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Currency conversion: what is the impact?

In these times the Euro is under pressure, the conversion rate is volatile according to the financial experts. So that raises the question, what will be the impact on your business intelligence application if you need to change your default reporting currency? In this blog I will conduct a short exploration of the impact.

In 2001/2002 I worked on several Euro conversion projects. In those days, SAP datawarehouses were sparse, most of the reporting was done in SAP R/3. Part of the Euro conversion therefore was in checking and correcting hard coded currencies in the reports build with ABAP custom programs and ABAP queries.
For a SAP Business Intelligence system checking for hard coded currencies will be needed as well.

If you have a datawarehouse in place, you will need to check the dataflow. This starts from the SAP ECC extraction, because in generic extraction hard coding can take place. In the business warehouse, the best practice is to store currency values in currency key figures. In these key figures you have the option to choose a fixed currency, or the currency in a currency infoobject. Obviously, you will want to check out the key figures with a fixed currency. The ones with the currency infoobject will change automatically.

On the business intelligence area the queries are the main objects of interest. In the queries it is possible to filter on the currency infoobject, so it needs to be checked if this is done with a fixed value. The best practice is, in preparation for a change, to change these fixed values with a variable with a default value. In that case, you will only need to change the default value, and all your queries are changed as well.

With the features of a datawarehouse, another topic comes to mind: historical data. Typically you will want to have reference figures over the previous years, so that means you need your historical data to be converted as well. Depending on the number of data flows and data models involved, you can determine the impact for this conversion.

To conclude, the impact of your currency conversion depends mostly on the amount of hard coded currencies you have in your reporting and data flows. The requirement of converting historical data should also be taken into account.