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Secondary Cost Element Reporting in SAP General Ledger PCA

by Paul Ovigele

October 18, 2011

Paul Ovigele, Ovigele Consulting

During my live Q&A session on last week “What’s changed in Profit Center Accounting with SAP General Ledger?”, I was asked a great question by two of the attendees which related to the reporting of secondary cost elements in Profit Center Accounting (PCA) under the SAP General Ledger. As the functionalities of the SAP General Ledger such as  Segment Reporting and Document Splitting are focused more on getting more transparency in your balance sheet, it is easy to think that the profit and loss accounting aspect (which includes secondary cost elements) has somewhat been neglected. Since profit center accounting has been moved into the general ledger module, this has not only changed the navigation path to profit center transactions (which is now in the Financial Accounting area), but it also means that most of the transactions that existed in the Controlling area for PCA are no longer useable.

If you have activated the New General Ledger but you find that you can still display and execute all the transactions that exist in the Profit Center menu of the Controlling module, then it is probably because you have not deactivated the Profit Center component from your Controlling Area (transaction OKKP). It is recommended by SAP to deactivate this component after a time period so that you do not have increased data volumes due to the parallel updates in New GL (which should already have the profit center scenario activated) and Classic PCA.

However, if you use one of the SAP General Ledger reports such as with transaction S_PL0_86000028 for profit center reporting, you will lose some of the visibility of the postings to secondary cost elements. As one of the Q&A attendees pointed out, the FICO reconciliation account (which is the self-balancing account that is posted to when a cross-profit center posting is made) is usually a single account and does not tell the whole story with certain CO transactions such as assessments, overhead allocation, activity allocation, and so on. These transactions are captured in more detail with secondary cost elements, but secondary cost elements are not visible in most New G/L reports. The classic PCA reports which are found in the menu path “Accounting -> Controlling -> Profit Center Accounting -> Information System -> Reports for Profit Center Accounting -> Interactive Reporting” provided you with this visibility.

The equivalent reports in the SAP General Ledger which will show the secondary cost elements by profit center can be found in the following menu path (note that I am using release ERP 6.0 enhancement pack 4 in my example): Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> General Ledger -> Information System -> General Ledger Reports (New) – Reports for Profit Center Accounting (the transaction codes for these reports are in the range S_E38_98000088 to S_E38_98000091. You will find that these are very flexible drilldown reports that can be sorted by various characteristics such as a ccount number, cost element, segment, profit center, functional area and so on.

If you cannot find this menu path in your system, it means you have not activated the New GL business function. To do this go to transaction SFW5, open up the “Enterprise Business Functions” folder and activate the business function FIN_GL_CL_1.

For more infrormation 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.

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