Paul Ovigele, Ovigele Consulting
If you plan to consolidate your financial reports within the SAP ERP system, the only option that you have is to use the Enterprise Controlling Consolidation System (EC-CS) module. The other two options for consolidation Strategic Enterprise Management Business Consolidation System (SEM-BCS) and Business Objects Planning and Consolidation (SAP BPC) exist in separate environments, where the data from the ERP system needs to be extracted into.
While the EC-CS module does not contain some of the robust analytical features of its counterparts, it does have the advantage of being updated in real-time, particularly if you are using the “Realtime update from FI” data transfer method. As the name indicates, this means that one a document is posted in financial accounting; it is immediately updated in the EC-CS. I will set out a few of the key steps (over two blogs) to be taken to ensure that this real-time update occurs seamlessly between both modules.
Firstly you would need to copy a consolidation unit from a company. Now, a consolidation unit is a key organizational unit in the EC-CS system which represents the smallest element of a group structure for which a full consolidation can take place. It is usually the reflection of the company code in the financial accounting module. There are two main ways to create a consolidation unit:
The first way is by creating it directly, which involves going to the following configuration menu path (transaction SPRO): Enterprise Controlling -> Consolidation -> Master Data -> Organization Units -> Consolidation Units -> Maintain Consolidation Units Individually. You can then double-click on “Create Consolidation Unit”, enter a name for the consolidation unit and fill out the relevant fields such as country, language, address, data collection method, and so on.
The second way to create consolidation units is by copying it from a company (a "Company" is an organizational unit that represents a business organization according to the laws of a country. It is not to be confused with a “Company Code”). Before you do this you need to have created the company using transaction OX15, and assigned the company to the relevant company code (usually on a one-to-one basis) using transaction OX16. You would then need to go to the following configuration menu path: Enterprise Controlling -> Consolidation -> Master Data -> Organization Units -> Consolidation Groups -> Maintain Hierarchies.
Note that a consolidation group hierarchy is simply a structure that groups consolidation units (or companies) into logical reporting structures. You can then double-click on “Maintain Consolidation Group Hierarchy” and in the subsequent screen you can click on the consolidation hierarchy group where you want to insert your consolidation unit. Each consolidation unit needs to belong to a consolidation group. You can create the consolidation group by simply clicking on the “Create” button and entering a name and description of the group. You then select the group and click on the button “Companies” and in the pop-up box enter the company which is linked to the company code that you want the consolidation group to represent. You can then hit the ‘Execute’ button and save your entries, and you will see that the company (and its details) will now be inserted into your consolidation group hi erarchy.
For more information on how to optimize your SAP Financials landscape, I've put together my top tips in the book 100 Things You Should Know About Financial Accounting with SAP which is published by SAP Press.