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SAP BPC Certification – The Successful Path

SAP BPC Certification - The Successful Path
Last week, I managed to pass the BPC Certification Exam with 91%! Hooray :). After two weeks of extensive preparation and about two or three weeks of practicing different consolidation and planning scenarios, the feeling was nice . Considering the fact I am relatively new to the BPC (about six months experience so far) makes the success enjoyable for me.

There are probably places where you will find questions & answers for the exam, but I do not get the idea of having Certification without real hands-on knowledge to perform your duties. So, please if you are heading towards Certification, do your homework and get the knowledge by practicing and studying the official sap resources. It is a pity for anyone in the industry, no matter if you are an employer or an employee/freelancer when you are preparing yourself only based on the questions & answers from the exam. This approach is complete nonsense. Considering everything above, let me show you my success path how I made it.

First: Get BPC420, BPC430 and BPC440 Course materials
Those materials are usually given to the attendances of the official SAP courses. If you can attend those courses, you will be in a perfect starting position. If not, you have to find a colleague or a friend who could give it to you. I don’t think it is necessary to attend all the courses, but having the course materials is mandatory. My opinion is that BPC420 Administration on NW is the core course which I recommend. It is the foundation of BPC on NetWeaver every consultant should be familiar. There are a lot of questions from it in the exam.

BPC440 – Consolidation is also a valuable course, but if you have Consolidation experience on BPC or, at least, you can practice the exercises in it, you will be on the right spot. For sure, you have to read the course materials. BPC430 is also a relevant course which I rank as the least valuable. The reason is that its base is covered in both BPC420 and BPC440. However there are a lot of questions from it, and you should read very carefully the chapters which are unique to it. Do not underestimate it. Even though BPC410 Administration on MS Version is part of the syllabus of the exam, I didn’t find any questions on it.

I was lucky to attend BPC420, BPC430 and BPC440 with the help of my employer for which I feel loyal to them. It is also the right time to thanks to my tutor – Basant Kumar (LinkedIn). He was committed to sharing his knowledge and not less importantly his real-life experience with us.

Second: Get access to Sandbox SAP BPC 10.x system without restrictions
You should have access to sandbox SAP BPC system with access to both NetWeaver BW backend through SAP GUI as well as BPC Web Administration with no restrictions. The best would be to have BPC 10.0, but I have managed it with BPC 10.1 VMware Images which I have. If you don’t have access to BPC System I don’t think you could grasp the knowledge which you are going to get from the course materials.

Keep in mind that if you attend official SAP Course, you will have access to BPC system with no restrictions during the training, but I think it is highly insufficient to catch all the knowledge for that time. You have to play and do prototypes on an own system for a couple of months. This is the only way you will understand the materials and have a thorough knowledge. I did BPC440 Exercises and recorded them, so you could check them too if you find them useful.

Third: Give yourself two-three weeks for extensive learning before exam
You have to give yourself 2-3 weeks to read BPC420, 430 and 440 course materials two times while you are in the BPC system. Without playing with the system during reading, it will be tough for you to remember most of the configurations and options BPC is capable. When you read, emphasize on all those notes, bullet points and summarized tables with “briefly” explanations.
Notes

 

When we start counting the pages, those three books consist 1600+ pages of material you need to read, but if we remove the exercises, solutions, and blank pages what will leave will be around half of the pages already mentioned. So, the remaining is not so much if we count the pages, but because the materials do not have detailed explanations, almost every line is essential to the knowledge you should have at the end. Bear in mind that in the solutions, there are notes which could be helpful. Do not skip or underestimate them too.

Conclusion
In summary, you should read carefully, practice as much as possible and be patient. If you try to get it fast, you will fail either on the exam or the field getting more responsibilities. My next goal is to master my logic script skills which were not explained well enough in the BPC420. However it is a pretty big topic, and it is really difficult to fit the content of it in 1 chapter. After that, it is important to get familiar with BW Integrated Planning as it is the core of the BPC Unified/Embedded environment where SAP is investing heavily in relation with SAP HANA.

About Emiliyan Tanev

Hello, My name is Emiliyan Tanev. I am SAP BPC Certified Application Associate with a good process understanding of FICO. I am also an experienced accountant and financial controller with 5+ years of diversified responsibilities. I am also a member of Management Accounting Body in the UK - CIMA and CGMA in the US. I love IT and Finance which impacted my career orientation towards SAP FICO and BPC. Follow me and get the latest tips, tricks, tutorials and career guides related to SAP BPC. More about me on My Story.

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13 comments

  1. Hello,
    Thank you so much for share this details. I’m FICO consultant, now I’m moving to BPC, I have one chance to have 1 official course for BPC. If you have to choose only one, what will be? BPC420- Administration
    or BPC430-Reporting and Planning.
    Thank you.

  2. Hi Emiliyan,

    It was gr8 reading your blogs…..very informative.

    I have been a SAP Technical Consultant for 11 years working primarily on ABAP and PI. I have also finished my ICWA Inter and pursuing my finals.

    I would be interested to pursue BPC. I just wanted to know would it suit me for a jump as I want to try out something different.

    Also do we have a choice of taking only the NW version and not the MS version.

    Please let me know your comments.

    Regards,
    Eshwar

    • Hi Eshwar,

      Thank you for the kind words.

      Based on your experience you can probably jump into BPC NW Technical Area as a BADI/BW Consultant supporting BPC Functional Consultants. Then you will be able to extend the knowledge and grasp BPC Functional knowledge as well.

      I think it is doable, but as every new beginning, you will need to accept some compromises. Whether it would be MS or NW platform depends on the customer, but I hardly doubt you will be preferred for MS Platform as your skills will be much better appreciated in NW.

      Regards,
      Emiliyan

  3. Salahuddin Ahmed

    Dear Emiliyan,

    First congratulation on passing your SAP BPS Certification.
    Thank you very much for sharing your preparation experience.
    It was really nice and very well describe in 3 sections.
    GOD Bless you!

  4. Hi Emiliyan,

    I am considering taking the SAP BPC certification. I have no FICO knowledge, however, I was part of the BI team that takes care of the CPM (Infor) system of the company. I have completed successful upgrade; worked with Corporate Reporting Analyst for IFRS project and spinoff project; and mainly using SAP Data Services to extract data from different systems and map the GL accounts to Reporting Lines.

    My question is: would SAP BPC a good direction to go to based on my background? Would the ROI be good after taking the certification? Please advise.

    • Hi JimineyC,

      By passing the Certification you usually prove that you have the foundataion. It is always good and I believe it helps finding a job.

      The latest hype of SAP EPM space is BPC Embedded which essentially is a BW-IP with some stuff from SAP BPC Standard. BW-IP is much more technical solution though, so it will depend on your background and your wish to learn.

      btw. the certification is for BPC Standard.

      Regards,
      Emiliyan

      • Thank you Emiliyan. I appreciate that you posted the successful path for BPC. It is helpful for someone like me. Taking the certification is a big investment so would like to do my research well.

        You have mentioned about having an environment to practice to help before taking an exam. Is there an environment that is open to practice on?

        Again, thank you for sharing your experience.

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