An Invaluable Real-World Performance Tip They Don't Teach Implementation Teams and Designers in CO-PA Class: "Characteristic Group"

  • by Tony Rogan, Consultant, SAP America
  • January 15, 2002
The most common "Characteristics" that report readers like to have associated with revenue or cost data in CO-PA include Product #s, Customer #s, Sales Representatives ID #s, and Locations. But depending on the kind of revenue or cost that is being updated to CO-PA, there may be a business need to record other "Characteristics" at the same time. Or, perhaps end users are populating too many Characteristics in source transactions that require manual entry of Characteristics values. This article explains how such cases can be managed with consistency by creating and maintaining (in the CO-PA configuration) rules in a "Characteristic Group," which can then be enforced during attempts to update a particular revenue or cost in CO-PA.

The CO-PA module usually acts as a "Gross Margin" analysis tool, rather than as a full-blown "Earnings-Before-Interest-and-Taxes" ledger. But, regardless of how your particular site uses it, each CO-PA debit or credit entry will have two — and only two — parts to it:

  • The "Who/What/Where," or "Characteristics" part of the entry.
  • The "How Much Quantity or Money," or "Key Figures" part of the entry.1

"Characteristics" vs. "Key Figures"

The most common "Characteristics" that report readers like to have associated with the profit-related (revenue or cost) data in CO-PA include Product #s, Customer #s, Sales Representatives ID #s, and Locations (such as Shipped From and Shipped To cities and countries).

Tony Rogan

Tony Rogan is a certified FI/CO consultant at SAP with eight years of SAP consulting experience. He began his SAP career with a Big 5 consulting firm and over the years has worked in various industries, including utilities, non-profit, high-tech, consumer goods, and process manufacturing. Tony’s expertise lies in the Financial and Controlling modules, with emphasis on Cost Center Accounting, Profitability Analysis, Internal Orders, Profit Center Accounting, Special Purpose Ledger, Project Systems, and Product Costing. He also has experience working with Enterprise Consolidations, LIS, and Business Information Warehouse.

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