Hermosa Beach Consulting Group
Case Studies

Case Study: Enterprise-Wide Financial Planning


This Global Media and Entertainment Enterprise decided to implement SAP SEM-BPS to standardize Financial Planning functions (P&L Planning and Balance Sheet Planning) into a controlled and consistent process for its 1,500 Planners. Prior to the implementation, Financial Planners utilized a multitude of disparate tools and processes from spreadsheets to off-line planning applications. Bringing financial planning into a single system required that the process be flexible enough to be usable for Planners, yet more controlled and consistent across the various business units. One of the greatest benefits of this implementation was the integration of consolidated actuals data from the Business Consolidations System (BCS) for planning in reference of actuals, as well as the ability to report various final plans along with actuals financial reporting in the Business Warehouse (BW) system. The sensitivity of access to both consolidated financial information and plan data were the principal control concerns, as well as ensuring a consistent process across distinct lines of business.


The Hermosa Beach Consulting Group (HBCG) leveraged the client’s existing data security model within the source systems to ensure consistency across existing related systems – R/3 Financials, BW for Enterprise Financial reporting, and BCS. Data-level restrictions were set consistently with SAP R/3 on Company Code and with BCS on Consolidations Group and Consolidations Unit. Planning data was exported into BW and integrated with the actuals data so that users could report plan to actual, keeping the same data-level restrictions which already existed on BW. HBCG worked with the business to establish additional data-level security around versions, i.e., actuals, profit center review level, business unit review level, segment review level, and corporate review level, based upon the enterprise’s planning process. Planning cycles began at the lowest level, profit center review level, and were promoted up through the four levels. Access was limited to certain versions within each planning level. For example, a business unit planner had access to all business unit plan data, but only final versions for profit center. This allowed each level to keep their working plan version private until it was promoted to their final version.

Result:   SAP SEM-BPS was implemented as an enterprise-wide planning tool with the same security and controls in place as the customer’s BW systems. The SEM-BPS system is critical to the client’s financial planning processes and is also used in reporting the Company’s consolidated plan actual numbers from the BCS system. A user is limited in BPS planning process identically as they are in the source systems. The SEM-BPS system ensures that the financial planning process are coordinated and well controlled through the necessary business process controls. A custom data-locking function was implemented to ensure system users do not overwrite each other’s planning information.
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