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 :
- the business processes in the source modules
- the FI account postings that they should be generating (what sort of account should be
debited or credited etc)
- the organisation structure and its relationships between the source modules
- the reporting requirements that are expected from the General Ledger or Profit Centre
- 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
In the meantime, some general
- 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
||Sales deduction for being such a nice guy
||800010 - Sales deductions for 1000
|Sales deduction for special promotion on particular product
||800000 - Revenue for Sales Org 1000
||Total for item 1
||800000 - Revenue for Sales Org 1000
||Total for item 2
So the invoice that the customer gets (and that you can view in SD) will look something
|Item (Note this is the SD Invoice line item)
|Total owing , 30 days terms etc:
The GL document posting that the system will make to FI will look something like this
|FI Line Item
||Debit / Credit
||Customer (AR Account)
||Revenue (GL Account)
||Sales Deduction (GL Account)
Balancing to 0 as all GL
Note : There is no direct relation between an SD Line item and an FI Line Item
- they are different things.
- 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