Introduction

For a client we had the chance to investigate the possibilities of SAP MDG for Financials. MDG-F is a SAP Application to centrally govern your financial master data. It provides a central point of maintenance and controls, independently of local and centralized execution. Master data can be created, completed or changed in a staging area, following a step-by-step process before making a record available for the connected business applications. This solution can be used for a wide range of financial master data, for example, accounting, group charts of accounts, general ledger accounts, companies and controlling objects like profit centers, cost centers and their hierarchies. The user interface is partly based on ABAP WebDynpro and SAPUI5 to respond flexibly to changes in requirements.

Why MDG-F ?

The problem in today’s companies is that a lot of information is duplicated or incorrect. For example, when a company would exist multiple times in your system as “Avelon” or “avalon” there would be a realistic chance that some bookings would be missed. This could lead to profit loss or late payments.

With duplicated data it would also be difficult to do a proper audit, as this would be time consuming. The audit would take more time than expected and will result in more costs. This would also lead to inefficient reporting.

MDG-F would be able to help in your quality and consistency. It will help by providing greater governance across local and corporate systems, with a single source of truth, standardized data models, validation rules and workflows. This will achieve a reduced effort to find trusted information, greater consistency and an improved modeling, planning and analysis.

With the increasingly complex regulations that are becoming a daily task, the possibility to create streamlined and automated processes for regulatory compliance is a great benefit. This will improve transparency, traceability and risk exposure.

Blog Matthieu.png

On this graph you can see there is a large difference between the best performers and the worst for hours spent searching information and business process cycle time. If the data would be well governed, the difference would become smaller and data would be found efficiently and thus quicker.

What is MDG-F ?

MDG-F supports the 3 main areas of finance, Accounting, Controlling and Consolidation, with the following hierarchy.

Blog Matthieu 2.png

As the entities are linked one to another it will be more difficult to create incoherent or even inconsistent data. This will lead to a web of aligned master data.

You can use field validations to ensure that only allowed and correct content is maintained. SAP MDG allows you to save draft versions of incomplete records that don't yet meet final requirements. However, for final approval all validation requirements must be met so no invalid content reaches the connected business applications.

Editions

Typical data maintenance processes do not allow for time-dependent control of data provisioning. This will manage time dependency of all planned master data changes to an existing data or creation of new data are collected and released at a certain date. Objects that use editions inherit the validity dates based on the edition.

When an edition is created, the system automatically determines the date to which the edition can be valid to eliminate any time overlaps with existing editions. A previous edition will only be valid until from date of the new edition.

An example:

  • Edition A is valid form 01/2018 to 12/9999
    • If you create edition B that is valid from 11/2017, the system will automatically define the last valid period of B as 12/2017
  • Edition A is valid from 01/2018 to 12/9999
    • If you create editon B that is valid form 11/2018, the system will consequently restrict the validity of edition A to 01/2018 to 10/2018.

The maintenance process always follows an edition, independently of whether the change is to be distributed to the business systems immediately or at a later point in time.

A more complex example :

When creating a change request you need to choose the edition, and thus timeframe, in which you want your changes to become active. You can use the edition which is valid today to make direct changes to objects or choose an edition with a later valid-from date than today for scheduling future changes. Once an edition becomes active, meaning that the current date lies into the timeframe of that edition, we can immediately distribute all the changes done in that edition to all the receiving systems.

Considering the example underneath, you notice that different editions exist:

  • Editions used in the past
    • E1_DEMO > for previous timeframe
    • E2_DEMO > for current timeframe but released meaning that no changes are allowed anymore
  • Edition for current changes:
    • E6_DEMO
  • Editions for future planning
    • E3_DEMO, E4_DEMO and E5_DEMO

Following instances of account '20000' now exist in the MDG system since changes to the account have been made in the respective editions:

  • T1 > An active instance of the account valid from 01.04.2013 to 30.06.2013  
  • T2 > An active instance of the account valid from 01.07.2013 to 31.03.2014 
  • T3 > An active and inactive instance of the account valid from 01.04.2014 to 30.06.2014
  • T4 > An active instance of the account valid from 01.07.2014 to 31.12.9999 since the Account is not assigned to another edition yet
MDG-F Example.png

 

Functionalities of MDG-F

With MDG-F you will be able to:

  • Have consistent financial master data across the entire organization;
  • Trace ability of changes for compliance requirements;
  • Excellence in financial processes that is accurate reconciliation and timely group closing;
  • High quality of master data and a single version of the truth;
  • Importing company data from remote systems, such as investment management systems.

From version 9.0 of MDG-F, SAP extended or created some new functionalities for this application. Those functionalities will be summarized and the most important ones will be explained more in detail.

Copying of accounts

When creating a G/L account, you can now save time and effort by copying the Chart of Accounts and Company Code Data (With Template) from an existing G/L account using the new Copy function on the Search screen. Alternatively, you can copy just the Chart of Accounts Data.

Enhanced BCV content to display hierarchy changes

A new display option was added to the Query Views. In addition to displaying changes per change request, you can now also display only hierarchy-specific changes for a change request for a detailed overview.

Importing Company Data

You can use enterprise services to import the entity type Company from remote systems (such as investment management systems) into SAP Master Data Governance for Financials. You can use BAdIs for data importing to do this.

Remote Where-Used List

You can search for entity types in your attached remote system, using either the screen on the UI, or using a Business Add-In, available in the Customizing structure.

SOA Services for Consolidation Systems

You can use an outbound service to replicate financial master data to consolidation systems such as SAP BusinessObjects Financial Consolidation, SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, and SAP SEM: BCS.

Enhancements for Data Model 0G

The entity types for Account, Account in Company Code, Cost Center, Cost Element and Profit Center have each been enhanced with a new entity type with storage and use type 4 for storing SAP ERP audit information. This allows the Created by and Created on information to be transferred from SAP ERP systems into the central MDG system during an initial load of master data.

Group Accounts as Items 

  • With MDG 8.0 it is possible to upload group accounts from SAP ERP (stored in table SKA1) to MDG-F as items (entity type FSI). The replication of items to SAP ERP as group accounts is also supported;
  • The functionality includes:
    • Enhanced extraction criteria for MDMGX (Master Data Management Generic Extractor) in SAP ERP;
    • Enhanced initial load functionality in MDG DIF (Data Import Framework);
    • Enhanced data replication for items.

Next to this you also have the possibility to:

  • Enablement of Mobile Access through Fiori Apps for Approval of G/L Accounts in Fiori;
  • Integration with SAP Shared Service Center;
  • Enhanced Edition Management;
  • Changeable IDs for MDG-F entity types;
  • Multi-copying for accounts in company code;
  • One-step creation of accounts and their related primary cost elements;
  • Enhanced search capabilities with an out-of-the-box integration of SAP HANA Search;
  • Enhanced and Simplified Hierarchy Management;
  • Data transfer & replication.

Conclusion

To finalize this blog a little summary of key-points why to implement MDG(-F) in your SAP landscape:

  • The centralized MDG-F system permits the user-friendly management of your financial data and specific customizing options in order to comply with legal requirements;
  • No duplicated data in your SAP system;
  • Tracking of the change processes and process setup;
  • Time-based and period-based versioning: Transparency, traceability, edition ;
  • Importing, transferring and replication of data.

For questions or additional information on this subject, please contact Wouter Van Peteghem.

Thanks to Matthieu Angel for writing this article.