SAP Business Planning and Consolidation (BPC) is SAP’s flagship product for planning, budgeting, forecasting, and both legal and management consolidations. SAP BPC provides a highly scalable, robust database combined with business process and logic capabilities to provide a true Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) platform. SAP BPC is a unified solution that does not require individual software components to perform a core set of business functions and tasks.
Let’s begin to understand BPC’s capabilities with an overview of the five core EPM business processes it is most commonly used to address.
BPC also includes Business Process Flows (BPFs) that can be used as a formal workflow for both financial and operational processes, or as a menu to organize various assets including input forms, reports, books and dashboards.
BPC attracts users with its innovative user experience, including native Excel integration. BPC’s founders at OutlookSoft understood that Excel was crucial for finance users to accomplish their daily tasks. Copying and pasting information into a proprietary tool or using a web interface cannot match the flexibility, power, variety, and convenience of Excel. They successfully turned Excel into a “window to the database” and they removed many of the traditional pain points previously associated with Excel.
Today, the Excel Add-in for BPC is called Analysis Office. Analysis Office (AO) is comprised of two “Plug-ins”, the Analysis Plug-in and the EPM Plug-in. Additional information along with recommended use cases from SAP can be found in the . In summary, SAP recommends the following:
Planning is typically defined as long-range planning spanning multiple years, that can be entered in any combination of periodicity (week, month, quarter year). Some companies use models with strategic or long-range planning that span years or decades into the future. These plans are usually at a higher level than the budget or forecast. The planning cycle also combines a variety of financial and non-financial information to form a complete view. BPC provides a platform to integrate business planning, connecting strategy, operations and financial processes.
A budget cycle is a full outlook for the upcoming year based on your business calendar. Some budgets start out with predefined assumptions or targets (top-down), while others begin with a set of detailed inputs from various participants across the organization (bottom-up). It is quite common for organizations to develop a budget with a combination of both top-down and bottom-up assumptions, with multiple versions being developed during an iterative and collaborative process.
Many companies have abandoned the traditional 12-month budget in favour of a rolling forecast, which looks at the remaining months of the year and a full 12-18 months (or more) into the future. BPC easily combines the actual periods with forecast periods into one category or version. This facilitates more efficient reporting and analysis. For example, the May forecast version (category) would have four periods of actual data (January – April), and at least eight periods of forecast data. This also allows users to easily compare the current forecast to previous forecast periods.
BPC has built-in financial intelligence including robust legal and management consolidation capabilities. These capabilities include the ability to import data from various data sources. SAP BPC customers can enjoy a variety of integration options, including real-time consolidations with SAP’s flagship ERP solution, S/4HANA. BPC also fully supports non-SAP ERP systems. Many BPC users have multiple ERPs – one of our customers had so many acquisitions they consolidate over 90 different GLs with different COAs. Additional consolidation features include currency translation, intercompany eliminations, allocations, partial ownership, equity pick-up, journals, and reporting and analysis. Reporting and analysis features include P&L, Balance Sheet, Cash Flow statements to accommodate internal and external financial reporting requirements.
BPC enables a wide variety of reporting and analysis formats including what-if scenarios with real-time modelling, by leveraging Excel to dynamically read data and write back to the database. Users can easily develop both ad-hoc and production reports, including financial statements, in their required format. BPC includes a book publication wizard within the Excel interface that dynamically generates any combination of cost centers, profit centers, product lines, etc. and product books into a distributable PDF document. An optional Disclosure Management solution is available from SAP to help automate filing with various regulatory agencies, including SEC.
"Achieved robust transformation of supply chain planning and budgeting process through Enterprise Performance Management implementation".