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Speaker BadgeTom King recently retired from Milliken, a leading global manufacturer of specialty textiles, floor covering, and chemicals based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He was lead SAP CO analyst and has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing and product costing. Tom has published three SAP books with Espresso Tutorials:

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Speaker BadgeTom King recently retired from Milliken, a leading global manufacturer of specialty textiles, floor covering, and chemicals based in Spartanburg, South Carolina. He was lead SAP CO analyst and has more than 30 years of experience in manufacturing and product costing. Tom has published three SAP books with Espresso Tutorials:

-   Practical Guide to SAP CO Templates

-   SAP S/4HANA Product Cost Planning Configuration and Master Data

-   SAP S/4HANA Product Cost Planning Costing with Quantity Structure



SAP Fiori Apps for Variance Analysis in Manufacturing


SAP Fiori Apps for Variance Analysis in Manufacturing by Tom King


 Tom King will present on SAP Variance Analysis in S/4HANA at SAP Controlling 2022 Conference October 10-11, 2022.
Planned values on a production order are adjusted to the operating rate to calculate variances between target and actual costs.


With the introduction of SAP S/4HANA there have been many improvements in SAP Controlling including:


 - Cost elements are now included in General Ledger (GL) accounts with a cost element category.

 - SAP Material Ledger is mandatory. SAP Actual Costing is not mandatory.

 - SAP Margin Analysis based on account-based CO-PA now has advantages over costing-based CO-PA. All SAP development on profitability Analysis now takes place in SAP Margin Analysis.

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Cost Component Views in SAP Product Costing

TomKingI'm writing a book on SAP Product Cost Planning and in the process getting a better understanding of the importance of cost component views in product cost estimates.

The cost component split and cost component views provide valuable insight into a cost estimate. Setting up cost components correctly in a cost component structure leads you to a multi-faceted understanding of a product cost within a single cost estimate. At the beginning of the implementation our priority was to develop standard costs and we ignored additional information we could have obtained with a better understanding of cost component views.

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Moving to S/4HANA: Some Personal Thoughts About Controlling

Tom KingMy company is in the early stages of moving from ECC 6.0 to S/4HANA. I thought it would be interesting to give you my initial impressions of what I found out about Controlling in S/4HANA. Since we started out with ECC 6.0, we don’t have the baggage of things like classic G/L versus new G/L.

We first got access to an S/4HANA sandbox for a test drive of the system. This is an important step in the transition and has helped me get a much better understanding of how the new system works rather than reading documentation and watching training videos. What follows are my initial impressions. Hopefully, this will be useful if you are making the move, or contemplating it. 

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Activity Type Post Blog Series Final Recap

TomKingOver the last seven weeks expert Tom King has shared detailed information on SAP activity types . This blog post provides a recap and link to each post in the series.

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Activity Postings 7: Category 5 Activity Types and Posting

TomKingActivity type posting with category 5 (Target=actual allocation) works similarly to the category 2 activity type, but does not require an indirect activity allocation cycle in order to post the activity.

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Activity Postings 6: Category 4 Activity Types

TomKingCategory 4 activity types do not allow any sort of allocation. They are manually posted like category 1 and category 3 activity types. The activity stays in the cost center. Why have an activity type that cannot allocate costs between cost objects? Isn’t that the main purpose of the activity type?

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Activity Postings 5: Category 3 Activity Types

TomKingThe main takeaway from category 2 type activities in previous blogs is that the quantity of activity posted is calculated based on information derived from receiver cost objects.

What if you do know how much activity should be posted, but don’t want to manually determine how to allocate the posting to other cost objects?  That is where category 3 (manual entry, indirect allocation) activity types come in. 

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Activity Postings 4: Category 2 Activity Types and Posting – Part 2

TomKingIn previous blogs, we examined how to automate activity type postings with the indirect activity allocation cycle and category 2 activity types. We posted a statistical key figure to receiver cost centers to calculate the sender activity type quantities. This required some manual postings for the statistical key figure, but the calculation of the activity type quantity and the actual postings were automatic.

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Activity Postings 3: Category 2 Activity Types and Posting

TomKingCategory 2 activity types are for indirect determination and indirect allocation.


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Activity Postings 2: Category 1 Activity Types and Posting

TomKingLet's start with activity type category 1 (manual entry, manual allocation) which is the most common. Activity types defined with this category post directly from a cost center to a receiver cost object. Look at the definition of activity type CATEG1 as shown in Figure 1. In this case, Actl Acty Type Cat. (Actual Activity Type Category) is blank, which means it is the same as the plan activity type category, or 1 in this example.

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Activity Postings 1: Activity Types Overview

TomKingMy company began its journey with SAP in 2007. I was a charter member of the FICO team because of my work with product costing. The first item I encountered was the activity typeActivity types are not cost drivers, but instead allocate costs from cost centers to cost objects.

You create an activity type with transaction KL01 and assign a unit of measure to describe the purpose of the activity as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1 Create Activity Type Basic Data Tab

In this example, we assign KWH for electricity consumption, or you could assign HR for machine hours.

You next assign a secondary cost element type 43 (internal activity allocation) as shown in Figure 2. 

Figure 2 Assign Secondary Cost Element

A cost is identified with the cost element, crediting the sender cost center and debiting the receiver cost object.

You next assign an AType (Activity Type) category as shown in Figures 3 and 4.   


Figure 3 AType Category 1


Figure 4 AType Category 2

The category defines the method you use for planning as described in the red text.

You enter the Price indicator as shown in Figures 5 and 6.

Figure 5 Price Indicator 1

The price indicator determines if the actual value is calculated based on actual cost element postings as described in red text.

Figure 6 Price Indicator 5

Now that we've defined activity types, let's look at the behaviour of each actual allocation activity category in the following blogs. Since these blogs are about activity type posting, we'll assume all planning is manual. We'll explore each of the 5 categories in detail.

Next blog: Activity Postings 2: Category 1 Activity Types and Posting

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