This article was written by Claudette Maistry.
One of the most common problems faced with SAP Finance implementations in the Retail Sector is that of data integration from Point of Sale into SAP. Due to the complexity around the mapping of source data, it is most often found that the incoming data elements are mapped to the incorrect General Ledger Account in SAP.
Why does it all go wrong?
There are multiple factors for the mapping and integration of data to go wrong. One of the reasons is that the incorrect mapping information is supplied to the project team. This could be due to the lack of understanding between the business resource and the project resource. The business resource is not always familiar with the SAP design and therefore extra effort needs to be put into the explanation and requirements from the project resource. Another major reason is that new source data codes used at point of sale are not correctly mapped in PI, which then feed incorrectly to SAP.
When does it all go wrong?
A large extent of the integration errors between point of sale and SAP happens just after going live. It is when the business is actually working with the live data and finds that they are not able to balance etc. This is due to the finance data being posted into the incorrect general ledger account. Another important time when the data integrates incorrectly into the SAP system is when new item codes are added to the system. These source codes generally get added at the point of sale but the corresponding mapping is not maintained in SAP.
How to prevent this from happening
At the time of functional specification mapping, the business resource needs to understand the SAP design and work with the project resource in order to correctly map the data and in return the project resource needs to have a basic understanding of finance before conducting the mapping. Once the mapping has been confirmed with the business the functional resource needs to review these mappings with the SAP technical resource being the PI or equivalent specialist, before reviewing these mapping with the point of sale consultant. These three key resources have to have a clear understanding of the requirement and need to communicate with each other before any mapping can take place. When there are new items to be added to the system then the point of sale consultant is responsible to notify the SAP team of these changes so that the SAP mapping can take place accordingly.
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