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Activity Postings 6: Category 4 Activity Types and Posting

TomKingCategory 4 activity types are unique in that they do not allow any sort of allocation at all.  They are manually posted like category 1 and category 3 activity types, but that is the extent of it.  The activity stays in the cost center.  You might be saying to yourself, “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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Webinar Announcement - Myths vs. Fact: SAP Material Ledger in SAP S/4HANA Presented by Rogerio Faleiros


Reserve your place now for a webinar on on Myth vs. Fact: SAP Material Ledger in SAP S/4HANA presented by Rogerio Faleiros.

July 27 at 1:00 PM EST

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All About the Controlling 2017 Conference – Meeting with Conference Organizers Recording Now Available


ControllingTeamRecently members of the SAP Controlling Community gathered for a virtual meeting with Controlling 2017 conference organizers. In this interactive meeting intended for individuals who have not attended the Controlling Conference previously, participants had the opportunity to meet the conference team, learn more about how to get the most out of the event, and ask questions. 

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Webinar Registration Open: SAP S/4HANA Finance – From Batch to Real-Time


Reserve your place now for a webinar on SAP S/4HANA Finance – From Batch to Real-Time presented by Janet Salmon and Birgit Oettinger, SAP SE.

June 29 at 9:00 AM PST/12:00 PM EST

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Activity Postings 5: Category 3 Activity Types and Posting

TomKingWe have gone into a lot of detail on how indirect activity allocation cycles work with category 2 (indirect determination, indirect allocation) are used.  The main takeaway from category 2 type activities is that the quantity of activity posted is calculated based on information derived from the receiver cost objects.  You either don’t know or find it difficult to determine how much activity should be posted.  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. 

To continue on with my dessert analogy, this is more like vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce: still good, but not quite the same thing as a sundae! With category 3 activity types, you have to make a “one-way” activity posting.  The determination of the receiver cost objects and the allocations is performed using the indirect activity allocation cycle (KSC5), just like with category 2 activities.  Our category 3 activity type is CATEG3.


To help understand the differences between category 3 and category 2 allocations, I have used the same planning setup for both.  120,000 units of CATEG3 is planned for cost center SND3, with $900,000 planned for the year.  The three receiving cost centers are RCV3A, RCV3B, and RCV3C.  The activity plan and allocation of CATEG3 from the support cost center SND3 is as follows:

• RCV3A: MACHHR – 8,000 HR and 50,000 units of CATEG3 allocated

• RCV3B: MACHHR – 16,000 HR and 30,000 units of CATEG3 allocated

• RCV3C: MACHHR – 24,000 HR and 40,000 units of CATEG3 allocated

This means that all 120,000 units of CATEG3 have been allocated from cost center SND3 to these three cost centers.  Now that the above planning is complete, we will turn to the creation of the indirect activity allocation cycle using transaction KSC1.  This cycle has one segment which is defined to calculate amount of the posted sender activity to allocate to each of the receiver cost centers.  The quantity of MACHHR activity posted in each of the receiver cost centers is the determining factor for the allocation.  Posted Quantities is selected as the sender rule.  Note that when Posted Quantities is selected, there is no Sender Values tab.  This is because the sender activity quantity will be manually posted using transaction KB51N and will not be calculated when running the cycle.


As before, the sender/receiver relationship is defined in the Senders/Receivers tab.


The receiving activity type is defined on the Receiver Tracing Factor tab.  However, in this case the quantity of the MACHHR activity will be used to calculated the relative quantity of CATEG3 to allocate to each of the receiving cost centers based on the weighting factors assigned to each receiver.


The weighting factors for this allocation will again be calculated based on the rate of consumption of the planned allocation of the sender activity (CATEG3) for each receiver activity type. 

• RCV3A: 50,000 CATEG3 / 8,000 MACHHR = 6.25

• RCV3B: 30,000 CATEG3 / 16,000 MACHHR = 1.875

• RCV3C: 40,000 CATEG3 / 24,000 MACHHR = 1.666667

If we look at the calculation for RCV3A, this would mean that we are planning to use 6.25 units of CATEG3 from cost center SND3 for each hour of MACHHR that is posted in RCV3A.  This time, however, these factors will only be used to determine how the manually posted quantity of CATEG3 will be allocated when all three receiver cost centers have been taken into account. As before, the weighting factors in the cycle must be whole numbers and the divisor is set to 1,000,000 to avoid rounding.


During period 4 (April), 500 hours of MACHHR was posted in RCV3A, 700 in RCV3B, and 1,200 in RCV3C.  The Cost Center Actual/Target/Variance report looks like this for each of the four cost centers (including SND3).  In addition, 8,500 units of CATEG3 activity have occurred in cost center SND3. First, it is necessary to post the CATEG3 activity in SND3.  This is done using transaction KB51N.  KB51N acts like KB21N, except that it is not possible to assign a receiving cost object.  Category 3 activity types are indirectly allocated using the indirect activity allocation.


Now that the activity has been reported, it’s time to look at the cost center target/actual/variance report for the four cost centers.  Note that targets are generated for SND3 because the activity has been posted.  However, the cost for CATEG3 has not been credited, because the allocation has not been executed yet.


The behavior of the one-way posting aspect of category 3 activity types is demonstrated here. Looking at the 3 receiver cost centers, we can see that the targets generated by the posting of the MACHHR activity type are the exact same as we saw in the category 2 example of the receiver cost centers.  Compare the pre-allocation RCV3A with the pre-allocation RCV2D in the previous category 2 example.


RCV3B looks like RCV2E


and RCV3C looks like RCV2F.


The allocation of the costs from the sender cost center is accomplished using the indirect activity allocation cycle ACT3.


The report that is generated shows that a total of 8,500 units of CATEG3 has been allocated to the three receiving cost centers.  This is the amount that was posted with KB51N.


Before we look at the results of the allocation, let’s understand how the calculation was done for the amount of activity allocated to each receiver.  We first need to calculate the actual weighting factors for each cost center.  We will use the weighting factors from the allocation and multiply by the amount of receiver activity in each cost center.

• RCV3A – 6.25 x 500 = 3,125

• RCV3B – 1.875 x 700 = 1,312.5

• RCV3C – 1.666667 x 1,200 = 2,000

Adding the three weights together gives a value of 6,437.5.  The 8,500 units of activity CATEG3 will then be allocated based on the above calculated portions.

• RCV3A – 3,125 / 6,437.5 x 8,500 = 4,126.214

• RCV3B – 1,312.5 / 6,437.5 x 8,500 = 1,733.01

• RCV3C – 2,000 / 6,437.5 x 8,500 = 2,640.776

After running the cycle, we now see that the sender cost center SND3 now has the credit for the activity posting assigned to cost element 943903.


In the previous category 2 allocation example, the secondary cost element posts in the receiver cost centers matched the target costs.  That is because the quantity of activity was calculated to match the target.  Since we are independently posting the quantity of sender activity in this example, the targets won’t likely match up.  We can see this is RCV3A,




and RCV3C.


Since we previously demonstrated the effect of running KSII for activity types that allow revaluation to actual, we will not demonstrate this here.  A good question at this point would be why use category 3 activities for allocation?  For category 2 activity types, we either didn’t care that the exact amount of sender activity was posted or there was no good way to determine how much activity to post.  The indirect activity allocation cycle calculated that for us.  With category 3 activity types, we explicitly know and can post the amount of sender activity and we want to have the system do the allocation instead of us having to manually determine how much activity would go to each receiver. In my next post, I will be switching gears away from the indirect activity allocation postings to look at category 4 activity types (manual posting, no allocation).

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SAP Indirect Access - Is it a Bad Business Move?

IMG 0524Guest blog post by our partners at Michael Management Corporation.

By now most of you have heard of the SAP indirect access case. And you know the result. In SAP and Diageo Great Brittan Limited, Diageo was found liable for indirect access through Salesforce. Our SAP Access customers are certainly concerned about this issue. Let’s take a look.

The court said in part, “The plain and obvious meaning of the above provisions is that only Named Users are authorised to use or access the mySAP ERP software.” And “Only Named Users are authorised to use or access the mySAP ERP software directly or indirectly.”

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SAP Templates Video Blog



Never tried SAP templates because you think they are too complex? Watch this demo from the Controlling 2016 conference on templates in SAP.

This demo covers how to:

- Create a template

- Execute a template

- Check the results

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Webinar Recording Now Available: Best practices to leverage SAP data for forward-looking business simulations Presented by Matthew Smith, President & CEO, 3C Software


The Operational Transfer Pricing Analytics webinar recording, presented by Matthew Smith, President & CEO, 3C Software, is now available.

Do you need help answering the one question every CFO really wants to know – “How will this change affect my P&L?” Hear how companies leverage SAP data and other sources to establish a robust business simulation platform that shows costs and profits at every business dimension.

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

TomKingPreviously, we discovered how to automate activity type postings using the indirect activity allocation cycle and category 2 activity types.  The example chosen was to use a statistical key figure which was posted to the receiver cost centers as the means for calculating the sender activity type quantities.  This still required some manual postings for the statistical key figure, but the calculation of the activity type quantity and the actual postings were handled automatically when running the cycle.

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How to get approval to attend an SAP conference

ConferenceNetworking400Attending conferences is one of the best and most cost-effective ways to get training and excel at your job, so why is it so hard to get approval? With tight training budgets, employees have to make a solid case to get approval to attend an SAP conference. The key is putting together a strong proposal that clearly defines the benefits to your organization, to your professional training plan, and the expected costs. Here are a 4 key pieces of information to include in your proposal:

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