SAP SEM-BCS - Business Consolidation System

SAP SEM-BCS (Business Consolidation System) is, along with BPC embedded, SAP's consolidation solution that is fully integrated with the BW platform. As the technological successor to the EC-CS and FI-LC solutions, SEM-BCS looks back on a long history and is used by many medium-sized and large corporations worldwide.

To the overview


SAP SEM-BCS is a programmed solution that already includes the rules for mapping different use cases in consolidation. The task now is to set up the predefined rules in Customizing so that postings are made with the correct accounts and subassignments. This is in contrast to rule-based systems (e.g. BPC and SAP FC), which do not have a predefined set of rules.

SAP SEM-BCS is a very powerful tool for consolidating company figures into consolidated financial statements. It is suitable for very complex data models and/or diverse business transactions in consolidation. It has a relatively old, but very functional interface, which can be accessed either classically via the SAP GUI or a WebDynpro application.

In terms of its character, SEM-BCS can be seen as a kind of continuation of the individual financial statements, but at Group level. Characteristic for this are

  • Logic generates posting documents (debit/credit)
  • Data model is based on FI processes
  • Legally strict process management for IST degrees
  • Planning processes are more difficult to map (SEM-BCS)
  • Automatic currency display

Determined by the programmed approach, SEM-BCS is furthermore to be understood as an IT-driven solution. The settings in the system are typically made by IT and not set by the business. Changes to the system and/or new requirements are mapped by a CR process and implemented by IT. Reports/logic/master data are centrally prefetched.


SAP offers a broad portfolio of tools for the preparation of consolidated financial statements. In addition to SEM-BCS, the predecessor solution EC-CS is still available as a programmed tool. Purely rule-based systems are represented by the tools BPC Standard and Embedded and SAP FC. SAP's latest development in the cloud is moving back toward programmed systems with SAP S/4HANA for Group Reporting. Please also inform yourself about the other tools on our websites.

Your advantage

  • SEM-BCS uses SAP BW (Business Information Warehouse) as its technical platform. The data is stored directly in OLAP cubes in the business warehouse and is thus immediately available for multidimensional data analysis.
  • In addition to the data required for the consolidated financial statements, other data pools can also be connected, thus achieving harmonized financial statements between internal and external reporting.

User guidance

A consolidation monitor combines user guidance with consolidation logic. The monitor is flexible and covers the organizational structures of the group (consolidation unit hierarchy) and the tasks to be performed (individual steps in consolidation). The view can be personalized and designed according to the different requirements from the perspective of an individual company manager or the group consolidator.

The consolidation monitor has great functionalities of user guidance. For example, there is the possibility of defining dependencies between individual measures and assigning mandatory sequences accordingly. A very comprehensive status concept allows the various stages of completion of a measure to be easily identified and guided.

The user is guided through the process via two sub-monitors integrated into the consolidation monitor (data monitor and consolidation monitor) - starting with data reporting, currency translation, IC reconciliation, manual document entry, consistency checks, through to the individual consolidation steps and preparation of the consolidated financial statements. (e.g. elimination of income and expenses, debt consolidation, capital consolidation). While the data monitor with all the upstream steps for consolidation is usually the responsibility of the individual companies, the consolidation monitor is usually run centrally at the district level.


With its monitors, SAP SEM-BCS offers a very stringent and clear presentation of the consolidated financial statement process and also guarantees complete processing of the data due to its options for mandatory process sequencing.

Your advantage

  • The monitor clearly specifies to each user the order in which the individual consolidation steps are to be performed. When data is reported again, for example. Previously already green reported subsequent process steps again.
  • The flexible display options and personalization possibilities of the monitor enable a clear setting of the information relevant for each user.


For reporting, the embedding of SAP SEM-BCS opens up all the possibilities offered by analysis tools based on SAP BW. SAP BEX queries form the basis for reporting. A special feature is that SAP SEM-BCS uses a virtual reporting logic that decides on the display of data records at query runtime. This allows, for example, the display of relevant circular postings depending on the view of the data, without the need to precalculate each view. Restatements can also be mapped using virtual logic, without the need for the various scenarios to all be precalculated.

This circumstance must be checked in each individual case if the use of further reporting tools is in question. It is also possible to have a pass-through with the SAP Analytics Cloud, but the requirements must also be analyzed in terms of reporting logic.

Your advantage

  • All tools of the SAP BI Suite can be used to evaluate the data.
  • However, third-party tools can also be used for reporting, provided they can process data from SAP BW. However, when transferring data to a third party tool, strict attention must be paid to the reporting logic and data may need to be precalculated.

Scope of functions

SEM-BCS can be used to create consolidated financial statements, both for external reporting and for internal management reporting. SEM-BCS offers all relevant functions for consolidation:

  • Data model analogous to SAP Financial Accounting: Periodic with local currency, transaction currency, group currency and quantity; usually 12+4 periods.
  • Pre-programmed consolidation functions, which can be adapted via customizing, exist for each subject (e.g. investment income).
  • Customizing of consolidation functions usually less intuitive than simple rules (black box character of consolidation functions).
  • Requirements that cannot be mapped using an existing consolidation function can be programmed (custom task).
  • Consolidation functions sometimes require financial data that is not directly contained in the ERP upstream system (e.g. elimination of intercompany profit/loss).

Special features

    • Legal Consolidation and Management Consolidation
    • Support of different sets of rules (IAS, HGB, US-GAAP, ...)
    • Currency translation in the Group
    • Execution of intercompany eliminations
    • Elimination of intercompany profits in current and non-current assets
    • Allocations for cost distributions
    • Automatic consolidation of investments
    • Treatment of hidden reserves and hidden charges
    • Automatic postings with the help of reclassifications
    • Support for reorganizations
    • IC reconciliation integrated into consolidation process
    • IC elimination on the basis of transaction currencies
    • Automatic determination of deferred taxes
    • Efficient, largely automated consolidation of investments
    • Matrix Consolidation (Legal Consolidation + Management Reporting)


    SAP SEM-BCS offers the largest scope of all consolidation tools offered by SAP and is particularly suitable for mapping very complex scenarios and large data models.

    Thus, consolidated financial statements for actual figures can be prepared with great precision and in accordance with the required accounting standard.

    Your advantage

    • All possible business transactions in the common standards IFRS, HGB and US-GAAP are preconceived and integrated into the set of rules.
    • When new standards are introduced or existing rules are changed, SAP develops the necessary logic and distributes it via new EHPs or Notes.

    Planning and prediction

    SAP SEM-BCS is a tool for group reporting and has no planning functionality. It is therefore not a planning tool - plan data entry and processing must be performed by a separate planning tool or input-ready queries. However, the dovetailing of SAP SEM-BCS in BW makes it easy to integrate data that was previously planned with other tools.

    SEM-BCS makes it possible to perform plan consolidation, but it must be noted that the lack of different time characteristics for data collection and target periods makes it very costly to perform multi-period consolidation.


    SEM-BCS is characterized by very large functionality for the ACTUAL closing - in planning, however, the tool has weaknesses - not only that it cannot plan itself, but also the simultaneous processing of several periods and the very rigid process management and cent accuracy often prove to be a burden for planning.


    With SAP SEM-BCS, SAP still provides the most powerful tool for group accounting, which is particularly suitable if you already use BW, have large data models and also have numerous and complex consolidation issues due to your structures or size.

    The very good, albeit visually outdated, process guidance allows a very good overview of the individual steps in the closing process. The good impression is complemented by the numerous reporting options that result from the integration with SAP BW.

    The weak point of the application is certainly the processing of planning data.

      Our offer

      If you are interested in SEM-BCS, we will be happy to support you with professional and technical expertise. CALEO Consulting is the specialist for the design and implementation of consolidated financial statement solutions based on SEM-BCS. Numerous project references in this area and the partnership with SAP underline CALEO's competence.

      CALEO is also the author of a book on consolidation with SAP SEM-BCS, published by SAP Press.

      We would also be happy to advise you on the alternative consolidation options offered by SAP and work with you to evaluate which tool best suits your company context.