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      5 min read

      How to audit an SAP system: A complete guide

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      The systems used by businesses today are complex and usually involve more than one software system. This can make it difficult for businesses to ensure that all of their systems are working together effectively.

      The SAP system, used by businesses around the world, is one of the most complex and comprehensive software systems used today.

      SAP provides businesses with a comprehensive set of applications that allow them to keep track of their business processes and ensure that they are working at full capacity.

      In this post, we’ll provide an overview of SAP audits and more, including:

      • Answering the most common questions about SAP system audits
      • Providing a guide to help you audit your SAP system and ensure that it is working as it should

      Learn more about SAP system automation by trying out a free demo of Avantra's SAP process automation platform.

      What is an SAP audit?

      An SAP system audit is a necessary part of running your SAP infrastructure. The audit clause in your SAP service contract establishes a number of clear rules governing audit procedures and requirements. These rules must be met to ensure that your systems are being used correctly and the limits set forth in your service agreement are being upheld.

      This normally amounts to your company needing to provide information about how its SAP infrastructure has been used throughout a given year to SAP auditors.

      Auditors request usage details on an annual schedule for assessment and your business will need to have this data on hand for such occasions.

      Although the need to audit SAP system details on a regular basis can be a burden for companies with other objectives to focus on, it is imperative that it be done correctly so as to minimize fees and unforeseen expenses associated with infrastructure having been misused or poorly managed.

      Basic audits are the most common kind of SAP audits you are likely to experience each year. Unlike enhanced audits, basic audits follow a strict process with well defined stages.

      SAP basis audit checklist

      SAP basis audits take the following general form:

      1. An SAP global license auditing service rep sends your organization an annual audit notice.
      2. You begin collecting usage data for SAP.
      3. The data you have collected is consolidated and sent to SAP.

      SAP audit report preparation is crucial to keeping your infrastructure compliant with the rules and stipulations of your service agreement with SAP.

      What is auditing in SAP HANA?

      Audit policies in SAP HANA make it possible to capture incredibly detailed usage logs of your database instances. These logs make identifying improper access and other threats to both your company's service agreement compliance and its data privacy requirements much easier.

      Audit policies are built into SAP HANA, but not all of them are activated by default. Some require manual activation, while others do not.

      You can generally count on the following SAP HANA policies being enabled and configured already:

      • Audit policies configuration: These policies can be configured to create audit event logs each time certain actions are taken with a given database. The actual number of events that are audited is configurable as well, ensuring only necessary information is captured.
      • Audit activation configuration: This configuration allows multiple facets of the audit trail to be modified. This includes changes to the audit trail target or its location as well as enabled authentication methods.
      • Deletion of the audit logs: Audit logs written to any internal database table can be deleted thanks to this policy. However, audit entries cannot be removed from the syslog audit trail.
      • Password change of the SYSTEM account: This policy makes it possible for the passwords of SYSTEM users of any database considered a tenant of the system to be modified.

      You should also ensure that the following additional policies are configured and enabled to simplify data capture across important parts of your database infrastructure:

      • Authorization management
      • Data manipulation
      • Object maintenance
      • User and role management
      • System management

      How to prepare for your next SAP audit

      It can be difficult for IT team members to learn how to audit SAP system data correctly in response to requests from SAP reps. However, there are ways that you can get ahead of the complexities inherent to the auditing process. A couple of great options are:

      • Taking a closer look at your audit rights in your SAP service agreement
      • Appointing a single team member as your point of contact for SAP rep communication
      • Creating solid policies of your own for handling SAP audits
      • Partnering with an SAP audit service to outsource most of the process's details

      Automating SAP processes with Avantra

      The intricacies of SAP infrastructure management and monitoring can quickly become overwhelming to handle manually. Avantra offers an excellent solution in the form of powerful automation utilities.

      With Avantra, your team can automate core SAP processes efficiently, freeing up time to focus on your organization's major milestones instead.

      Give Avantra a try today with a free demo to discover just how much it can help your company succeed.