An Overview of SAP Central Finance Architecture and CFIN Processes

In my previous post, I talked about the Central Finance (CFIN) definition and its system landscape. Today, I will be demonstrating the SAP Central Finance Architecture. As you are aware, Central Finance is a module on top of S/4 HANA that enables an organization to generate a common reporting structure.

There are multiple systems in it like legacy systems, SLT, MDG, and Central Finance system. Each system has it’s own purpose and functionality which combines together results in postings in CFIN.

A source system is a legacy system from which the transaction data is extracted by the SLT system. Similarly, an SLT system stores this data in the staging tables for each source system. Moreover, it handles the transformation and further processing of data.

A Central Finance (CFIN) system also known as a target system is where the final postings take place. All the transactional data for each source system from the SLT system is pushed to the CFIN system for successful postings.

SAP Central Finance Architecture

The SAP CFIN System Architecture consists of four processes namely Key Mapping, Value Mapping, Initial Load, and Replication. You need to maintain the data and run these processes in the same order to post successful entries in the CFIN system.

To replicate successful postings in CFIN, perform the following 4 steps:

Key Mapping

Key Mapping in CFIN stands for master data mapping and in the previous post, I specifically mentioned the SAP recommended MDG system to map master data. Now, all your source system master data elements like GL accounts, Profit Centers, Cost Centers, Material Codes, Business Partners, etc. should map to a new CFIN relevant master data elements in MDG.

The mapping information stores in the MDG instance and the target master data replicates to the CFIN system.

SAP Central Finance Architecture
Central Finance Key Mapping

In case, if a client is not opting for the MDG system, then you can maintain the key mapping in the standard CFIN tcode FINS_CFIN_MAP_MANAGE by selecting the relevant key mapping element and the source system ID.

Value Mapping

It is the mapping of customizing settings in the Central Finance system. Customizing settings that are not part of master data like Document types, company codes, controlling areas, Posting Keys, etc. falls under value mapping.

MDG is usually not used for value mapping. Rather, it is maintained directly in the CFIN system using transaction code FINS_CFIN_MAP_MANAGE by selecting the relevant value mapping element and the source system ID.

Initial Load

Initial load is a process of carrying over the transaction data from source systems for a specific period. It functions the same way as the cut-over activities of a normal SAP project.

In a normal SAP Go-Live, all the open items up to a certain fiscal year and period are taken over to SAP as legacy balances. Similarly, in Initial Load, all the open items and balances of relevant GL accounts or business partners transfer to the Central Finance system.

Also, it is suggested to resolve all the errors related to the initial load before moving on to the replication process.

I have written a separate article on how to execute the initial load.


This is the last step and it is the real-time transfer of postings from the source system to the CFIN system. Once the initial load is complete, all the legacy open items and balances transfer to CFIN.

But the business users will still post new accounting entries in the source systems. These entries will be transferred to Central Finance as part of the daily replication process.

You need to check the ‘Initial Load Completed‘ checkbox in the table VCFIN_SOURCE_SET in the source system to enable replication.

Also, you need to activate the replication in the SLT system. Once it is active, the postings from the source system will replicate to the CFIN system in real-time.

Please go through the SAP documentation for all the replication scenarios.

SAP Central Finance Architecture – Postings Not Allowed

As a part of standard functionality, the following types of postings are not transferred to CFIN:

1. Year-End Closing Postings where AWTYP = GLYEC.
2. Clearing and Clearing resets.
3. Parked Documents
4. Noted Items
5. Recurring Entries
6. Balance Carryforward Postings
7. CO-FI Reconciliation Ledger Postings – GL Reconciliation

To provide SAP Central Finance Training, I will be sharing the process tutorials on this blog. Also, I will upload the tutorials on how to maintain SAP Central Finance Configuration.

If you are interested in doing SAP Central Finance Certification, you can visit the SAP CFIN Training Portal for more information.

To download the SAP Central Finance PDF for the latest CFIN version 1909, please visit the SAP CFIN Configuration Guide.

Please drop your messages using the comment section below. Stay tuned.


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