Asset Accounting Configuration
The reason I’m writing this blog is to highlight the amount of configuration that is available (or not) in S/4HANA Cloud.
Go take a look at SAP note 3131644. SAP had to specifically call out that there is no configuration capability for transaction types (TTY). A transaction type is the most core configuration element when it comes to posting transactions on an asset. It’s critical to determine how the resulting journal entries are constructed and written, as well as a core component of any kind of line item reporting. Needless to say, they’re very important… and yet you can’t configure them in the Cloud! Same with depreciation keys, number ranges, screen layouts and a host of other typical configuration points in FI-AA.
As a reference, the list of things that you can configure in S/4HANA Cloud are as follows:
- Asset Classes
- Account Determination
- Valuation Views