Would you choose Central Finance over a Greenfield SAP S/4Hana?



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Today, many companies have complicated multi-ERP landscapes that involve several different ERP source systems. They most often require the installation of applications for business planning and consolidation. 


These architectures force functional teams to use many different Business Intelligence (BI) and Business Warehouse (BW) tools for analysis and reporting.


This means that the data is spread across different systems and is not suitable for today's working environments where all data must be available in one place quickly.

Could SAP Central Finance be a better solution?


SAP Central Finance is a set of technologies based on a central SAP S/4HANA system.
This Central Finance system is linked to the source ERP systems (SAP and non-SAP) and can receive data centrally from multiple source systems. It allows for real-time replication of financial transactions, centralized execution of consolidation, reporting, processing and planning activities. Reporting and analysis is also possible from this one system, without the need for further duplication of data.


Many organisations have a heterogeneous systems landscape resulting from acquisitions, a decentralised organisation or the lack of a strategy and/or IT governance focused on harmonising their ERP environment. This leads to management issues due to the lack of visibility of internal information and limited possibilities for centralized reporting and shared services. The consequences can be very costly!
SAP Central Finance provides an interesting deployment scenario for customers with this type of complex landscape, without disrupting existing systems and as a first step towards full S/4HANA adoption.


SAP Central Finance offers increased transparency by centralising harmonised financial data for local entities and group reporting. This ensures greater reliability for all stakeholders.


SAP Central Finance can quickly adapt to changing environments and more easily implement growth activities and business model changes. This gives companies flexibility in how they evolve.


SAP Central Finance enables the integration, standardisation and automation of business processes. As there is no need to change the ERP landscape in the short to medium term, organisations can improve their business processes with more efficient centralized global processing and reporting, without having to upgrade their source systems immediately!


Central Finance improves the level of service provided to operational staff, the relevance of data, speed and timeliness in a self-service operation.


Due to its centralisation function, maintenance is lightened. Central Finance improves and innovates at the local level and introduces centralisation and economies of scale in the realisation of processes.


SAP Central Finance is more user friendly. This single, optimised solution facilitates transaction recording, reporting, planning and consolidation.


Thus, the benefits of SAP Central Finance help build the future of the SAP S/4HANA Finance application. Its capabilities will form the basis for future financial processes, making them more robust and delivering greater business value.


Gérard, an SAP AMOA Finance consultant, is a freelancer and a member of the community for two years. He tells us about his collaboration with FocusTribes for a client in the food sector, and confirms in particular the interest of choosing a Centrale Finance solution rather than a Greenfield S/4Hana in the concrete case of his client.



My name is Gérard Knafo. I am an SAP consultant specialising in controlling modules, and I have been working on SAP projects for about 20 years as a "project management assistance" consultant, supporting the business in the implementation of their new tool called CFIN, Central Finance. 


I particularly appreciate working with FocusTribes, because they are very responsive whenever I have questions, or when there are small problems entering the time sheet, it's quite reactive. And on a human level, they are very present, so it's great! 


Central Finance is an SAP/HANA layer which, rather than doing a GreenField - that is to say, starting from scratch and starting again with new processes, implementation, etc., which takes much more time - centralises all the information, especially financial information, to consolidate it a bit like a data warehouse in order to be able to take advantage of it and profit from it in reporting, obviously using the power of SAP/HANA and things like FIORI. 


Danone opted for a CFIN project because basically, it was the finance department that needed figures and reporting. Other areas such as production and purchasing did not necessarily have this need. So in the end, it was finance that pushed for the CFIN project. 


My role within Danone and the project is to support and provide my expertise in all aspects of management control, particularly "actual costing", to the business teams, whether in terms of training, development of new processes or helping them to understand the new functionalities.


The implementation of S/4Hana will become an unavoidable transformation project in 2027 for many companies, as ERP/ECC 6.0 support is no longer assured. Migrating to S/4Hana is a challenge that involves breaking away from established systems and implementing new operating models. Central Finance is a first step towards S/4Hana via an approach that allows the merging of several ERP systems used simultaneously. This solution can therefore be an interesting option for companies that operate in a complex IT environment with an international reach.


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