As promised by me, I am writing this Note on SAP for the benefit of all the members.
- What is SAP:
It is an ERP software. Very wide and very big. There are so many other software available such as Oracle, BAAN, Peoplesoft etc.
- What CAs role in SAP:
SAP has so many different modules. It is integrated software. SO CAs with good domain knowledge can take course in SAP FICO module that is Financial and Controlling. As a functional consultant, FICO consultant has role in implementation of the software in organisations opting for SAP. This is a very vast module wherein all possible business processes are covered. The CAs with SAP knowledge can better configure and implement this module.
- SAP FICO for a CA who is practicing:
I think this is not for practicing CAs who are in practice for a long period of time. The practicing CAs can take up this course for the better understanding of the software where by better conduct of the audit in the organisations which are running on SAP. But you know who is auditing the concerns that run SAP? Big firms only. So for CAs associated with small or medium size firms, I dont think this is of more use or the learning of the SAP could be a value for money.
- What if practicing CAs take up a job?
It is very difficult for a practicing CA to get a job. A CA with 10 years of experience will not EVEN be called for interview for even a post of Assistant manager Finance. In service industry, the practice experience never counts, except in very few companies and for very few positions. All gate closed for these CAs, they have to do practice only.
About SAP job, the practicing experience in my opinion is very useful, but the employers never recognise it, and the CAs from industry will get an edge. So to get a job as a SAP fresher is equally tough.
- Fresher and young CAs:
Yes, the fresher and young CAs can take up this. Even CAs with some years of industry experience can opt for SAP carrier. SAP certified CAs can opt for either a regular carrier in Industry, there they will have an edge due to their SAP certification, as the companies working on SAP will always prefer a CA who understands how the SAP works.
Alternatively, a career could be made as functional consultant in implementing organisations. Here again, CAs can get a good job and good opportunity. But it involves lots of travelling; if the person is in implementation side and not in support side, as majority of work are executed onsite.
This is very peculiar and vicious circle about job. For a SAP consultant with more than one year experience, there are lots of opportunities and openings available through out the world. But ironically for fresher, No opportunity. To get first job is the great struggle. It may take months or years. The salary will be very low initially. But once you get through the initial phase and have added on experience, there is a very great and very rapid hike in your pay, you will never imagine. SAP professionals are the highest paid community in the world. But No first job, then no experience and No experience then no first job, this circle is a struggle circle and once has to get out of it and this is very challenging phase.
- Future Prospects:
As SAP has introduced packages of even SMEs. One can work as Independent consultant too after acquiring a good experience. The implementation and thereafter support work would there. But there are lots of International and national players, who are in this consultancy. The employees once keep are very highly paid, so looking at all these aspects one can develop business of practice in consultancy and support too. But very challenging this opportunity is.
- The Certification:
The certification does have value, but the experience has more values. I have seen B.Com. Non SAP certified with good experience drawing 80K salary per month. For certification two ways. One, if you have more than one year functional or user experience of SAP, you can directly sit for the exam, the exam fee is 25000 plus Service tax. If you dont have such experience then, go to any authorised Educational Partner of SAP, Siemens or Genovate and do a 5 weeks course costing 2.25 lacs plus Service tax and then sit for exams. The qualifying marks for exam are 70%. If fail, pay another fee of 25000 plus Service tax and reappear. Costly, yes, very costly affairs.
Hope I have answered all the queries members had asked me at different point of time with regard to SAP.
Thanks and regards,
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