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Project Management

"How to Manage User-exits for multiple projects"

It is common for companies to have many user exits, for managing multiple initiatives in the organization. Managing user-exits is a challenge, as these user-exits are dependant on various factors and many times may hinder the go-live plans. In this article, the author exhibits a technique on how to manage user-exits.

"Account for Time Zone Differences So That They Do Not Affect Your Global Close"

When a global company has a period-end close, a great deal of coordination needs to occur among the independent locations to make sure that tight deadlines are met. The author provides eight tips to prevent misunderstandings that can occur because of timing differences when you have offices in more than one time zone.

"Toggle Variant Protection Settings to Allow or Prevent Unauthorized Changes"

Report variants let you save field values for a report or a program so you don’t have to re-enter the values while executing the report. You can create multiple variants to save different values for the report and when you execute the report, you can choose a specific variant. By default, anyone can modify the variants you create. However, sometimes you may not want the variants to be modified by others - you might want to protect the variants from being changed. Protecting these variants prevent from unauthorized changes. Also, you can use SAP program to Un-Protect the protected variants, when required.

Consulting Notes

We have published many consulting white papers which cover many of business challenges you wrestle everyday. Here are the abstracts of some of these white papers.

"Achieve Balanced Reporting by Automating Document Splitting in New G/L"

New GL offers many new features including Document splitting to meet ‘IAS-14 Segment Reporting’ Requirements. With document splitting, the system splits accounting line items according to specific characteristics. This enables you to create financial statements for entities such as Segments. In this article, the author describes in detail on how to activate the document splitting automatically. The splitting method is the main key to activate document splitting in the new G/L, including splitting rules, business transactions, business transaction variants, and more.

"Unearth the Hidden Secrets of Zero-Balancing in the New G/L"

International financials regulations may require you to zero-balance the financial transactions by certain characteristics – such as, profit center, segment and more. In this article, the author describes how to set-up the zero-balancing characteristics. Also, learn the un-documented feature of how system creates varying number of zero-balancing line items.

"Use Document Simulation in the New G/L to see how the system posts G/L Documents"

In this article the author describes how to leverage much improved functionality of Document Simulation in the New G/L. The classic G/L offers a feature called document simulation that helps you determine how the system automatically generates accounting entries, troubleshoot and fix missing configuration settings, and identify and rectify any mistakes made before posting the accounting transaction. This feature has improved in the new G/L and adds particular benefit to document splitting. Using document splitting, you can balance the document for predefined characteristics at run-time rather than waiting until period-close.

"Do’s and don’ts for configuring the new G/L"

In this article, the author explains the New G/L implementation considerations to reduce risk, including master and organizational data management, transactional data integrity, and financial reporting compliance. How to prepare for New G/L implementation challenges. Find out how to ensure data and process integrity by avoiding too many parallel ledger setup. Weigh the impact of data volume by activating document splitting functionality and find out why you to be careful when updating profit centers with segments. Learn about the best practices and configuration tips of utilizing simulation, inheritance, setting zero balance constants and more.

"When to Deactivate the Classic G/L Totals Table in the New G/L"

In this article, the author explains how to deactivate GLT0 when converting to the new G/L, and some considerations when doing so. Once you are in the new G/L, you will need to de-activate updating the Classic G/L totals table. But, make sure of two critical aspects before you do so: (1) New G/L consistency with the Classic G/L and (2) Customized objects accessing Classic G/L.

"What You Need to Know About Order-Related Inter-Company Billing"

Most billing in SAP is delivery related, but you need to use order-related billing for some business processes, such as services. Also, you use inter-company billing, for example, in a triangular trade scenario, in which different legal entities within an organization are responsible for selling and delivering products. Combining these two types of billing results in order-related inter-company billing. Implementing order-related inter-company billing can be tricky because no sufficient documentation exists that details several configuration nuances. For example, many SAP Notes are helpful but leave out important configuration steps. Based on my experience, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know about properly configuring this functionality in your SAP environment.

"How to avoid inconsistency when you post to COGS account during a billing process"

Creating an Invoice is the most fundamental and basic 'Revenue Recognition' process. Usually, the invoice posts to Revenue (or Discount accounts) during the billing. Did you know that in some industries, you might want to post to Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) account, instead of Revenue account? Typically, this is required when the business purpose of the process is 'Costs Reduction' and not 'Revenue Recognition'. You may think that simply swapping the Revenue account to COGS account may solve your issue. However, be ready for a rude shock. In this article, the author explains behind-the-scenes mechanics on how the financial inconsistency is created and offers you a solution on how to avoid this inconsistency.

"VOFM Routines Help Make Logistics Processes More Versatile"

In the world of logistics, it is so common to see many different and sometimes contradicting business processes requirements. For example, selling a particular product at a regular list price, but, under a specific situation, give it free-of-charge. What makes SAP system so powerful is that you can make it is flexible to adapt to such diverse business requirements. VOFM is one such tool-set which is extensively used, especially in logistics processes. VOFM functions are small but nifty tools, available in your arsenal to add flexibility to the business processes.

"Omnipotent Condition Technique"

Condition Technique is one of the most powerful tools available in SAP. It is extensively utilized within various SAP functions. What makes it so powerful is its flexibility to meet your specific business requirements from basic additions to more complex calculations. Especially within Sales and Distribution (SD) module, condition technique has been utilized extensively, within various processes - pricing calculations, output control, account determination, material determination, free goods determination and more. In this article, the author explains the mechanics of how Condition Technique works and with an example from Pricing function, demonstrates various features available so that it can be used for various scenarios.

"Cost Conditions in R/3 - Are You Sending Your Financials Team an Unpleasant Surprise?"

Almost everyone in SAP community is aware of condition type VPRS, that basically it determines the cost of the material - either standard or moving average, depending upon the valuation of the product. However, very few are aware that something called as 'future price' of the product also has noteworthy influence on how the VPRS cost is determined. Not only that, if not understood correctly it can have negative impact and can cause the differences in your Financials.

"Signs in CO-PA"

Revenues are stored as negatives in Financials. However, the same revenue postings are assigned as positive in SD module. Since, data can be posted from both modules to CO-PA, it handles signs a bit differently. If not handled properly, it can cause wrong results in CO-PA. In this paper, the author explains the logic for handling signs and how to avoid incorrect results.

"What Is so Special about Statistical Conditions in SD?"

Needless to mention that pricing procedure is one of the most powerful configurations in Sales and Distribution (SD) module, which is used to calculate the price of the item being sold. In spite of general awareness among the business community about the strength of the pricing procedure, many are not aware of the hidden strengths of the components of the pricing procedure. In this article, the author highlights the hidden features of the Statistical conditions and alternative ways of calculating the condition values.

"Find The Hidden Condition Technique in CO-PA and Fine-tune CO-PA Ledger"

Have you ever wished that CO-PA module had a Condition Technique? Guess what? It does, but in CO-PA it is termed as 'valuation with Costing sheet'. In this paper, the author unearths the hidden Condition Technique in CO-PA and clarifies some of the terminologies, which have caused it to be underutilized.

"Help Profit Analysts Find Causes and Effect Relationship with 3 CO-PA data Fine-tuning Options"

In this paper, the author explains some of the 'secret' data-tuning techniques, which help you get maximum out of CO-PA module. One of the most important SD Configurations - 'Pricing Procedure', plays a very important role for CO-PA. Author explains how one can fine-tune CO-PA ledger with the help of 'Statistical Conditions', 'Alternative Calculation Type' and 'Sub Totals'.

"What is an Assignment Number and How a Misunderstanding can give an unfriendly surprise"

Often SAP uses the same term quite differently in different modules. One such term is 'allocation'. In CO module, allocation is a term used to transferring costs from one cost center to another. In FI, allocation number is an additional reference field for FI account line item. Realizing the potential confusion, SAP now calls it 'assignment number' in FI. However, whether it is 'assignment number' or 'allocation number', its usage has remained confusing. In this article, author clarifies some of the potential confusion created by it usage in Customer or Vendor accounts and the corresponding G/L reconciliation account.

"Material Master History Tables: What Happens to Materials in Prior Periods?"

SAP R/3 4.5A stores previous period data for materials in new history tables. Learn how this change improves the MM period closing process and allows you the unprecedented opportunity to view historic material master data. Starting with SAP R/3 Release 4.5A, SAP added functionality to save monthly history of the key material master tables. These material master history tables can be a useful source of information and can form the basis of custom reports to meet specific user requirements. Many SAP standard reports, such as RM07MMFI and FB5L, use these new history tables.

"Avoid a Disconnect Between Your MM and FI Period Closes"

Your cutoff for transactions at close may be affected if you don't understand the relationship between the Materials Management (MM) period close and the FI period close. In this article, the author explains the configuration details so that you can configure your R/3 system to ensure a clean cutoff for MM transactions at period close.

"Are Your Stock Balances Correct?"

In this article, the author answers to six questions along with a little-known report can help you to keep your R/3 Materials Management (MM) and FI stock balances in sync.

"Currency Types: The Key to Reporting Parallel Valuations"

Do you know what the different currency types are, where they are configured, and when to use them? Confusion abounds in this area, especially when dealing with parallel valuation. In the article, the author provides a roadmap to gain control of all of your conversions and valuations.

"Secure Your Revenue Stream: Ensure That SD Billing Document Invoices Are Posted in FI"

It is possible to have an SD billing document without a corresponding FI invoice. This type of error can result in significant under-reporting of revenue. In this article, the author provides the detailed steps to ensure all SD invoices are reflected accurately in FI-AR. Two R/3 modules, SD and FI, cover the order-to-cash process. Invoicing represents the interface between SD and FI, and there is a high risk if the two teams are not working in cooperation. If the teams are not aware of their actions’ impact on the others, do not understand the end-to-end process, and do not have clearly defined areas of responsibility, or if they simply do not talk to each other, the results may be disastrous.

"Use Reconciliation Account Determination with a Special G/L Indicator for More Flexible Invoicing"

The author demonstrates how to optimize reconciliation account determination. He introduces the fundamentals of reconciliation account determination, special G/L indicator configuration, and manual adjustments. With examples, he shows how to use reconciliation account determination with a special G/L indicator in the FI-A/R module.

"Nine Tips for Dealing with Zero Decimal Place Currencies"

The U.S. dollar, like many of the world's currencies including the euro, uses two decimal places, which - not surprisingly - is the default setting for R/3. When you roll out your SAP functionality across geographies, however, you may run in trouble coping with currencies with other decimal-place demands. The author provides tips to help you avoid mistakes when viewing or working with various currencies.

"Which A/R Underpayment Option Should You Use: Partial Payment or Residual Item?"

When a customer makes a payment for an invoice that is a great deal less than the full invoice value, the A/R user has several choices of how to process the underpayment. Both users and consultants are often confused about the difference between two of those options - partial payment and residual item - because they can appear to have similar results. The author explains how they differ by taking the same invoice through both processes.

"Avoid These 11 Common Unit-of-Measure Errors"

To keep your SCM operations running smoothly, learn how to avoid and correct these 11 common unit-of-measure errors that can bring them to a standstill. The crucial role of units of measure (UoMs) in SAP is to give context to quantities. A key activity of an SAP system is maintaining clear communication with external business partners (e.g., sending a purchase order to a vendor for raw materials or sending an invoice to a customer). You can accomplish this communication in a number of ways, such as paper invoice, EDI purchase order, or XML delivery confirmation. Quantity is one of the most important aspects of that communication: You need to be sure that an order for five cases of a material is not interpreted as five pieces or five pallets.

"10 Consulting Notes all CO-PA consultants should keep handy"

If a business user has a problem, they call consultants. But, what if the CO-PA consultants need some help? In this article, the author has listed 10 most common business issues in CO-PA module and the OSS consulting notes to resolve these challenges.