Decoding Sales Order Statuses in Financial Reporting

  • by David Burns, Owner and Managing Partner, Prime, LLC
  • July 30, 2014
Exactly what controls the status indicators of a sales order? Follow a step-by-step order-to-cash process and see exactly when and how sales order statuses are set in sales and distribution.
Learning Objectives

By reading this article, you will learn how to:

  • View document statuses at each stage of the order-to-cash process
  • Accurately filter data in reports using statuses
  • Enhance your use of standard and custom reports by integrating document flow
Key Concept

Document status fields are coded to represent the current state of a document. They are single-length character data elements (i.e., fields), and at any point in time, contain one of four values: not relevant (a blank field), not yet processed (A), partially processed (B), and completely processed (C). In sales and distribution (SD), document status fields are in the STATV domain. Their sheer number can be daunting. In SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 6.0, enhancement package 7, there are 90 standard data elements in the STATV domain. These statuses are scattered throughout various SD documents and tables, and significant logic is built into standard SAP code to maintain them. The logic behind the code can be complex, leaving the door open to misinterpretation or, even worse, development errors.

Reporting on the status of SAP sales orders is, in some cases, not as straightforward as it may seem. Whether you use standard or custom reports, SAP document statuses are essential to receiving complete and accurate financial data necessary for reporting on sales revenue, backlog, open orders, production planning, and more. A variety of standard SD reports are available for a specific process step, such as picking, delivery, or billing. The challenge becomes greater, however, when the requirement is to report all sales orders at a specific demarcation point; for example, reporting sales backlog or producing a report on open sales orders and their current statuses. Often, custom reports are developed to fulfill these requirements without a comprehensive understanding of document statuses and their triggers. To use document statuses appropriately, it’s essential to understand what each represents, their relationship to one another, and how they change.

I explain how to decode SD document statuses to demonstrate when and how they work. I include tips to assist in the practical application of this knowledge in financial reporting. A basic understanding of the order-to-cash process and SD tables is needed. However, even if you have a limited knowledge of SD, I provide you with a greater understanding of document statuses and their application and interpretation.

In the order-to-cash process, follow-on process steps (e.g., goods issue) play a critical role. In SD, these steps are also referred to as subsequent functions. I emphasize not only the status of the sales order document but also the entirety of processing statuses in the document chain.

Tips on how to use and understand document statuses are included in the sidebar “Your Order-to-Cash Toolkit.”

Stepping Through the Order-to-Cash Process 

I explain document statuses step by step through the order-to-cash process. Because of the large number of statuses, emphasis is placed on those most relevant to financial reporting (i.e., processing statuses).

The order-to-cash process begins with a customer placing an order. In this example, the first step is to create a sales order. A sales order may be preceded by a purchase order, but, for simplicity, I do not explain the process for creating purchase orders. The sales order contains a plethora of information stored in separate tables. Two examples are table VBAK, which stores header data, and table VBAP, which stores line items. 

David Burns

David Burns is owner and managing partner of Prime, LLC. David has specialized in SAP Financials since 1998. Since founding Prime, LLC in 2008, he focuses on techno-functional consulting on a cross-modular basis, with a special emphasis on SAP configuration optimization and FI integration.

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