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    FI CO Magazine

    SAP’s Financial Accounting (FI) and Controlling (CO) modules offer your company some of the most important functionality in your entire SAP system. 

    Now there’s a monthly technical newsletter to help you boost the returns your company earns from its investment in FI/CO. In every issue of FI/CO Expert, we guarantee that you’ll discover new ways to:

    • Initiate key FI/CO improvements at your company 

    • Identify critical areas within your daily FI/CO interactions that are either underutilized, or incorrectly utilized 

    • Maximize you site's currently activated FI/CO options 

    • Introduce new FI/CO functionality with confidence 

    • Gain insight into the core principles of how FI/CO interacts with end-users and business goals

    Enough FI/CO configuration to get going... 

    Copyright © Anna-marie Redpath 2001, 2002  ( www.sapscene.com )

    FI the Financials module can be thought as the 'core' of any integrated SAP System because everything that has a monetary impact in the other modules (where the 'real' business operates) flows through to FI - usually in real time and automatically through the configuration.  Usually there is pressure to get going with the prototyping asap.  When the other modules start prototyping their transactions, the SAP system is going to want to post the financial impact to FI.  Thus the sooner that you (the FI/CO configurer) can get some core FI/CO configuration going the better for all.

    Remember all SAP configuration is essentially maintaining entries in a variety of linked tables.  Usually you need to maintain each little link or entry step by step. Some new SAP configurers expect the transactions to be as 'complete' as a user transaction - configuration is different.  In R/2 days we had to just know what tables to maintain - count yourself lucky that you have the IMG now! 

    Following are some guidelines (in increasing levels of functionality) to the FI minimum configuration or master data setup for a new company code.  Follow the logical path in the IMG.

    1. Minimum configuration to post a journal in FI

    2. Minimum configuration to see expenses by cost center / post through to the CO Module

    3. Minimum configuration to post to sub ledgers (AR, AP)

    4. Minimum configuration to post from logistics modules to FI/CO (similar concept for other modules)

    1. Minimum configuration to post a journal in FI:

    (The assumption is that you do not want to copy either the standard SAP company or an existing company code because it will copy across too much that is not similar or not required and therefore too much cleanup will be required).

    Initial Business Decisions Required:

    Item to be decided

    Comment

    Code of company code (4 Digit Alphanumeric)

    You could setup new one later, copying the configuration

    Code of Chart of Accounts

    Not very visible, but the maintainers of the chart may want to decide this name

    Length of the GL A/c number and the account number range guidelines, possibly also the numbers of some key accounts required for automatic postings (see below)

    SAP allows 10 digits, however 5-7 appears to be the normal range.  Typically the number of accounts should be in the low hundreds.   Decide on the ranges of numbers for each type of account as much as you can so that the team can start getting used to them. EG: standard SAP usually has 4xxxxx as expense accounts, 11xxxx as Bank Related accounts etc.  

    Configuration steps:

    Step

    Comment

    Define the company code

    IMG

    Define the name for a chart of accounts

    IMG

    Maintain the global parameters

    IMG - Use standard SAP variants for the parameters to start with & update later

    Define the default amount tolerances

    IMG - Define for a blank group - so any new test user can post during prototyping

    Define document number ranges

    IMG - Copy from the standard ranges

    Create some of the minimum accounts needed to start off with. 

    GL Master data:
    A/R and A/P control a/cs, a petty cash or suspense a/c to hold sundry offset postings while debugging, a revenue account, some expense accounts.  This list will expand as you go - see the section on account determination.

    Suggest you create with reference from the standard chart and company code and use those specifications (account groups, fields status groups etc)  for now, so that these accounts will be reasonably appropriately setup.

    Now you should at least be able to post a GL journal. To test I suggest you use balance sheet accounts only, since you will not have setup the cost elements for the expense accounts. All projects would at least be using the Cost center and Cost Element functionality of CO as a minimum.  So - on to the next step.

    2. Minimum configuration to see expenses by cost center / post through to the CO Module

    Initial Business Decisions Required:

    Item to be decided

    Comment

    Structure of standard cost center hierarchy

    The structure should follow the organizations intended responsibility reporting hierarchy (the budgetary responsibility).  Allow the appropriate number of levels.

    Hierarchy node name coding

    The coding of the nodes is quite important because they can be used to report on the levels in the standard reports, and so will be very visible to the users

    Cost Center Naming Standards

    Useful to begin following the intended standards ASAP so that test data looks as real as possible.

    Configuration steps:

    Step

    Comment

    Define the controlling area

    IMG, not very visible to users, if you are only going to have one, you could default it later

    Assign the company code to the controlling area

    IMG

    Create the beginnings of the standard cost center hierarchy

    CO - Cost Center Master data

    Create a representative set of cost centers, assigning them to the appropriate node in the cost center hierarchy

    CO - Cost Center Master data

    Create all the expense accounts as primary cost elements

    Either in the IMG - for all GL accounts in a specific range, or individually in the CO - Cost Center Master data

    Now you should be able to post a GL document (journal) to an expense account and code it to the cost center.  The posting should then be viewable via Cost Center reporting and GL Account line Item Display.

    3. Minimum configuration to post to sub ledgers (AR, AP)

    Initial Business Decisions Required:

    Item to be decided

    Comment

    GL Account Number of Control accounts

    see account number range comments above

    Configuration steps:

    Step

    Comment

    Create the AP and AR Control accounts in the GL

    see account creation comments above

    Create a couple of customer and vendor accounts

    If using SD and MM too, inform the SD and MM analysts so that they can complete the account creation on the SD/MM side for the customer and vendor respectively.

    Now you should be able to post a FI-AR customer invoice and an FI-AP vendor invoice.

    4. Minimum configuration to post from logistics modules to FI/CO (similar concept for other modules)

    So far it was relatively easy going, now it starts getting a little more difficult.  Following are the very broad steps - for more detail see the sections on Organization structure and Integration.

    Initial Business Decisions Required:

    Item to be decided

    Comment

    SD and MM organization structure and relationship to the FI/CO elements

    Not a trivial decision, and may require rework, so at this stage, decide on a simple best guess with the SD/MM team to get you going

    Configuration steps:

    Step

    Comment

    Assign the SD and MM organization elements to the FI/CO elements

    IMG; to get prototyping going you need at least 1 set of working relationships that the whole team can work with (EG: 1 Sales Area, 1 Purchasing Organization, 1 Plant etc)

    Maintain the basic automatic account determination for each module

    IMG; For example : Revenue Account Determination for SD.  As the modules test or prototype expanded functionality, the SAP will look for the accounts to which it should post.  You could maintain on an as needed basis. The SAP documentation and configuration does not always explain clearly which piece of account determination is used for which type of functionality, so it is sometimes difficult to be pro-active.  being reactive has the benefit that hopefully each side (e.g.: MM and FI) can develop an understanding of what the business transaction is and therefore where it should be posting. Otherwise the MM person may not even be aware that he has generated a certain type of posting ! (You'd be amazed at some of the lack of ownership from a logistics consultant for the financial postings that they generate).

    Now the other modules will be able to process a thin 'path' using agreed organization elements and base functionality, all the way through to FI. 

    Congratulations - you now have enough absolutely mandatory FI configured for the start of prototyping !

    Copyright © Anna-marie Redpath 2001, 2002  ( www.sapscene.com )

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