Account for Time Zone Differences So That They Do Not Affect Your Global Close

  • by Rohana Gunawardena, SAP Practice Director, Exium Inc.
  • January 15, 2004
When a global company has a period-end close, a great deal of coordination needs to occur among the independent locations to make sure that tight deadlines are met. The author provides eight tips to prevent misunderstandings that can occur because of timing differences when you have offices in more than one time zone.

When a global company has a period-end close, a great deal of coordination needs to occur among the independent locations to make sure that tight deadlines are met. Often, month-end issues and misunderstandings occur because of timing differences, including confusion over:

  • When close activities should be performed

  • Timing of batch job start times

  • Reading timestamps for SAP transactions

  • When a report output was created
Let’s look at an example of the confusion created by lack of clarity as to when reports and batch jobs were run in an organization with users in multiple time zones: A regional analyst calls the head office saying a report is wrong. The regional office has created a Report Writer extract, and it looks as if an allocation run has not completed. The head office investigates, looks at the batch job, and sees that it did complete. The head office runs the report and everything is all right. What happened? The regional site ran the report before the allocation run completed. However, the Report Writer report shows the local time in the header, and it looks as if the report ran after the allocation run.

Rohana Gunawardena

Rohana Gunawardena heads the SAP practice division at Exium Inc. Exium is a leading business and technology consulting firm that enables companies to achieve their strategic business goals. Exium specializes in delivering superior IT solutions using ERP systems, with a special focus on SAP products. Rohana has been working with SAP since 1992. During his career he has assisted multiple clients on detailed system correction projects, such as correcting inventory balances, controlling area reorganizations, retrospectively activating group currency, and optimizing inter-company accounting transactions. He has spoken at many SAP conferences and has published more than 20 articles in Financials Expert, SCM Expert, and SAPtips on various aspects of SAP. His presentations have focused on Financials module selection, the order-to-cash process, global rollouts, business segment reporting, cross-module integration, and the financial impact of SCM transactions. Rohana is widely acknowledged as a leading SAP expert. Rohana is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Previously Rohana has worked with the consulting practices of Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC.

Rohana will be presenting at the upcoming SAPinsider Financials 2017 conference, June 14-16, 2017, in Amsterdam. For information on this event, click here.

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