Introducing SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, Professional Services


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Outline SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition, professional services
  • Understand the scope of SAP S/4HANA Cloud professional services
  • Find and assign appropriate business roles to users

Professional Services Business Background

SAP Cloud Solutions Support Professional Services Automation

Professional Services involving the sale and delivery of services in the form of knowledge, expertise, or outcomes.

There are several subindustries that are concerned with the delivery of services:

  • Consulting, tax, and audit
  • Business process outsourcing (BPO), and IT services
  • Multi-service providers
  • Legal services
  • Staffing and personnel services
  • Engineering services

The services that are delivered across all these subindustries can take various forms but they'll usually involve a project where a specific objective is planned and delivered. Almost all professional services automation (PSA) applications are focused on the delivery of projects. These organizations have many process requirements that involve, most importantly, managing the engagements in concert with managing the sourcing of people to deliver those services. This can be either through full-time employees or contingent workers (for example contractors) which need to be sourced and managed in different ways.

SAP supports professional services automation across engagement, finance, and workforce management through different cloud solutions but the core operational, commercial, and financial processes are managed through SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition.

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, customer project management processes enable project managers to create, manage, and monitor customer projects, including planning of work packages and efforts, staffing resources, and creating billing plans for services. When efforts have been recorded, project managers can release billing proposals, which are later used in the creation of invoices. Project managers can also monitor projects for financial performance, using criteria such as cost, revenue, margin, and variance.

The SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central integration with SAP S/4HANA Cloud offers you predefined content for data integration to enable end-to-end business processes across your core Cloud HR and SAP S/4HANA Cloud. Employee master data records, and organizational assignments of the newly hired employee in the SAP SuccessFactors system, can be replicated to SAP S/4HANA Cloud and used for staffing purposes. Similarly, outside experts can be assigned to projects as well. The integration of SAP Fieldglass with SAP S/4HANA Cloud supports, automates, and extends SAP S/4HANA Cloud contingent labor, including processing of job postings and statements of work, hiring and management processes.

The next section will take you through the SAP S/4HANA Cloud professional services end-to-end process flow in further detail.

Introduction to SAP S/4HANA Cloud Professional Services

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Professional Services Features

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud professional services solution gains real-time visibility into your projects' performance and profitability, using the following features:

  • A single solution to create and manage all data related to projects.
  • End-to-end core finance and project accounting to deliver client value profitably.
  • Billing and invoicing to streamline the accounts receivable process.
  • One single customer invoice with all the details.

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud professional services solution deploys the right resources to the right projects at the right time in the following ways:

  • Seamless workforce management to optimize project staffing.
  • 360° insight into the overall workforce, including contingent workers.
  • Powerful text-based search of relevant employee data to help find the right skills for the project.
  • Native integration of employee data between SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central and SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

The SAP S/4HANA Cloud professional services solution brings together business process and analytics in real time in the following ways:

  • Advanced capabilities to analyze data across the projects and clients and make forecasts.
  • Unified journal, real-time insight into finance processes and managerial accounting data.
  • Text-based enterprise search on any master data, document, and process-related information.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Professional Services End-to-End Process

SAP S/4HANA Cloud professional service provides integrated project management tools optimized to help your organization deliver projects on time and within budget. The software enables project managers to create and plan customer projects, as well as search for and assign resources, manage and monitor project execution, and address different billing scenarios. The integration of sales orders with project management enables the creation of invoices. The project profitability can be assessed based on the project costs and revenues. Professional services companies may work both with their own employees, but also with an external workforce. Purchasers are able to create a purchase order (PO) for service items. Whether or not an approval process is initiated for the PO before it’s issued to a supplier depends on the settings made during configuration. Both internal consultants and contingent workers are able to record time across customer projects, including text notes or implementation-specific data as required by each project. In case an approval process is in place, time entries are submitted to the project manager for approval.

The project manager can get an overview of all the open billing proposals within the projects assigned, prepare the list of billing proposals to be released and subsequently trigger billing processes. A billing proposal represents a collection of billing plan items that are planned to be billed on a target billing date. One or several billing proposals of the same project can be released simultaneously to create a debit memo request for further processing and billing. Finally, the billing clerk creates the invoices for customers.

SAP S/4HANA Cloud Professional Services Scope

Customer Project Management (J11)

Customer Project Management handles the complete end-to-end process of selling and performing project-based services to customers. It integrates sales orders with project management, allowing you to create customer invoices for time and expenses - including external services - recorded against a customer project. Invoices can be created on a time and materials basis, a fixed price basis, a combination of both, or as periodic services. You can also derive contract values and show whether the contract margin is on plan. After the customer invoice is issued, customer payments can be monitored. During period-end closing activities, accounting and financial close activities can be performed. This scope item also supports the analysis of project profitability based on project costs and revenues.

The following key process steps are covered:

  • Manage customer projects during the planning and execution phase.
  • Maintain work package staffing of customer project.
  • Procure external services for customer project.
  • Record times for customer project
  • Create customer invoices.
  • Analyze customer projects.
  • Perform accounting and financial close activities.
  • Perform period-end closing activities.

Time Recording (J12)

Time Recording for project-based services provides employees a quick entry method for recording time against customer or internal projects. In the time entry sheet, all work packages or work items assigned to the employee are visible. Nonbillable times can also be entered for full-time accountability. Time recording on behalf of the employee and approval of time sheet entries is also possible.

The following key process steps are covered:

  • Record actual working times
  • Access time sheet on behalf of employees
  • Transfer time recordings to target components.
  • Approve time sheet entries.
  • Notify the missing time.
  • See an overview of team utilization for line managers.

Project Billing (4E9)

This scenario is used for billing customer projects as part of project-related services. It supports billing on a fixed-price, time-and-expense, periodic, and usage basis. It also includes payments on account and down payments for time and expense contracts, as well as down payments for fixed price contracts. One of the most important capabilities is the write-off and postponement of recorded amounts or quantities in the time and expense scenario. In addition, an approval workflow for project billing requests can be activated in various ways. 

The key process steps are:

  • Create, edit, and manage project billing requests.
  • Create billing document requests.

Sales Order Processing (J14)

Sales Order Processing describes the entire process sequence for the sales order maintenance and the billing process within the project-based services scenario. It includes the billing subprocesses and encompasses the creation of billing documents (invoices), credit memos, manual credit memo requests, and manual debit memo requests.

In the invoicing subprocess, the leading customer project management process triggers the creation of a debit memo request, which is transformed into a customer invoice.

In the credit memo subprocess, a credit memo is created with reference to an existing customer invoice.

In the manual debit memo subprocess, a debit memo request is created manually and then sent to billing where a corresponding customer invoice is created.

Finally, these processes transfer to the accounts receivable process.

The following key process steps are covered:

  • Create billing documents: Create customer invoices and journal entry.
  • Create credit memo: Create credit memo with reference to customer invoice and journal entry.

Create manual debit memo request

  • Create manual debit memo request.
  • Create customer invoice with reference to debit memo request and journal entry.

Create manual credit memo request

  • Create manual credit memo request.
  • Create credit memo.

Event-Based Revenue Recognition (1IL)

Event-Based Revenue Recognition calculates and posts real-time revenue and cost adjustment for professional services for fixed price, time and material, and periodic service type projects.

Processes that don't write a prima nota don't result in any real-time revenue recognition postings (for example, changes of plan data don't directly result in revenue recognition postings). If necessary, period-end closing postings (periodic revenue recognition) correct the event-based postings. This scope item covers best guess reporting, as figures are only correct after period-end closing.

The following key process steps are covered:

  • Monitor event-based revenue recognition for projects.
  • Manage real-time revenue recognition issues
  • Run revenue recognition for projects in period-end closing.
  • Manage revenue recognition issues for projects.
  • Report projects actuals
  • Report projects WIP details (relevant only for time and material projects)
  • Inspect revenue recognition postings.

Internal Project Management (1A8)

Internal Project Management handles the complete end-to-end process of project-based services inside the company. This scope item realizes the main steps of the end-to-end scenario for project-based services focusing on internal project management and costs. It integrates project planning and staffing with core project management functionalities, procurement processes for materials and services, and time recording against the project work items. During period-end closing activities, accounting and financial close activities can be performed. This scope item also supports the analysis of project key figures.

The following key process steps are covered:

  • Manage internal projects during the planning and execution phase.
  • Maintain work package staffing of internal project.
  • Procure external services for internal project.
  • Record times for internal project
  • Analyze internal projects.
  • Perform accounting and financial close activities.
  • Perform period end closing activities.

Service and Material Procurement (J13)

Service and Material Procurement for project-based services covers all relevant procurement processes of the professional services scenario.

Possible procurement sub-processes are as follows:

  • Service procurement - an external service is ordered. The external service company confirms the purchase order and performs the service. The supplier posts the expenses back. A supplier invoice is created and processed.
  • Material procurement for consumption - a consumption material is requested from a customer or internal project and a purchase order is created and sent to the supplier. The supplier sends the material to the company, and the goods receipt is checked. Finally, the supplier invoice is created, and the invoice is paid.
  • Procurement for third-party order processing - a material is ordered by the purchaser of the ordering company for an end customer from a supplier. The supplier ships the material directly to this end-customer.

The following key process steps are covered:

Procure services:

  • Create purchase requisition.
  • Create and approve purchase order
  • Send purchase order to supplier.
  • Confirm service from supplier.
  • Post expenses of service
  • Create supplier invoice.

Procure material for consumption:

  • Create purchase requisition.
  • Create and check the purchase order
  • Send purchase order to supplier.
  • Post and check goods receipt.
  • Create supplier invoice

Procure for third-party order processing:

  • Create purchase requisition.
  • Create and check purchase order.
  • Send purchase order to supplier
  • Post and check goods receipt.
  • Create supplier invoice

Create contracts:

  • Create contract from scratch.
  • Create contract based on purchase requisition.

Intercompany Processes (16T)

A company has an affiliate company. The affiliate company delivers a service to the ordering company in the course of a customer project. The affiliate company posts expenses and records time on the project. These expenses are transformed into debit memo requests. An intercompany invoice with reference to the debit memo request is created by the delivering company. The intercompany invoice is posted automatically also to the accounts payables of the ordering company.

The following key process steps are covered:

  • Create debit memo requests for intercompany billing based on intercompany travel postings and time confirmation from the delivering company.
  • Create billing document (intercompany invoice)
  • Post intercompany invoice automatically from company to accounts payables of ordering company

Additional information: This scope item is excluded from the default activation.

Intercompany Billing for Cross-Company Cost Accounting Postings (4AN)

Applications (such as time recording for EPPM or services) can create cross-company cost accounting documents. Also, cross-company cost accounting documents can be created manually in controlling with the Manage Direct Activity Allocation app. For these FI documents, you must still create legal invoices, including tax. Based on resource-related intercompany billing functionality, you can create the necessary customer invoices with the affiliated company as the customer. After the invoices are created, the system can automatically create mirroring accounts payable documents in the receiving affiliated company.

The following key process steps are covered:

  • Create an intercompany sales order in the affiliated cost sending company where the customer represents the affiliated cost receiving company.
  • Create a debit memo request for cross-company cost accounting postings in the affiliated cost sending company
  • Create a customer invoice in the affiliated cost sending company.
  • Create an accounts payable document in the affiliated cost receiving company.

This scope item is excluded from the default activation.

Business Roles in SAP S/4HANA Cloud Public Edition

Access to business applications is controlled by role-based authorization management. You assign Business Roles to Business Users, and the roles provide access to business tasks. Business Users are defined as employees, contractors, or other individuals that need access to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system.

How to Find Business Roles for a Scope Item

  1. Navigate to SAP Process Navigator.
  2. Search for the desired scope item in the SAP Signavio Process Navigator search bar (for example J12).
  3. Filter by Solution, Version, Country/Region, and so on as desired and select the desired scope item.
  4. Ensure the Country/Region is selected.
  5. Navigate to the Accelerators section.
  6. Download the test script.
  7. Navigate to the Roles section of the test script.

A Business Role is assigned to a Business User to grant permission to access applications in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

One or more Business Catalogs have been assigned to a Business Role. Business Catalogs include access to one or more applications, dashboards, or displays of data.

Administrators can control visibility to the data granted through the catalog by applying General Restrictions to Business Catalogs. By maintaining access restrictions, you can define the subset of all existing business objects a user can view (read) or edit (write) when working with a particular business role.

The Business Catalog defines which access categories are available (Value Help, Read, Write), and for which fields restriction values can be maintained. The fields vary per catalog, as they're based on the fields within the apps in the catalog. The Business Role aggregates restrictions for all Business Catalogs.

Administrators define a restriction based on a supported field (for example, company code, country, controlling area, and so on). Supported restriction fields vary per Business Catalog, as they're based on the fields within the apps in the catalog. You can restrict data access for the Value Help, Read, and Write separately. Read access always includes Value Help access, and Write access always includes Read access.

How to identify the Business Catalog(s) mapped to a Business Role and the SAP Fiori application(s) mapped to a Business Catalog:

  1. Log in to the SAP S/4HANA Cloud system.
  2. Select the Manage Business Roles application from the SAP Fiori launchpad.
  3. Select a Business Role.
  4. Select the Assigned Business Catalogs tab to view the standard Business Catalogs assigned to the standard Business Role.
  5. Select a Business Catalog.
  6. Select the Catalog Description tab to view the Functional Description, Authorization Criteria, and Associated Catalogs information.
  7. Select the Applications tab to view the SAP Fiori apps mapped to the Business Catalog.

Do not edit SAP Standard Business Roles directly. To customize Business Roles, always make a copy of the SAP Standard Business Role or use the option Create From Template in the Maintain Business Roles application.

To apply General Restrictions, an Administrator should first make a copy of the SAP Standard Business Role, or create a new role based on the SAP Standard Business Role template. For example, if you need to restrict access in the Accounts Payable Accountant Business Role for some users to only Company Code 1710 (United States), and for some users to only Company Code 1010 (Germany), you'll create two new Business Roles based on the SAP Standard Accounts Payable Accountant role. You should name the roles accordingly (for example, Accounts Payable Accountant 1710). In the first business role, you'll edit the role and maintain the restriction value(s) for the entire Business Role (that is, define the Company Code field = 1710). Then, you may edit the individual business catalogs within the role and define the access category (that is, Value Help, Read, Write) as Restricted. When you create a new Business Role, the Read access is set to Unrestricted and Write access is set to No Access by default. When an access category is Restricted, you must select a specific field value (for example, Company Code = 1710) or grant unrestricted access. If you leave fields empty within a business catalog, a user will be assigned No Access to the field in the business catalog's granted apps.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes