SAP License Audit Guide for 2023

What is a SAP license audit?

An SAP license audit is when SAP audits its customers, in which they are required to run standard SAP audit tools and send the data to SAP for review. SAP then responds by highlighting any license gaps and charges for additional licenses that may be required. The purpose of the audit is to ensure that customers are compliant with their SAP license agreements and are paying for the correct number and types of licenses.

Who conducts SAP license audits?

The Global License Auditing and Compliance team (GLAC) at SAP is responsible for ensuring that customers are using SAP products and services in accordance with their licenses. The team includes license auditors and measurement experts based in Ireland, China, and India, who are responsible for auditing customers in specific geographical regions and language support areas. The team also includes licensed compliance managers and executives, as well as Supplementary Audit Support Experts (SAS Experts), who are based at customers’ locations to provide support. In addition, there is a licensed audit business team at SAP’s headquarters in Waldorf, Germany, that is responsible for the overall auditing process, structures, and development of measurement tools.

What kind of SAP audits are there?

SAP conducts two types of audits:

  1. Basic audit: This audit is conducted by licensed auditors based in Ireland, China, or India. It is usually addressed to most end users, but not all customers are audited annually. Instead, the license compliance managers and auditors from the audit business team target selected customers, such as large enterprises or those who have purchased new products or are classified as “high risk.” The first license audit usually takes place within two years of signing a contract with SAP unless specified otherwise in the contract. After the first audit, subsequent audits should occur annually, subject to available SAP resources.

The basic audit process begins with a Measurement Request Email sent to the customer by the licensed auditor. This email includes information on the audit scope (including system measurement, self-declaration products, HANA database, Business Object, and relevant engine notes), SAP portal information, and the measurement submission deadline (4 weeks for direct customers and 12 weeks for indirect customers). The license auditor will contact the end user repeatedly prior to the deadline to check the status of the measurement and remind them about the deadline. The measurements can be sent directly from the tools to SAP or as email attachments formatted according to SAP requirements.

The license auditor is responsible for evaluating the measurement results and verifying the following:

  • The correct system landscape to ensure that all relevant systems (production and development) were measured
  • The technical accuracy of the USMM log files and LAW
  • The implementation of relevant SAP notes for engine measurement
  • Any measurement errors expired users, multiple logins, late logons, and workbench development activities

The license auditor will work with the license compliance manager to compare the measured figures with the customer’s contractual license entitlement. If the customer has exceeded their entitlement, the licensed auditor will provide a Statement of Findings to the customer outlining the discrepancies and any applicable fees. The customer has the opportunity to review and dispute the findings before a final invoice is issued.

  1. Enhanced audit: This audit is performed remotely and/or onsite and is addressed to selected customers. It includes a more detailed and in-depth review of the customer’s SAP usage and can be triggered by a number of factors, such as a change in the customer’s SAP landscape, a high level of non-compliance in a previous audit, or a request from the customer for a voluntary audit. The enhanced audit follows a similar process as the basic audit but with additional verification and documentation requirements.

Tips for SAP License Audits

  • Enhanced audits are led by license compliance managers, compliance team executives, and SAS experts.
  • The scope of the audit is clearly communicated to the end user at the beginning.
  • Enhanced audits include all checks required in a basic audit, as well as additional measurements for customers who were non-compliant in a previous basic audit.
  • Enhanced audits also include an assessment of indirect access usage.
  • This assessment may involve SAP logging into the end user’s systems remotely and/or visiting the site in person to research indirect access usage.
  • The audit will verify interactions between SAP and non-SAP systems, data flow direction, and details of data transfer between systems and users.
  • After the data is verified and evaluated, a report is created, and a Closure Notification Email is sent to the customer, which may or may not indicate a compliance gap.
  • If a compliance gap is identified, the SAP license compliance manager will present an additional purchase proposal based on the audit findings.
  • Sales executives, who are primary owners of the commercial customer relationship, may also be involved in discussions and signing a new deal, although they are formally excluded from the auditing process.

Want expert help?

Our SAP license audit defense service is designed to help SAP customers navigate the complex and often intimidating process of an SAP license audit. Our team of experienced professionals has a deep understanding of SAP license agreements and audit procedures and can provide expert guidance and support to ensure that your organization is fully prepared for an SAP audit.

Our SAP license audit defense service includes the following:

  • A thorough review of your SAP license agreements and entitlements
  • A review of your current SAP landscape and usage patterns
  • Identification of any potential compliance risks or areas of over-licensing
  • Preparation of all required documentation and information for the SAP audit
  • Support during the SAP audit process, including answering questions and addressing any issues that may arise
  • A report detailing the results of the SAP audit and any recommendations for addressing any compliance gaps or over-licensing

With our SAP license audit defense service, you can have confidence that you are fully prepared for an SAP audit and that you have the support of experts to guide you through the process. Our goal is to help you minimize any potential compliance risks and avoid over-licensing, ensuring that your organization is fully compliant with your SAP license agreements.