SAP admits HANA Cloud makes for multicurrency messes

Singapore dollar snafu used to illustrate workaround

SAP has admitted the cloudy cut of its S/4HANA service does not allow an organization to use currencies other than what a user's location suggests is appropriate.

"Singapore law permits corporates and legal entities to change their reporting and local currency to USD instead of SGD," explains a Sunday post by SAP S/4HANA product expert, Shakeel Ahmed. He describes use of the facility as "a popular exercise, which is in practice by several corporates as they keep USD as their primary reporting currency in Singapore."

But Ahmed also notes that "Lately, I have observed that many customers and consultants are struggling with this issue, and they are expressing their concern over it."

That concern stems from the fact the cloudy version of S/4HANA can't cope with the mix of currencies.

"Here is the catch, AT THE MOMENT, S/4HANA Cloud does not allow to change the local currency of the company code in which it is created. E.g., local currency for USD for US company code, SGD for Singapore company code etc."

Those are Ahmed's SHOUTY CAPS, by the way.

His post doesn't detail in which moment SAP might address the situation. It does, however, detail lengthy and complex workarounds.

S/4HANA Cloud allows four different variables representing currency: local, global, additional and functional.

Local currency is defined by the company code, or a type of default based on location. Global is set the same across the subscriber's entire system. One additional, or third currency, can be selected in each system. And of these three, one is chosen as the functional currency.

In the Singapore-based example Ahmed provides to illustrate the workaround, the additional currency is set to USD and the functional currency is pinned to additional. This works great – as long as the user only needs certain reports that recognize third or functional currencies.

However, a smattering of reports – of which the product expert lists 12 and encourages readers to "explore more" to broaden the list – do not call on the two categories of currencies. For those reports, the organization will need to have the desired currency – in this example USD – set to as their global currency to get the correct values on the report.

S/4HANA debuted in 2015 and was hailed as the biggest update to SAP's platform in over twenty years. SAP has claimed the product is "particularly relevant" in the cloud, where customers want to deploy preconfigured systems, and SAP is attempting to steer its users that way.

The currency situation – which is very specific yet deeply annoying – adds to a list of woes experienced by users pushed towards cloud-hosted and SaaS systems.

SAP's cloudy editions are updated biannually, so anyone stuck with this multicurrency mess could reasonably try holding their breath for a fix. Failing that, check out the on-premises edition. ®

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