Today sharing an interesting article by Prasadh – Should a Chartered Accountant Fresher Start A Career As SAP FICO Consultant?
Prasadh Atmakuri is a qualified Chartered Accountant from The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI).
After a brief stint at a Public accounting firm, where he worked in Tax audits, Financial Audits, System audits etc he shifted to SAP Consulting.
Over the last 8 plus years of experience in SAP, he has worked with Infosys, Wipro, and many others on various types of complex projects and traveled to multiple countries.
At present, Prasadh works as a freelancer, providing SAP training. He also provides guidance to freshers who want to start a career as a SAP Consultant.
Prasadh is of the opinion that – SAP is an open market and even semi-qualified Chartered Accountants can enter this field and do very well.
- SAP – F1 Certifications and its benefits
- Journey From A Small Village Boy To A Chartered Accountant And SAP Consultant
HOW I STARTED MY CAREER AS A SAP FICO CONSULTANT
When I qualified as a Chartered Accountant I had 2 job offers – A regular finance role and the other one was to be an ERP consultant.
After doing a little research – I decided to go for the ERP consultant role.
Majority of Chartered Accountants are either into Tax, Auditing or Finance roles very few in SAP related roles. This is one of the areas where our Chartered Accountants have very little knowledge.
Well before entering into SAP, I wasn’t completely aware of the role.
During my internship, I got to know from my seniors that a career in SAP is interesting. That’s all I knew about this profile.
So honestly when I took the opportunity in SAP it was all new to me in the truest sense.
WHAT IS SAP FICO CONSULTANT?
Now it may all sound fancy and technical but once you start off in this role over a period of time you become a master at it. I have tried my best to explain my role:
- SAP is one of the ERP software, which has many sub-modules like – Finance, Controlling, Material management, Sales & distribution etc.
- Whenever a company chooses to implement SAP – The implementation team consists of people representing each module.
- SAP FICO Stands for FI (Financial Accounting) and CO (Controlling).
- SAP FICO is an important module of ERP.
- FI and CO modules stores the financial transactions data.
- So SAP FI Consultant means someone having exposure to SAP Finance Module – As SAP consultant, you will be able to suggest business re-engineering and redesigning of their business process, streamlining the existing process and effective utilization of their IT infrastructure.
- A SAP FI Consultant is a part of SAP Implementation and Support projects team.
- The word Consultant means a professional who provides expert advice in a particular area.
- Being an ERP consultant, in my case SAP FICO consultant – I understand the complete business process and redesign their existing process.
MY EXACT ROLE AS A SAP FI CONSULTANT
Being SAP FI consultant, apart from designing the business process, we also have to pay attention to – Legal Compliances and Reporting.
Let me try explaining my role as much as I can. I think it won’t be possible for me or anybody to define everything but I will try to summarize it.
- As SAP FICO consultant, I am expected to – Generate knowledge about the current business process, Design current business flows, Study current business processes and its complication, in all we can say getting through with current business setup. Flow diagrams and DFD are prepared, most of the time in Vision format, all this forms the part of AS IS document.
- Everything configured has to be documented as per their categories in the form of predefined templates, these have to be then approved by the team leads or whoever the consultant is reporting to.
- Mapping and GAP analysis are done for each module etc.
- Before starting configuring future business processes in SAP, the DFD/ERD are prepared, this documentation is called TO BE, which can be also said as the result of mapping and gap analysis.
- Sometimes Functional consultants are also expected to prepare test scripts for testing the configured scenarios.
- End user manual and user training are also expected from Consultants.
JOB OPPORTUNITIES IN SAP
Now based on one’s interest one can choose to be a:
- Certified SAP Auditor
- SAP Consultant (like me)
- Certified SAP Trainer or
- Part of the CORE Finance team of an Organization implementing SAP ERP.
- Once you acquire reasonable knowledge in SAP, you will have a wide variety of options in the career.
- You can be a freelancer or can be in management side like a project manager or solution architect etc.
- SAP is an open market, even a Semi qualified Chartered Accountant can enter into this.
- Few of my friends who were unable to clear Chartered Accountancy exam started their career in SAP and were able to succeed.
CERTIFICATION COURSES IN SAP
- SAP offers various certification courses and anyone can register to get certified.
- Details about SAP certification can be found here.
- If anyone wants to get training – SAP offers training and certification. The cost would range from INR 1 to 1.5 lakh.
- I was trained by my first company – Infosys and once I was placed in real projects, my actual learning started.
- Usually, the company hiring you sponsors the training and certification, either completely or partially.
- So mostly if you are a newly qualified Chartered Accountant you learn it on the job.
- Not everyone enjoys these kinds of roles but if you are someone who doesn’t enjoy being a Traditional Accountant or Tax Consultant, then this might excite you.
- As a part of my work, I have traveled to different countries several times including, the UK, Germany, Malaysia, Singapore etc.
- So if traveling is on your list then this would be a ‘perfect job’ role for you.
- One of the big misconceptions among many people is that SAP is only for engineers -This is Wrong. We Chartered Accountants have a better understanding of the Business Process and Accounting. With the level of knowledge we have, we can be very successful in this career.
- In fact, SAP FICO needs Chartered Accountants and Finance professionals. There is a huge gap between requirement and number of Chartered Accountants in this space.
- Most of the IT companies like TCS, Infosys, Wipro etc are hiring in campus placements, but many Chartered Accountants have a misconception about this field and do not opt for the same.
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN!!!
I would love to know what you think of SAP as a career for Accountants/ semi-qualified accountants?
Do you know anyone who is an SAP FICO consultant? If yes I would love to connect to you and them.
Please share your thoughts.
If you have any questions do comment below and I will do my best to answer them for you!