Paul Ovigele, Ovigele Consulting
If you use the Travel Management module, then you probably know that in order for employee expenses to be posted to financial accounting, the personnel numbers of the employees should be assigned to vendor accounts. When you do so, the vendor account will be credited with the expense amount while the relevant expenses are debited to the general ledger accounts that correspond with the expense types that are entered in the Trip document.
The personnel number field is located in the ‘Accounting Information’ screen of the vendor master’s ‘Company Code Data’ section. If you have several employees in your company, updating this field for each vendor would be a cumbersome task which could require a custom upload program being created for this purpose. If you are not keen on taking this route, there are a few standard options that you can use which will accomplish the same purpose:
(1) Create an LSMW project: This can be created with a recording of transaction FK02 and specify fields LIFNR (Vendor account number), BUKRS (Company Code) and PERNR (Personnel Number) in the Source Structure. The only issue with using an LSMW is that it may not be a function that is available to end users. Also it could create major problems if used incorrectly or by an inexperienced person
(2) Use the mass maintenance function: This transaction can be accessed through transaction XK99. You would need to select table LFB1, enter the relevant vendor number range and company code(s) and execute the screen. You can then click on the ‘Select Fields’ button, pull in the personnel number and copy and paste the personnel numbers into the appropriate column for their respective vendors. One disadvantage of this approach is that you have to paste the values one page at a time, so depending on the number of employees in your organization it could be a tedious task.
(3) Use transaction FK02CORE: This transaction can be used specifically to assign personnel numbers to vendors. If users in your company are not allowed to perform general mass maintenance for all vendors and you only want to allow the mass update of personnel numbers, this is a good transaction to use. Simply click on ‘New Entries’ and enter the vendor number, company code and personnel number. However, just as with transaction XK99, you can only copy and paste the personnel numbers one page at a time.
(4) Create the Vendor Master directly from the HR record: To do this, you need to go to transaction PRAA. Enter the employees’ HR number in the ‘Personnel Number’ field (you can click on the ‘Multiple selection button to copy and paste multiple personnel numbers or ranges). Select the radio button ‘Initial setup’ in the ‘Maintenance mode’ section. You can then enter a reference vendor that the new vendor can be copied from. Make sure that this vendor uses internal and not external number assignment. You can then execute the transaction (initially in ‘Test run’) mode so that a batch input session is created, which you can process in transaction SM35. This is my recommended option as it is relatively easy to process for multiple personnel numbers without requiring much technical knowledge.
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.