Happy Holidays

The end of 2012 approaches and it was an interesting and wonderful year in many ways. In other ways, it was just like any other year, but that can be a good thing. We at WG are happy to announce the addition of another major technology company to add to our roster of clients. We’ll be posting some info about what is going on there in the near future.

We’re also excited to start, in January 2013, the posting of Wyndham Group “Bullet Points,” which are rapid but insightful learning sessions on topics that we find useful in our profession and with our clients. Examples of upcoming topics include:

  •  Consolidated invoice portals in SAP for Professional Services Firms
  •  Statutory reporting using SAP’s NewGL (parallel ledgers)
  •  Using HANA inside and outside of analytics (i.e. within ECC)
  •  Tackling WIP with multi-element invoicing (software, services, hardware, etc…all on one invoice!)
  •  And much much more!!  : )

The idea is to help educate each other within our organization with simple weekly info sharing. It is much easier for an independent-minded consultant to have 20 other highly qualified minds filtering and distilling the mass of information available to us all into what is actually useful than to be trying to keep up with SAP’s dynamic landscape all alone.

We thought we’d then share our insights with you so that you can see what we’re about and what we can bring to your engagements. Also, it might be a good way to encourage like-minded consultants to seek us out. We’ll be posting our sessions on LinkedIn starting in January.

Happy holidays, everyone.

RRB Recap

For those of you who are using SAP’s RRB-based Professional Services solution, I thought you might find some benefit from a recap of the issues that are inherent in it from a WIP perspective. Here is part of the text from an “open letter to SAP” about my thoughts on future development. This includes thoughts on the Commercial Project Management (CPM) solution – one about which I have posted extensively – but also about future releases of SAP-ERP. Regardless of how the issues I mention get addressed (either in CPM or standard-delivered SAP), they will need to be addressed in order to offer pro-serv firms the functionality they require. Read on…..
As you are aware, one of the biggest challenges is a timely WIP calculation using accurate pricing. To accomplish this currently, either Results Analysis must be executed (often modified) or else some form of RRB (I have seen many clients choose to calculate and store the results via a custom program that leverages standard RRB functions).

I believe that WIP values should be tackled via two separate processes:

Real time

Real time at CO doc creation (new docs)

You have already realized (from your comments yesterday) that WIP calculation on the related line items (typically CO docs coming from time entry) would be best executed at the time of the item’s creation. For example, when time is released from CATS to CO and the CO doc created, a WIP calculation should occur. Of course, accurate WIP values at this time depend upon the WBS being assigned to a contract and the required pricing being set up as well. Often times, pricing for a time entry is not complete or accurate at the time of the time entry’s creation. Still, having a preliminary WIP value in real time would be ideal.

Periodic WIP calculation (existing docs)

But, of course, it would also be necessary to do a periodic WIP calculation to capture changes in the pricing (contract changes, condition value changes, etc) that have happened since the original posting of the CO doc or since the last periodic WIP calculation. There is where seeing your ‘slimmed down’ pricing procedure yesterday seems very valuable. If there could be a standard delivered way to replicate pricing without all the tax calculations and store the results at the CO doc line item level (in something like COEP extensions), then clients would not need to create a custom RRB to make the program more efficient. If pricing in general as well as Results analysis could leverage HANA, then perhaps it is a moot point and standard pricing/Results analysis/RRB could be made much more efficient, meaning that standard programs could be used. However, storing the results at a sufficient level of non-summarized detail, such as at the CO line item level, would still be necessary. That is why I believe it would be very helpful if your ‘slimmed down’ pricing program could be used to calculate and store WIP actuals. It could also be put on the list for functionality to be HANA-based. 

Status Update

Here at WG around the nation, we’re all quite busy with critical client stuff:

– A major client in Houston is having the Financial Controllers of its foreign divisions visit for final stages of their parallel ledgers (SAP NewGL) prep for int’l statutory reporting and we’re putting the finishing touches on the functionality, documents, etc….all the goods (i.e. deliverables).

– A major pro-serv client is getting serious about it’s consolidated billing portal, and…

– A major software company out west is rolling out its license biz in SAP

……so we’re all slammed, to put it mildly.

Therefore, for the sake of our teams and for brevity I’m just gonna borrow my LinkedIn/Twitter updates for this month’s blog. Call it lazy, but there is wisdom and efficiency in the recycling of one’s work-product:

“SAP’s Commercial Project Management bolt-on is really shaping up nice. It ought to help large orgs a lot in handling billable projects.

“For the record, Halloween has taken the top spot on my list of favorite holidays: costumes, candy, friends, fun, and no visiting relatives.”