SAP Certification – An opportunity to upscale Professional Value

SAP certification helps to validate the expertise and experience of SAP partners, software users, customers and professionals who are looking to be placed in an SAP environment.

What is SAP?

SAP is abbreviation of Systems Applications and Products in Data Processing. SAP is also the name of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software as well as the name of the company.

SAP helps organizations to integrate all information from different departments into one platform for making decisions. It is advisable to the companies that want high security of its information via entry log details, restrict pass entry for department, give access to particular person only, want customized report & quick & detail information to take decision.

Why is SAP ERP required?

Based on the manner in which the communication and data exchanged is managed, enterprise systems can be classified as:

  • 1. Decentralized System
  • 2. Centralized System also called as ERP system

1. Decentralized System

Since the data is managed locally at different departments, it is difficult for the departments to access the data available at the other departments in real time. It is one of the major drawbacks of a decentralized system.

Other drawbacks are:

Numerous disparate information systems are generated individually over time which is difficult to maintain.

  • Integrating the data from different departments is time and money consuming.
  • Inconsistencies and duplication of data may occur.
  • Lack of timely information leads to customer discontent, loss of revenue and reputation.
  • High inventory, material, and human resource cost.

2. Centralized System/ERP System

To overcome these drawbacks, the centralized system was invented.

These advantages are:

The data is maintained at a central location and shared with all the departments. The departments have access to the data of all the other departments on a real time basis.

  • It eliminates the duplication, discontinuity and redundancy in data.
  • SAP system provides control over various business processes.
  • It increases productivity, better inventory management, promotes quality, reduced material cost, effective human resources management, reduced overheads boosts profits.
  • Better customer interaction and increased throughput. It also improves customer service.

SAP is one of the ERP software, which has many submodules like – Finance, Controlling, Material management, Sales & distribution etc.

Business Processes in SAP ERP includes:

  • SAP Financial Accounting (FI)
  • SAP Controlling (CO)
  • SAP Sales and Distribution (SD)
  • SAP Production Planning (PP)
  • SAP Materials Management (MM)
  • SAP Quality Management (QM)
  • SAP Human Capital Management (HCM)

WHAT IS SAP FICO?

SAP Certification

  • Whenever a company chooses to implement SAP – The implementation team consists of people representing each module.
  • SAP FICO Stands for FI (Financial Accounting) and CO (Controlling).
  • So, SAP FI Consultant means someone having exposure to SAP Finance Module – As SAP consultant, you will be able to suggest business reengineering and redesigning of business process, streamlining the existing process and effective utilization of IT infrastructure.

SAP FI implementation involves SAP FI configuration. Thus, being an SAP FICO consultant our responsibility is to do SAP FI configuration which includes:

  • 1. Maintaining chart of accounts, fiscal year variants and currencies.
  • 2. Once the configuration is completed, the document posting will automatically be posted thereafter.
  • 3. Enterprises will be able to view its real-time financial status. This enables enterprises to keep a track of every financial transaction and helps in finance reporting at the end of fiscal year.

SAP CO refers to Controlling. It includes:

  • 1. Master data maintenance for cost elements, cost centers, profit centers, internal orders, functional area, statistical key figures and activity types.
  • 2. Cost elements include all the cost and revenue accounts, cost centers and profit centers include all the departmental units that handle cost and profit of an enterprise, internal orders include all the important events and so on.
  • 3. SAP CO implementation allows one to view the data of costs involved within internal management. It helps to get a better view of finance reporting and helps you manage records and take various decisions related to the organization.

Also, this module enables organizations to manage reporting and information database as per the requirement for their business

MY EXACT ROLE AS A SAP FICO CONSULTANT Being SAP FI consultant, apart from designing the business process, we also have to pay attention to – Legal Compliances and Reporting.

  • As SAP FICO consultant, it is expected to – Generate knowledge about the current business process, Design current business flows, Study current business processes and its complication, in all we can say getting through with current business setup. Flow diagrams and DFD are prepared, most of the time in Vision format; all this forms the part of AS IS document.
  • Everything configured has to be documented as per their categories in the form of predefined templates; these have to be then approved by the team leads or whoever the consultant is reporting to.
  • Mapping and GAP analysis are done for each module.
  • Before starting configuring future business processes in SAP, the DFD/ERD are prepared, this documentation is called TO BE, which can be also said as the result of mapping and gap analysis.
  • Sometimes Functional consultants are also expected to prepare test scripts for testing the configured scenarios.
  • End user manual and user training are also expected from Consultants.

Now based on one’s interest one can choose to be a:

  • Certified SAP Auditor
  • SAP Consultant
  • Certified SAP Trainer or
  • Part of the CORE Finance team of an Organization implementing SAP ERP.

SAP S/4HANA Finance leverages the advantages of inmemory technology and other modern user-experience innovations. By incorporating the latest technologies, the solution empowers you to transform a finance organization that can instantly analyze and capitalize on the challenges presented by today’s dynamic and volatile business and regulatory environment. Examples of transformational innovation across the different functions of a finance department include the following:

  • 1. Financial planning and analysis, product and service profitability, accounting profitability
  • 2. Accounting and financial close enabling instantaneous financial statement insights and real-time cost control while eliminating inefficient reconciliation activities.
  • 3. Instant visibility into working capital to drive optimal liquidity and investment planning, leading to increased cash flow and profitability.
  • 4. Machine learning for intelligent invoice matching, which can lower days sales outstanding, with realtime receivables and payables that enable immediate reaction to collection efforts and collaboration with business partners.
  • 5. Continuous monitoring to identify and predict fraud and cybersecurity

CONCLUSION:

  • We Finance Professionals have a better understanding of the Business Process and Accounting.
  • Those individuals and consultants who already attain their SAP Certification belong to the elite group and at the same time they have an exceptional and successful career than those individuals and consultant who have not yet obtain their SAP Certification. The real success of SAP Certification is through the mixture of qualification, investment into certification and direct experience.
  • In fact, industries needs SAP FICO – Finance professionals. There is a huge gap between requirement and availability of experts.

Author – CMA Pradnya Chandorkar

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