Express thanks for the free SAP Scene information by Paypal Donation or by donating to  charity and letting me know your comments!

SAP Scene


In Association with
Express thanks for SAP Scene information - buy your next SAP book through our SAP Books page

Home Up Flexibility Organisation Structure Periodic Integration Account Determination

Condition technique

Implementing Sap With an Asap...



Automatic Account Determination

This is perhaps the part that causes the most heartache for the FI Configurer.   For some reason, although it is an integration area, the FI team always ends up with responsibility for it.  To do a good job you need a reasonable understanding of :

  1. the business processes in the source modules
  2. the FI account postings that they should be generating (what sort of account should be debited or credited etc)
  3. the organisation structure and its relationships between the source modules
  4. the reporting requirements that are expected from the General Ledger or Profit Centre Accounting
  5. your chart of accounts

Sounds daunting doesn't it ?  Here is a suggested approach ...

The IMG section under GL / business transactions / integration will take you through all the necessary account determination for the automatic postings that the system may need to post.  You may not need all of these.You could maintain on an as needed basis.  As the project teams test or prototype their expanding functionality, the SAP system will look for the accounts to which it should post.  The error message and 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 (eg: 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).

I will be explaining each account determination area simply and clearly with posting examples

In the meantime, some general warnings:

  • Whenever you change the field status settings for an account, ensure that you have verified that any automatic postings will be able to meet the requirements. EG: do not make business area mandatory if your system may make a posting which cannot determine and post the business area.
  • Consider specifying that accounts that are posted to automatically can only be posted to automatically.  This will simplify reconciliation between the source module and the GL account should you need to do this.

SD-FI Account Determination and Postings

This is known in the IMG as "revenue account determination", but it covers a lot more than that (discounts, taxes etc).  This is what determines how the financial impact of your SD Billing document is posted into the FI General Ledger.

The integration is controlled both in SD and in FI.

In SD there is a awesome area of configuration called the pricing procedures.   The pricing procedure determines the final price quoted to the customer for a particular product.  This could be a complicated calculation taking into account the base price, any special prices or discounts that may apply to that scenario, taxes, freight charges etc.  These prices or charges are called 'condition types'.  This condition technique is used in a number of areas of SAP.

For now all we need to know is that each condition type is assigned to an account key (or in the case of rebates two account keys).  You can assign multiple condition types to the same account key. There are a number of account keys that are pre-defined in the system. For example:

  • ERF freight revenues
  • ERL revenues
  • ERS sales deductions
  • EVV cash settlement
  • MWS sales tax

Now we start getting to the integration by mapping the account keys to GL accounts.  But it is not as simple as that. It can be as flexible (ie: as complex) as you want. Start off with the most simple approach.  Generally if one is using a good sales / revenue reporting tool (eg: CO-PA) then one does not need a lot of flexibility and variety in the GL accounts that are posted to.  The level of detail that you need in GL should be determined by your financial statement reporting requirements - you may end up with only one Revenue account - it is a good bet!

So, taking the simple approach we would ignore most of the configuration possibilities : procedures, access sequences, condition tables etc  (Yes it is that 'condition technique' kicking in again.  Once you have worked through it once in one area and encounter it in another then hopefully you will be comfortable in knowing that most of the standard configuration can be left as is. )  

We have to decide which access sequences we want to use (Five access sequences are defined in the standard SAP R/3 System). To keep it simple, let us assume we just use one - for example: the access sequence "chart of accounts/sales org./account keys".

The chart of accounts part is standard in all account determinations, so let us look at the rest.  This access sequence allows us to specify different GL accounts for different Sales Organisations. 

So if we had a billing document line item where the customer had some special deductions for one of the products he purchased, we could map accounts by Sales Organisation.  To make it even simpler a document is within one Sales Organisation so we have an overall mapping as follows:

SD Line Item Condition type SD Amount Account Key Sales Organisation GL Account
1 Sales deduction for being such a nice guy $10 ERS 1000 800010 - Sales deductions for 1000
Sales deduction for special promotion on particular product $15 ERS
Base Revenue $200 ERL 800000 - Revenue for Sales Org 1000
  Total for item 1 $175  
2 Base Revenue $100 ERL 1000 800000 - Revenue for Sales Org 1000
  Total for item 2 $ 100  
Document Total $ 275  

So the invoice that the customer gets (and that you can view in SD) will look something like:

Item (Note this is the SD Invoice line item) Amount
Item 1: $175
Item 2: $100
Total owing , 30 days terms etc: $275

The GL document posting that the system will make to FI will look something like this though:

FI Line Item Debit / Credit Account Amount
1 Debit (PK=01) Customer (AR Account) $ 275
2 Credit (PK=50) Revenue (GL Account) -$ 300
3 Debit (PK=40) Sales Deduction (GL Account) $25

Balancing to 0 as all GL documents must....


Note : There is no direct relation between an SD Line item and an FI Line Item - they are different things.

Other considerations:
  • Remember that if you are using business areas, then depending on your configuration there, the system may create additional FI line items if it needs to post to different business areas.  This may be even more of a reason why you do not need additional GL accounts.  If your Sales Organisations already map to different business areas, you could use the GL accounts for all Sales Organisations.
  • Different access sequences will allow a broader variety of GL accounts (for example: by customer account) group. I strongly suggest having a good understanding of the reporting requirements expected to be supported from the General Ledger vs the SIS (Sales Information System)  or CO-PA (Profitability Analysis) or (CO-PCA) Profit Centre modules before you create too many GL accounts.  At the risk of repeating myself, the SD to FI account determination should only be as detailed as your statutory reporting requirements.   The reporting from other tools like Profitability Analysis are so much more flexible and powerful, you may never look at the General Ledger for internal profit reporting again except to do a reconciliation check.


05 October, 2002



Back Home
Copyright 2005.  The information on these pages may not be reproduced, republished or mirrored on another web page or website.