SAP treasury reporting for the treasury executive

March 2022
7 min read

Analyzing data from a treasury management system and ensuring it is up to date and accurate is key to making effective decisions for any corporate treasurer.

Over recent years, SAP has added an array of products in the data warehousing, reporting and analytics space to assist decision-making as well as address some of the historical weaknesses in its reporting capabilities.

These more recent SAP tools focus on delivering key business drivers in the reporting space – such as agility, flexibility, independence from IT, data processing, intelligent analysis (using artificial intelligence), and data centralization – thereby addressing many of the previous frustrations that business users experienced with getting the necessary information out of their SAP systems to make sound business decisions. Previously, reporting within SAP was often limited, inflexible and required a reliance on IT to develop custom reports and/or data models. But with more options, choosing the most appropriate reporting landscape design can seem overwhelming to the treasury executive and it’s easy to get lost in the technical jargon.

The appropriate tool for your unique business design
When it comes to treasury analytics solutions offered by SAP, there are among others embedded Fiori analytical apps, SAP Analytics Cloud, BW4/HANA and the new Data Warehouse Cloud. It may be difficult to get a clear understanding of what each tool offers and for what purposes to use each. The question then is whether to invest in all tools or which one(s) to choose to meet our reporting needs. Additionally, there may be uncertainty too around what is offered to customers using SAP S/4HANA Cloud versus those customers who run SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition (and on premise deployments).

The answer about how to structure your SAP reporting architecture depends on your unique business design and reporting requirements, and more specifically what questions you need answered by your data. Here we will give a brief overview of the functionality of the main tools and what to consider when making system selection decisions. Note, the below information speaks more to customers who run the on-premise version of SAP S/4HANA, although we do mention what is offered on the cloud, where relevant.

SAP S/4HANA Fiori Analytical Apps
SAP S/4HANA Finance for treasury and risk management comes standard with analytical Fiori apps for daily reporting as well as Dashboard reporting. With your daily reporting apps, you will be able to display treasury position flows, analyze the treasury position, use the Cash Flow Analyzer as well as display the treasury posting journal. These apps assist the treasury executive to see the details and results of what has taken place over a given period within the organization. There are also currently four dashboard-type Fiori apps which give an overview of different key areas, namely Foreign Exchange Overview, Interest Rate Overview, Market Data Overview, and Bank Relationship Overview.

Without paying any additional license fees, the above apps give the treasury executive a great starting point with which to review current positions but may not be sufficient to provide the information you want to see and how you want to see it.

SAP Analytics Cloud
SAP Analytics Cloud is SAP’s solution for data visualization, offering business intelligence, planning and predictive analytics in a single solution for all modules, providing a broader, deeper and more flexible analysis of the organization’s operations than the embedded analytical Fiori apps can.
Although the SAP Analytics Cloud OEM version is delivered embedded into Treasury Management for SAP S/4HANA Cloud, customers with the SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, or an on-premise version of Treasury Management will need an additional license to get access to SAP Analytics Cloud functionality. However, it is worth noting that this license is for the full-use SAP Analytics Cloud Enterprise edition, which comes with more features and functionalities than the embedded version.

In terms of Treasury Management, the Treasury Executive Dashboard is the main offering within SAP Analytics Cloud. This dashboard is based on a preconfigured data model that offers real-time insights into the treasury operations across eight tab strips. Areas that can be reported on are Liquidity, Cash management, Bank relationship, Indebtedness, Counterparty risk, Market risk, Bank guarantee and Market overview. The dashboard provides visual overviews of the underlying data and allows for drill-down to see the detail. Customizing the layout is also possible.

With the full-use Enterprise version of SAP Analytics Cloud, there is the possibility of creating more dashboards (called Stories) according to business reporting needs. Business Content is also delivered out the box with the full version which means the creation of new dashboards is accelerated as the groundwork has already been done by SAP or one of their business partners.

Another feature of SAP Analytics Cloud worth mentioning is its predictive capabilities. Historical data is analyzed to identify trends and patterns, and these are then used to predict a potential future outcome, further adding to the tools at the executive’s disposal.

SAP Analytics Cloud is designed to be set up and used by the business user with minimal IT intervention. Dashboards are responsive and user-friendly, with a large degree of flexibility in terms of layout and design.

SAP BW/4HANA is SAP’s next generation data warehousing solution designed to run exclusively on the SAP HANA database. The key areas of focus for SAP BW∕4HANA are data modelling, data procurement, analysis and planning. An SAP customer needs to license this product and it runs on a separate instance.
SAP BW/4HANA is not an upgrade of SAP BW but a widely rewritten solution designed to reduce complexity and effort around data warehousing as well as increasing speed and agility, offering advanced UIs.

Data from multiple sources across the enterprise can be imported and stored centrally in the SAP BW∕4HANA Enterprise Data Warehouse. This data can be transformed and cleaned up, ready for analysis. SAP BW/4HANA provides a single source of truth, handling large data volumes at speed for complex organizations. SAP BW/4HANA has been designed to create reports on current, historical, and external data from multiple SAP and non-SAP sources. The data modeling capabilities are also much more powerful than SAP Analytics Cloud offers as a standalone solution.

A note here that SAP has recently released the Data Warehouse Cloud. This is intended as a data warehousing solution for SAP S/4HANA Cloud customers and is not seen as a direct replacement for BW/4HANA. However, the approaches for supporting Self-Service BI, the “SAP BW Bridge capabilities”, or the inclusion of CDS views from SAP S/4HANA make it a good candidate for a hybrid approach at least.

Selecting the right solution

SAP believes that there are four main drivers of the value of data – Span (data from anywhere), Volume (data of any size), Quality (data of any kind) and Usage (data for anyone). They have focused on ensuring that value is maximized for organizations by offering solutions for each driver. The SAP HANA database ensures that a vast volume of data can be handled at high speed, SAP BW/4HANA has been designed so that high volumes of data of any kind can be consolidated for analysis and SAP Analytics Cloud delivers a single solution for visual, easy-to-use analytics across the business.

Customers that have SAP S/4HANA Treasury in their on-premise deployment with minimal data sources could supplement their SAP S/4HANA Treasury system with SAP Analytics Cloud alone. This is ideal when the main reporting needs are operational and real-time and would allow treasury executives to easily access the information they need to optimize their portfolios for liquidity and risk, giving them the additional flexibility and ability to design required reports.

Where the data volumes are large and from a diverse range of sources, a combination of SAP BW4/HANA and SAP Analytics Cloud could be better. The latter has been optimized to work with SAP BW/4HANA as a source and this allows customers to get the powerful, interactive visualizations of SAP Analytics Cloud using the immense data volume capabilities of SAP BW/4HANA. Together, these two products, alongside your SAP S/4HANA Treasury system, give up-to-date, broad, easy-to-read information at a glance to ensure the treasury executive can be proactive and responsive, making the best possible decisions around liquidity, funding and risk management across the entire enterprise. SAP BW4/HANA can of course be implemented without SAP Analytics Cloud, as other BI tools can be used, but the advantages of SAP Analytics Cloud are the highly visual design, flexibility and most importantly not needing to rely on IT to design reports.

To conclude
Knowing what your options are and which would suit your current and future system landscapes is where Zanders can come in, providing sound guidance and ensuring you are able to make the most of any investment to analyze data and make decisions. We can assist treasury executives by ensuring the customer has the right mix of reporting solutions, weighing up total cost of ownership against the data reporting requirements of the organization.


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