SAP (Systems, Applications, and Products in Data Processing) is a German company found in 1972 which, apart from a list of useful software, has developed an integrated ERP software package useful for all kind of business processes including planning, budgeting, finance & accounting, costing, human resource, treasury, internal/external reporting. SAP ERP (Currently ECC 6.0 version) consists of several modules (around 15) supporting different kind of business processes.
SAP for a CA
Being involved with financial accounting, taxation, statutory reporting, costing etc. the most relevant modules for a CA in SAP are SAP FI (Financial Accounting) and SAP CO (Controlling/Management Accounting). One can choose to be an SAP Consultant or to be into Core-finance team of an organisation having SAP ERP or to be an SAP Auditor.
Within SAP FI we have several sub-modules namely General Ledger, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Asset Accounting, Treasury (now a separate module), Taxation, Banking. Therefore, SAP FI takes care of accounting, yearend adjustments, preparation of financial statements, tax computations etc. A new patch provided by SAP also supports XBRL*, useful for new reporting norms.
SAP CO takes care of all the costing related issues as well as internal/management reporting. Among others, it covers Budgeting, Internal Orders, Cost sheet, Inventory Control, Cost Centres, Profit Centres, Cost Allocation, ABC (Activity Based Costing).
Top 4 Institutes providing SAP certification are:
· SIEMENS IT SOLUTIONS AND SERVICES PVT. LTD (now ATOS)
· Lithan Genovate
· Enovations System Intelligence Private Limited.
Visit http://www.sap.com/asia/services/education/centres/partners.epx for more details of Institutions
For a CA:
Given the fact that CAs are least technical, a course in SAP would arm them with a unique skill-set of core financial knowledge plus an understanding of how ERP system works and behaves for different financial scenarios. It also enables CAs to customise the ERP software to best suit a client’s business processes. Having said so, a CA is not necessarily required to be SAP certified.
IT companies hire fresh CAs and provide them internal SAP FI&CO training. The role of a CA in an IT company is to understand client’s business processes and the flow of information and then design the ERP software (blueprinting) which in turn enables engineers to customise the standard SAP ERP as per the client requirement. CAs are responsible to implement an ERP best suited for the client’s business model.
CAs are also involved in functional configuration (non-technical), testing of the software on the predetermined set of regression/non-regression scenarios; sometimes they are a part of pre-sales team pitching for the best ERP model for the organisation structure of a prospective client.
For a Non-CA:
Yes SAP certification would be a path-breaker for a Non-CA. Not being a Chartered Accountant, the certification would attract the faith of IT companies involved in SAP consultancy or any free-lancing SAP consultant. However, recruitment of such candidate will be only on the basis of the SAP certification and the level of working knowledge he/she has in finance.
Being the world leader in ERP, SAP captures more than 60% of the ERP market. There are 35000+ SAP ERP Customers around the world.
Every 2-3 years SAP introduces a new version of ERP and is loved by corporates for the added functionalities it offers as compared to other ERP software packages. Keeping in view the cost involved in implementation and the functionality of the SAP ERP, usually organisations with turnover of $100m or more are better suited for implementing it.
An SAP consultant (IT Company)’s relation with the client implementing SAP ERP doesn’t end on implementation of the ERP. Consultants are needed for supporting ERP users working in the client organisation; and the service agreement can go on forever.
In a nutshell, a candidate having working and customising knowledge of SAP cannot go jobless ever (I am being highly optimistic here). J
Cost & Duration
For a CA:
Cost Among other post-qualification courses, ICAI provides SAP ERP course “ERP Courses on SAP FA & MA Module, Microsoft Dynamics NAV” at a discounted fee of Rs. 96,000/-.
Duration The duration of the course is 200 Hours over a period of 4 months.
(For details go to http://www.icai.org/post.html?post_id=2439)
For a Non-CA:
In most of the institutes, you have 2 options to take up the course
a) Full Time (class room training)
b) Online Training (web based)
Cost: For SAP FI classroom training: around Rs. 2,75,000 (Rs. 2,50,000 is the training fees and Rs. 25,000 for Certification). For SAP FICO integrated course: more than 3.5 Lakhs
For SAP FI OLT (Online Training): Around Rs. 1,60,000/-. You can appear at most three times paying 25,000/30,000 each time.
Apart from authorised institutes, there are numerous small unauthorised institutes in all the major cities across India which offer SAP training at Rs. 10-30K per module.
You need to have 70% (kindly confirm with authorised institute as well) marks in the Certification exam. But there is no placement guarantee even after Certification from these institutes with only 1/4 Certified consultants getting placed.
Duration: Classroom training: 20 days + certification: 1-2 Months
OLT (Online Training): 25 Days – 5 Months in total
MCA vide circular dated 31 March 2011 has mandated the following class of companies to file balance sheet and profit and loss account for the year 2010-11 onwards by using XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language) taxonomy:
1. Companies listed in India and their subsidiaries, including overseas subsidiaries
2. Companies having a paid up capital of INR 5 crore and above or a turnover of INR 100 crore or above.
The XBRL taxonomy has been developed as per existing Schedule VI and the accounting standards notified under the Companies (Accounting Standards) Rules, 2006.