A New Day for Accounts Payable
A day in the life of an accounts payable (AP) clerk looks something like this: Review supplier balances and line items, create/block/unblock invoices, manage down payment requests and automatic payments, and review overdue payables.
You know the drill.
If you’re coming from an SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) environment, you are also aware of the back and forth that it can take to accomplish even the most basic of daily tasks. If only there were a better way – a more streamlined approach to viewing all of the information you’re looking for to accomplish each task. Fortunately, SAP S/4HANA has transformed the ease of accessing and working with the AP information you need through a superior user interface, SAP Fiori.
SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori Deliver Superior View
SAP S/4HANA was originally introduced as a next-generation financial solution that quickly grew into a full-scale enterprise resource planning (ERP) platform. The core modules common to earlier versions were re-organized into lines of business (LoBs), including SAP S/4HANA Finance, which focuses on all money-related activities of a business. Particularly relevant to accounts payable (AP), the reporting structure has changed and is no longer based on tables; rather, it is based on “views” and the use of out-of-the-box, customizable SAP Fiori apps as the primary user interface to improve both usability and efficiency.
So, how exactly does SAP S/4HANA and SAP Fiori improve the AP clerk’s life?
Accounts Payable Transformed
Here, we’ve listed a selection of relevant AP apps in SAP Fiori:
Imagine that you’re the AP clerk. You would like to view and confirm or refresh some data, so you elect to use the Display Supplier List app. The screen is incredibly intuitive, and you have the list of suppliers and the basic data that you want to view. You can also maintain the layouts in Settings by navigating to the gear icon in the Fiori launchpad, which will then provide you with a list of options if selected. Additionally, you can easily sort or filter as needed. Navigating to a particular function such as Manage Supplier Line Item for a given supplier is also possible.
One of the biggest benefits of Fiori is this ease of navigation. In order to navigate to different transactions or different apps, you don’t need to leave one to go to another. Contrast that with SAP ECC, where you go to a transaction to find something then open another tab, then circle back, then go to a third tab if you want to see more. SAP S/4HANA with the Fiori user interface is more streamlined than this, allowing you to seamlessly move from one app to another.
Another relevant Fiori app, the Supplier Invoices List, can help you define what you want to view by simply clicking and unclicking. Unlike ECC where you would need to revisit the selection screen, change the selection criteria, and execute the program again, Fiori enables you to have both selection criteria, any filters you’ve applied, and the results all on the same screen. If you are working with a specific set of suppliers, particular document types, or a certain time period, you can predefine the selection in filters, create your own view, and then make that an automatic filter if you so choose.
Whenever you have a list in Fiori, an arrow at the right-hand side will indicate that there’s more detail behind the line item. By clicking on an invoice, for instance, you have a view of the whole process flow: purchase order, invoice receipt, the related journal entry. You will also be able to see if it’s blocked for payment. Further, you can view the related document flow by selecting the Display Document Flow function, where you see which documents were created and can discern if it’s goods receipts-related or a logistics invoice, for example. Fiori does a fantastic job of combining the data in a tabular view, in list form, and in a graphical view.
This is just a glimpse into the user-friendly Fiori apps that are transforming the AP function. From managing the list of suppliers to invoice-related activities to managing payments, the out-of-the box and customizable Fiori apps make SAP S/4HANA a versatile tool and time-saver for accounts payable.