Prof. Dr. Nick Gehrke

written by

Prof. Dr. Nick Gehrke

Part I of the series: “Digitization of auditing SAP Order-to-Cash Processes”

In my first series, I introduced auditing of purchase processes. In this series, I would like to present some insights into auditing order-to-cash processes. As I already did in the first series, I will guide you through the main aspects of order-to-cash processes. In doing so, I will demonstrate how process-oriented data analysis can contribute to the automation of auditing order-to-cash processes with the help of so-called data indicators.


1. Digitization of auditing SAP order-to-cash processes
2. How to audit master data in order-to-cash processes
3. Auditing of order-to-cash processes: sales orders and deliveries
4. What's wrong with these sales invoices?
5. Who cares? Auditing incoming payments
6. On how to find exotic processes
7. SAP data structure in order-to-cash: Who cares?
8. Way to go: Auditing real SoD in order-to-cash
9. This is the end of digitization!


Starting with processes

Before starting extensive data analysis and auditing SAP order-to-cash processes, you should gain some insights into your actual order-to-cash processes. They will form a basis for further investigations. As a result, my methodology starts with gaining some insights into the SAP order-to-cash processes being performed. So the first step would be to determine SAP data empirically. Afterwards, an analysis of known data can be run on the basis of the knowledge acquired. The investigation and reconstruction of all operations will be performed by the Financial Process Mining Algorithm, developed by me. You can read more about the methodology of reconstructing order-to-cash processes here.


How do purchase processes differ from order-to-cash processes?

If you compare data from the SAP system in purchase processes to that for order-to-cash processes, you will recognize the following: The data structure of order-to-cash (SAP module: Sales and Distribution SD) can be developed to be far more complex compared to purchase processes. While there are mainly purchase order requirements and purchase orders in purchase processes, you can find an order-to-cash flow within order-to-cash processes. This flow can be defined to be even more flexible and this can be done individually. In the simplest case, it follows the "triad": Order => Delivery => SD invoice. But it can be extended significantly in terms of requests and offers. The order-to-cash flow is taken into account by the Financial Process Mining Algorithm and it is therefore able to fully reconstruct every step made within the data. 



Based on processes, data analysis will follow 

Once process workflows have been reconstructed on the basis of the Financial Process Mining Algorithm, data analyses can then be performed using various data indicators. Every indicator represents a question which is relevant to auditing. Each document may or may not be affected as a result. So you could say that it paints a "black-white-picture" and sorts each document into groups of affected or unaffected documents. Examples of indicators in order-to-cash processes are:

      • Customers without credit limit
      • Indications for duplicate paid credit notes
      • Transactions with blocked customers


Overall, I have developed 40 indicators for SAP order-to-cash processes.

A selection of the 40 indicators will be introduced in different blog posts during the series.



Topics: SAP, Audit, order to cash
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