Ask the SAP Financials Expert: Show the Correct Text in Report Painter/Writer Reports in the Drill-Down Level

  • by Mitresh Kundalia, Director — SAP Practice, Quality Systems & Software
  • July 15, 2005
Use a characteristic text variable to drill down in a cost center report and see the text that goes with the new cost center.

Dear SAP Financials Expert,

We are heavy users of Report Painter and Report Writer reports. Cost center reports are widely used in our organization. Many of our reports have selection criteria for cost center and cost center groups. For example, business users can choose the part of the organization for which they want to display overhead. Accordingly, the cost center group is a part of the selection criteria. Users can choose the range of cost centers or cost center groups and drill down to various levels using the variations functionality.

Within the report design, we have used report texts to display various selection parameters on the report header. That way we know with which parameters the report was executed. For our cost center reports, we have a text variable to show the cost center group the users entered.

The specific problem I have is: The report header shows the cost center group chosen at the time of report execution. However, as I just mentioned, many times we drill down to further levels for more analysis. The report totals for drilled-down levels are correct, but it still shows the text of the original cost center group. It does not show the cost center group of the current drill-down level. This is confusing to users, because the text is incorrect.

Is there a way to choose the cost center group dynamically, depending on the current level of drill-down?

—IT Manager, California

I am glad to know that you have been making good use of text variables. Not only do your reports look much more professional, but they are also more informative and useful. It is always a good idea to display basic information on the report, such as the name and description of the report, who ran it, run date, and other information about the selection parameters entered by the user.

Your question refers to the text variables used within Report Painter or Report Writer reports. So that I can explain the solution, let me demonstrate the situation with an example. Say you execute a report with selection criteria for a cost center group and your cost center group is as shown in Figure 1. Cost center groupMFG-GROUP consists of two subgroups, PLANT-1 and PLANT-2. Cost centers 1000, 2000, and 3000 are assigned to PLANT-1, whereas cost centers 7000, 8000, and 9000 are assigned to PLANT- 2.

Mitresh Kundalia

Mitresh Kundalia heads the SAP practice at Quality Systems & Software (, a consulting firm specializing in SAP S/4HANA, SAP General Ledger, and complex System Landscape Optimization (SLO)-type reorganizations. Mitresh is widely acknowledged as a leading SAP expert, with multiple publications and an SAP-PRESS book to his credit. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and white papers, and he has given presentations at various SAP conferences and events. Mitresh is the chief solutions architect of General Ledger Migration Optimizer (GLMO), a leading product to accelerate and jump-start the SAP S/4HANA and SAP General Ledger initiatives; SAP Data Reorganization Optimizer (SDRO), an SLO-type product for managing complex system landscape reorganizations; and Group Currency Activation and Conversion (GCAC), a product suite to manage introduction of parallel currencies and conversion of data in a live SAP system.

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