Comply with Sarbanes-Oxley Regulations by Locking Posting Periods in CO-PA

  • by Jeffrey Holdeman, Product Specialist, SAP
  • May 15, 2007
Discover how to use the Profitability Analysis (CO-PA) valuation enhancement to lock posting periods against changes in CO-PA data. See also how this solution helps meet Sarbanes-Oxley compliance for internal controls on CO-PA reporting.
Key Concept

Valuation is a key capability of costing-based Profitability Analysis (CO-PA) that the system uses to automatically fill value fields based on several available methods of calculation. Valuation with material cost estimates allows you to add the fixed and variable cost-of-goods-manufactured of the products sold in billing documents that are transferred to CO-PA. Valuation using the condition technique allows you to use conditions and costing sheets to calculate estimated values needed for analyzing profitability that are not captured at the time of the original source document posting, such as sales commissions or freight costs. You can implement your own valuation logic with custom-defined ABAP program routines. The custom-defined routine known as the CO-PA valuation enhancement is explained here to demonstrate one innovative use.

Usually in a productive SAP ERP system, the G/L administrator ensures that only the current financial posting period is open for posting, while all other posting periods are closed. At the end of a posting period, the period is closed, and the next posting period is opened. An exception to this rule occurs during the time frame of the financial closing activities, when both the prior and current posting periods are open. This period-locking concept is a fundamental capability of any accounting system to prevent transactions from posting to past and future periods. It provides users of financial data an assurance of consistency and integrity of the reported data that they can use for comparative analysis and decision making.

Companies often use CO-PA to support sales quantity reporting by segment in their public financial disclosures. Companies are increasingly applying Sarbanes-Oxley rules for internal controls to all areas of financial reporting, even management reporting, such as that offered by CO-PA. Based on feedback SAP Consulting received from customers on Sarbanes-Oxley-related audits of their SAP systems, an internal control risk for CO-PA data has been exposed. Because SAP Development has not yet provided a fix in the standard system to address the gap through a Support Package, I developed the following CO-PA enhancement for a customer to satisfy its auditors for Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. I’ll explain the CO-PA valuation enhancement, beginning with four customizing steps. Then I’ll show you some programming you’ll need so you can lock your CO-PA data. I set up my examples within an SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 6.0 IDES solution using operating concern IDEA; however, the same solution is applicable in R/3.

Before I explain the valuation enhancement, I’ll look into a couple of different ways you can lock or unlock posting periods, and how they relate to my process.

Jeffrey Holdeman

Jeffrey Holdeman joined the SAP BusinessObjects Regional Implementation Group (RIG) for Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) in 2007. He works as a product specialist in SAP BusinessObjects Profitability and Cost Management and SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation. In March 2009, he celebrated with his customer the first ever go-live on SAP BusinessObjects Planning and Consolidation, version for SAP NetWeaver. Previously, Jeff worked for 10 years at SAP America, Inc. as a principal applications consultant where he was a key contributor and impact player in the success of nine customer SAP ERP/BW go-lives, including all aspects of project lifecycles. He is a nationally known expert in CO-PA and was the past national practice leader for SEM. Jeff has an MBA degree from The Ohio State University and a BS cum laude degree with high honors in finance from Butler University.

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