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What are the biggest differences between SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business One?


I am a Certified Internal Auditor and a Certified Frauds Examiner with over 29 years of experience in internal auditing and core expertise in Accounting and Reporting, Operational Audits, and Risk Management practices.

I am currently evaluating SAP S/4HANA and SAP Business One. What are the main differences between the two? Which would you recommend? 

Thanks! I appreciate the help.

ITCS user
55 Answers

author avatar

SAP Business One vs. SAP S/4HANA

Out of a total of 3,539 decision criteria spread across the eight sub-modules that form the comparison matrix, SAP S/4HANA offers noticeably better coverage of ERP software characteristics compared to its direct competitor SAP Business One, regardless of how those functions are offered (e.g. "out of the box", via an integrated partner solution, through add-ons, and so on). Let's take a closer look at how each software package fares in regard to the eight domains.

1. Financials

By analyzing the two software systems, we notice that SAP S/4HANA scores considerably higher than SAP Business One in terms of functions and features related to Financials. In this area, SAP S/4HANA excels in functionalities that are supported out of the box.

2. Human Resources

SAP S/4HANA has a significant upper hand over SAP Business One in regard to Human Resources features and functionalities.

3. Manufacturing Management

Between the two options, SAP S/4HANA scores massively higher than SAP Business One in capabilities related to Manufacturing Management. In this area, SAP S/4HANA leads in terms of functionalities which are supported innately.

4. Inventory Management

In this domain, SAP S/4HANA has a formidable lead over SAP Business One. Here SAP S/4HANA excels in regard to Inventory Management capabilities provided out of the box.

5. Purchasing Management

When looking at Purchasing Management features and functions, SAP S/4HANA vigorously outperforms its competitor, leading in functionalities that are delivered off the shelf.

6. Quality Management

Again, SAP S/4HANA bests SAP Business One in this domain, with an astounding lead over SAP's software. In this module, SAP S/4HANA excels in terms of out-of-the-box Quality Management functions and features.

7. Sales Management

When looking at the Sales Management module, SAP S/4HANA is a considerably more capable challenger than SAP Business One.

8. Product Technology

SAP S/4HANA receives a significantly higher score than SAP Business One in this module. Here, SAP S/4HANA leads in terms of functionalities that are available off the shelf.

In summary, it is difficult to ascertain which software package comes out ahead in the comparison between SAP Business One vs. SAP S/4 HANA Although the above analysis may seem to suggest that SAP S/4HANA has a noticeable advantage over SAP Business One, don't forget that the analysis was done from a strictly functional stance. Experience tells us that this conclusion definitely starts to blur as your project budget, priorities, and constraints are factored in. The above overview highlights some areas that prospective buyers can use to scrutinize their software options.

author avatar

S4 is an enterprise-level ERP for large corporations and SAP Business One is a Small to Medium company ERP.

author avatar
Real User

SAP S4/HANA and SAP Business One are two different products.

I'm not familiar with Business One but to the best of my knowledge, it's a product best suited for SMB organizations.
S4/Hana is the latest version of what was referred to in the past as SAP ECC or before that SAP R/3 – platforms designed for enterprise organizations.

author avatar
Real User

Sap Business One is tailored for small businesses of up to 100 employees more or less. I believe it could make use of the in-memory capabilities of the HANA database but it is essentially built for small businesses. S/4 HANA is a much larger ERP solution tailored for enterprise-wide use. It could also span different industries such as manufacturing , financial etc and is usually targeted for medium to large size companies. While Business One is an all in one ERP for small companies S/4 has many modules that can be configured to meet different company needs.

author avatar

Most probably you will need a 3rd party for HR in the case of SAP Business One. SAP S/4HANA has an advantage in this regard. If your inventory management is part of your business then again SAP Business One appears weak compared to S/4HANA. The same applies to procurement, QM or Sales. The point is if you compare the functionality then S/4HANA outperforms compared to Business One. You still have to incorporate Budget and TCO in order to fine-tune the comparison.

Find out what your peers are saying about SAP Business One vs. SAP S4HANA and other solutions. Updated: November 2021.
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