SAP S/4HANA global e-Invoicing cockpit
API Management E-Invoicing SAP User

The best SAP S/4HANA global e-Invoicing cockpit

| | Product Manager SAP and Global E-Invoicing, SEEBURGER
The best SAP S/4HANA global -invoicing cockpit

SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA have often been expanded with e-invoicing solutions. When migrating from SAP ECC to SAP S/4HANA, one part of your task is to work out how employees in various departments can continue to monitor the progress of their e-invoice, the best solution generally being a cockpit or console.

Transaction Monitoring for SAP S/4HANA e-Invoicing

There is a typical set of steps with SAP S/4HANA that every e-invoice needs to go through, regardless of whether it falls under one of the global e-invoicing directives or not:

Monitoring a transaction with SAP S/4HANA
Figure 1: Monitoring a transaction with SAP S/4HANA

However, the amount of e-invoicing legislation is increasing as ever more countries introduce and adapt e-invoicing systems. And you still need to start the lengthy process of migrating to S/4HANA. Overwhelming, isn’t it?

In the first two parts of this series, we looked at how to break this mammoth task down into more manageable chunks. In part two, we discussed how SEEBURGER can reduce the load by looking after your e-invoicing needs.  But how could this work in practice? And how can your staff track these invoices?

How can you integrate SAP ECC and SAP S/4HANA with SEEBURGER global e-Invoicing services?

Well, that bit is easy. Firstly, SEEBURGER’s BIS platform is a Hybrid Integration Platform providing seamless API integration through SAP APIs and proven B2B/EDI or Managed File Transfer channels. This includes the seamless integration of SAP S/4HANA via the SAP API Business Hub. Secondly, all SEEBURGER services and solutions for global e-invoicing, electronic VAT reporting and CTC are based on the BIS platform.

SAP S/HANA Solution Scenarios with the SEEBURGER Global e-Invoicing Cloud Service

The reality is that there are different ways in which SAP and SEEBURGER products can be combined to meet customers’ global  e-invoicing needs, including adhering to specific local legislation.

SAP Document Compliance (formerly known as SAP eDocument Framework or SAP eDocument Solution) and SAP Integration Suite ‘SAP IS’ (formerly known as SAP Cloud Platform Integration – CPI) are all SAP products. Understandably, SAP would like you to follow their vision and use their products for all your needs, regardless of the cost, complexity, and workload this may involve for you and your organization.

How SAP Document Compliance Works

SAP Document Compliance is based on a generic eDocument framework, which resides in SAP NetWeaver-based systems (version 7.02 and above) to manage electronic documents, such as electronic invoices, created from source data in back-end SAP solutions, such as SAP ERP and SAP S/4HANA. By extending this generic framework with country-specific variations, SAP Document Compliance supports country-specific formatting and the exchange of electronic documents in a standardized way.

Aalbert de Niet and Olivia Vorstheim, SAP, Comply with Mandatory E-Invoicing with Confidence, SAPinsider, 16.03.2021

There are good reasons for using SAP Document Compliance, or at least parts of it, such as its eDocument Cockpit. Some SAP users really enjoy the eDocument Cockpit, but have various reasons for not wanting to subscribe to the SAP S/4 HANA Integration Suite ‘SAP IS’.

Others cannot use SAP Document Compliance, whether this is for technical reasons or due to other constraints.

Fortunately, whether you are an SAP or non-SAP user, SEEBURGER provides integration options for any preferred set-up.

Possible SAP S/HANA solution scenarios using the SEEBURGER Global E-Invoicing Cloud Service
Figure 2: Possible SAP S/HANA solution scenarios using the SEEBURGER Global E-Invoicing Cloud Service

Using SAP Document Compliance for e-Invoicing while transitioning to SAP S/4HANA

SAP’s eDocument Solution, with its eDocument Cockpit, requires several OSS Notes to be implemented. This should be done by consultants skilled in the implementation and configuration of SAP Document Compliance. Practically, SAP Document Compliance is a consulting solution which requires BAdI (Business Add Ins) programming.

As it happens, taking this approach risks your ability to offer timely delivery and meet deadlines, while also limiting support and liability compared to a standard SAP solution.

Further, depending on the country and process, you might need to work with external parties to communicate with local government institutions e.g. GSP for India or PACs in Mexico. Digital signatures and archiving requirements in each respective county may add further complexity to the process as you add intermediary parties.

If you can’t use the eDocument Cockpit, or would be interested in an alternative, take a look at our Console in SAP for ECC or the API Monitor in SAP for SAP S/4HANA.

Integrating SAP S/4HANA with global e-Invoicing tools

There is no silver-bullet approach to combining SAP S/4HANA with the right cockpit tool and ensuring compliance with global e-invoicing legislation, VAT reporting and CTCs. The best way to proceed depends on your current SAP and non-SAP setup as well as your global requirements.

Think of your format conversion and communication needs in order to comply with the e-invoicing legislation in the countries you are active in – or would like to become active in. Any changes to this legislation need to be implemented swiftly, while your setup needs to flexible enough to continue to keep legacy and non-SAP systems connected.

SEEBURGER’s Console in SAP for ECC or the SEEBURGER API Monitor in SAP for SAP S/4HANA are good alternatives to SAP Document Compliance. If you would still prefer to use eDocument Cockpit in SAP Document Compliance, no worries, just connect SAP eDocument Cockpit directly to SEEBURGER’s Global E-Invoicing Services through SEEBURGER’s eDocument Cockpit Connector. And this will allow you to expend your energy on that other major issue instead: Your SAP S/4HANA transition.

The SEEBURGER BIS E-Invoicing Solution provides controls for the processing of incoming and outgoing invoices, as well, as including extensions for deep process integration into any ERP system. This includes wide coverage of global e-invoicing directives, as well as seamless integration of SAP S/4HANA. SEEBURGER is a highly-experienced provider of cloud services, who understands and meets the various requirements of different countries around the globe with a single-source solution.

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Andreas Killinger

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Andreas Killinger joined SEEBURGER in 2014 and is a product manager, responsible for EDI services and software applications. He specialises in SAP solutions, as well as electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) for globally active customers. Following an apprenticeship as an industrial mechanic and a degree in law and administration, he had various roles in the public sector. He then worked for IBM as an SAP Senior Consultant and SAP Project Manager in international SAP projects from 1999 to 2013. Born in Berlin, Andreas has lived in the Black Forest since childhood. With his family and his dog, he has been lovingly renovating an old country inn dating back to 1749 for a few years now.