Organization – Home appliances manufacturers & suppliers
Sector – Electronics / home appliances
Problem – The need to generate AP aging reports, quickly and accurately, showing all debt and due payments to suppliers.
Solution – Using InsightZAP (formerly known as InsightSAP) the company has created a new automated reporting process, which proved to be far more accurate and less time consuming.
Background and Pain Points
An Accounts Payable Aging Report (or ‘AP Aging Report’) is a vital accounting document that outlines the due dates of the payments a business needs to pay to its suppliers. Read how a tedious, manual, inaccurate and inefficient process of producing an AP Aging Report has shortened from over a month (per report) to a one-time effort of slightly over a day, followed by several hours of processing each new report.
Running an AP Aging Report powered by InsightZAP Suite assures it is native within SAP, unlimited in terms of the number of past years included within the report, while including the actuals for the present financial year. For the office of the CFO, ultimately InsightZAP turns the production of the AP Aging Report from a liability to an asset. Consequently, the Electrical equipment supplier organization is in an advantageous proactive position (rather than a reactive one) with regards to its debt management and financial risk policies.
Providing companies a full AP Aging Report that outlines the financial liabilities towards suppliers is often a tedious, inefficient, long and ineffective process. Actually, producing an updated AP Aging Reports is perceived as a liability that is being generated only when there is no other choice, mostly due to complexities and to massive manual labor needed to invest in order to produce a single Aging Report, which is effectively outdated as early as the following morning.
PAIN POINT: Within SAP ECC, producing an AP Aging Report requires significant SAP processing-time bandwidth and resources given the volume of data that needs to be sorted at any given timeframe, sorted by supplier (Vendor) and by fiscal year. Altogether, within a mid-sized organization, it might take up to one calendar month to produce a multi-year AP Aging Report, every time it is demanded.
Companies face additional challenges when producing AP Aging Reports reports when sorting and grouping the data (i.e. by Open Vendor / ‘Supplier’ Line Items and by year) might require a tedious and error-potential manual process.
Furthermore, once AP Aging Report (or its substes when there is a need to personalize, customize or share the report) is often exported to a spreadsheet. Consequently, it is outdated and inaccurate from the moment it has been exported, it does not enjoy the authenticity and liability of SAP, and the control over the quality and credibility of the data as well as overall data security controls is rather limited (i.e. the organization is no longer protected by the SAP Authorization protocol, and potentially there is limited control over who received the files and whether the person is authorized to access it).
Although SAP ECC ordinary users could run transaction S_ALR_87012085 and enter number of days (30, 60, 90, etc.), there are a few limitations they face when doing so:
- Limited by entering 999 days backwards.
- If a user wants to add information from other transactions, sort and run different calculations than offered by the standard report, and modify the output in any other way – then ABAP development would be required.
- Given the volume of data (and SAP Version), multiple-year AP Aging Report may require a long processing
When it comes to S4/HANA, an App named ‘Accounts Payable Overview’ (App ID F2917) includes a KPI named ‘Payable Aging’, using the C_APFLEXIBLEAGING CDS view. One may click on the KPI area to navigate to the Aging Analysis app. The chart displays open invoices separated into age intervals. Use the drop down list to display either overdue invoices or invoices that are not due yet. It is believed that the availability of this standard Fiori App merely moves the starting point forward, thus may reduce some development work in comparison to the ECC version. However, once a user wishes to further breakdown the data by different dimensions, add any column or input to the charts (let alone push automatic notification and alerts according to predefined rules) then there is a need to further develop the CDS. With InsightZAP Suite, a user or a consultant could personalize the AP Aging Report without any development and in no-time, and could provide access to the updated data for the end users through Fiori in no-time.
Within a couple of hours, a customized, personalized and automated AP Aging Report has been created, presenting a 5-year summary (including the current fiscal year open payments to suppliers), clustered by Supplier (‘Vendor’) and by Fiscal Year:
- By using ‘Publisher Snapshot’, captured with snapshot the data FBL1N (Vendor Line Items) of relevant previous years (i.e. 2010 – 2014) in the SAP background. This has been done so that whenever a user wishes to run a new AP Aging Report Transaction, the user will get the data instantly (rather than processing the entire database every single time).
- With Insight aggregated payable lines by local currency using Standard SAP report FBL1 (Display Vendor Line Items) for previous years. Then, each document has been sorted and grouped by its respective fiscal year (i.e.2010 – 2014) according to its Posting Date. Please see the debt aggregation (‘amt in local currency’) by supplier (‘Vendor’) in the following chart:
- With Insight, having created a new variant that updates regularly the current fiscal year’s due payments to suppliers, whenever the transaction is processed. The data is added to the respective suppliers
Outcome: Fresh, automated and updated AP Aging Report, reflecting the real-time debt status on the processing date, sorted by supplier and due year, native within SAP.
From a process that lasted over a month of manual labor, subject to errors and out-dated once completed, AP Aging Report became an automated, native & protected SAP, on-demand process. AP Aging Report could now be used as an asset and as an important tool to proactively manage the accounting and the debt position of a company. Not only the AP Aging Report has been generated within a few hours, but it has also been automated in a way that various stakeholders in the company could trigger the request, assure a one-truth and a standardized view of this report, regardless of the person invoking the demand.