Sets Can Satisfy Your Financial Reporting Requirements While Minimizing Maintenance

  • by Balachandra Prathi, Consultant
  • January 12, 2012
When you need a structured report for regulatory and statutory reporting, consider using a method based on creating data sets in SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC). It is more flexible and requires less maintenance than the traditional approach of creating a hierarchy/financial statement version in SAP ECC using transaction OB58 and then loading it to SAP NetWeaver BW using the standard business content extractor.
Key Concept

A set groups data to define data hierarchies. A set links together specific values or ranges of values under a set name. These values exist within one or more characteristics (e.g., general ledger account) of a database table. You can use sets to group together values within a particular characteristic. Creating a set is basically creating building blocks for a set hierarchy with different levels of information.

General ledger (GL) reporting using the standard financial statement version (FSV) of a company’s chart of accounts is a standard practice. An FSV of the GL hierarchy is a significant part of any regulatory and statutory reporting (to some extent operational reporting too). The most critical factor for regulatory and statutory reports is that they be presented in a more structured approach than operational or general reports. Any company having a standard FSV across the organization using this GL hierarchy does not completely satisfy SAP NetWeaver BW reporting requirements using the traditional one in transaction OB58.

The traditional approach requires creating the FSV in SAP ERP Central Component (SAP ECC) and then extracting it to SAP NetWeaver BW using standard extractors. It has major drawbacks from a reporting standpoint in that it: 

  • Is not flexible in terms of changes to the accounts structure, which requires a transport all the time
  • Cannot reuse GL accounts multiple times
  • Requires additional maintenance in SAP NetWeaver BW using link node
  • Needs manual intervention to fix errors
  • Affects service level agreements for data load completion

Any change to the FSV in the form of removing existing accounts, creating new accounts, or changing the structural format affects the link nodes (ID) on the SAP NetWeaver BW side. (The link node ID concept is beyond the scope of this article.) This is an inevitable and never-ending task affecting the ability of the business to submit reports on time.

Another method is based on the data sets created in SAP ECC by cloning the standard extractor. These sets are primarily used by process and functional teams to validate data using Report Painter.

A custom extractor approach using the set concept on the similar lines of a standard extractor is an easier approach. It becomes particularly significant when a business needs a structured report. The set concept provides the following benefits:

Balachandra Prathi

Balachandra Prathi is an SAP NetWeaver BW and SAP BusinessObjects consultant with more than seven years of full life cycle implementation experience in different business areas. For the last few years, he has worked in the financial services area.

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