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List of Key Concepts in SAP FICO

SAP FICO handles Finance and Accounting transactions for companies. Here are few key concepts in SAP FICO.

Posting Key

Posting Key is a 2 digit key to control line items. Posting Key config controls
  • Whether the posting is debit or credit.
  • The type of account the entry will be made to. (G/L, Customer, Vendor, Asset, Material)
  • Posting key for reversal, if document is reversed.
  • Screen Layout – Fields can be suppressed, required or optional.
  • Field status can be controlled using Posting Key Field status as well as Field status Group assigned to G/L.

Cost (and Revenue) Elements

Cost Element is the Cost Carrier in SAP. All the cost (and revenue) flows via Cost Element.

Primary Cost Element vs. Secondary Cost Element
Primary Cost Element is cost carriers between FI and CO. So, when cost needs to flow from FI to CO, it flows via Primary Cost element. Every P&L G/L account where values need to flow to CO module must be created as Primary Cost Element.

Secondary Cost Element is cost carriers within CO module. So, when Cost needs to flow within CO module (such as one cost center to another cost center), it is done using Secondary cost element. Secondary cost element has no corresponding G/L account like Primary Cost element.

Cost Object

Cost Object is the key concept in SAP Controlling. Cost object play the role of cost or revenue collector in SAP.

Every P&L posting must be assigned to a Cost Object. Examples of Cost Object include Cost Center, Internal Order, WBS element, Sales Order, Production order.

Document Type

Document type is a 2 character key in SAP to differentiate business transactions.

Document type configuration controls
  • Number range assigned.
  • Reverse document type – This document type will get posted when you reverse the document.
  • You can also control authorization by document type.
  • Account types allowed for the document type – Asset, Customer, Vendor, Material, and G/L.
  • If document can only be used in batch input. This setting is rarely used.
  • Net document type – Used for vendor invoices to deduct cash automatically.
  • Cust/Vend Check – If checked, only one customer or vendor can be used per document.
  • Negative Postings Permitted – This check would allow entering negative amount. This is particularly useful if you want to correct a document. You can do that by entering negative amount for wrong line item. This saves time by having not to post reversal document and corrected document.
  • Inter-company postgs – If cross company postings are allowed.
  • Enter Trading Partner – Allows manual entry of trading partner.
  • Weather Reference Number and Document header text are required.
  • You can also specify exchange rate type to be used with document type.

Field Status Group and Field Status Variant

Field status Group defines Screen layout for G/L account entry. Multiple Field Status Group are grouped together in Field Status Variant, which is assigned to Company Code. This way Field status group can be used in different Field Status Variant and Company codes.

Field status group is entered in Company Code area section of a G/L account. This controls screen layout for entry. Fields can be specified as Required, Suppress or Optional. Field Status Group can only be entered in G/L. It cannot be entered in Vendor, Customer of asset account. Field status for these sub ledger accounts are controlled using Reconciliation account assigned.

GL Ledgers

Ledger consist list of all GL accounts. Here is the list of ledgers in SAP.
  • Classic General Ledger (00)– The main purpose of the Classic GL is to prepare Financial Statements according to legal requirements (such as IFRS or GAAP).
  • Cost of Sales Ledger (0F) – In this ledger Costs are segregated based on functional areas such as production, administration, Sales etc.
  • Special Purpose Ledgers –These ledgers can be used and configured based on customer specific requirements.
  • Controlling Ledger (8A) –Transaction from FI to CO is posted in real time. However, transactions from CO to FI are not always posted in real time. For example, Allocation of cost from one company code or functional area to another company code or functional area will remain in reconciliation ledger. This needs to be periodically reconciled to FI by running reconciliation t-code.

Screen Layout – Field Status Group vs Posting Key

Field status can be controlled using Posting Key Field status as well as Field status Group assigned to G/L.

It would generally be advisable to keep field status optional in Posting Key and control fields using Field status Group. However, there might be scenarios where you would want to use Posting key (example you may want different field status based on debit and credit, in which case you would need to control field status using Posting key).

You will have to ensure that Field Statuses specified in Posting Key and Fields status group are compatible to each other. For example, assigning suppress and required for the same field will result in error.

Working day as Value date in AP

When you define value date in Bank determination config (OBVCU or FBZP), value date is calculated using daily calendar. So, value date can fall on weekend or holiday.

If you need to ensure that value date does not fall on weekend, you can make config in OBBA and OBBB transaction. You would need to use appropriate factory calendar. Value date will now be calculated using the mentioned factory calendar and not on daily calendar. You can make the value date calculation based on House bank, account id and payment method.


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