Leverage Trend Information from the SAP General Ledger Using Existing and Undocumented Functionality

  • by Justin Gurski, Dickinson & Associates, Inc.
  • September 12, 2011
Learn how to configure a comparative financial statement trend with one simple fiscal year and a period input variable using advanced Report Painter and Report Writer functionality, as well as some undocumented SAP functionality.
Key Concept
Since the ERP release on SAP’s NetWeaver Platform in 2005 along with the SAP General Ledger module, the underlying table structure has changed. It is now a hybrid Special Purpose Ledger with the addition of a totals table, as well as actual and plan line items table to summarize transactions and to facilitate transaction analysis. This architecture allows for the use of SAP’s Report Writer and Report Painter functionality to build real-time, function-rich reports from the SAP General Ledger. Report Painter and Report Writer functionality was unavailable on the General Ledger prior to the release of the SAP NetWeaver Platform.

Have you ever wondered how you can extract the wealth of information provided by the SAP General Ledger without having to deal with the logic limitations of the drill-down report utility Drilldown Reports (G/L Accounts), write custom ABAP/4 code, or extract non-real-time data to SAP NetWeaver Business Warehouse? Using Report Painter on the SAP General Ledger FAGLFLEXT table with some advanced and undocumented functions can bring you toward that end.

Report Painter is included in SAP’s Best Practices Building Blocks. SAP’s best practices consist of a broad range of implementation methodologies, preconfigured business scenarios, and ERP configuration guides that traverse multiple industries. Over the years, SAP, its customers, and its partners have developed and refined these best practices to make available the best solutions. These solutions are downloadable from SAP’s help portal, with the Report Painter and the Report Writer being recent additions.

To help you learn how to configure a comparative financial statement trend report (the report consists of a three-period backward balance sheet), I describe the steps to construct report components, demonstrate some undocumented functionality, and display the results:

  • Build a reporting library while describing how the SAP General Ledger architecture is a mirror of the old FI Special Purpose Ledger
  • Build in the Report Writer input and nested variables to calculate a backward trend
  • Copy the financial statement version into the FAGLFLEXT reporting table so that the Financial Statement Version can be used in the Report Painter report
  • Build and document the report structure
  • Create the report group with drill-down configuration
  • Show report results and drill down in the Microsoft Excel window

Justin Gurski

Justin Gurski has more than 17 years of experience implementing SAP solutions in the finance, controlling, and business intelligence areas. Prior to becoming an SAP consultant, Justin worked within various industries in finance, cost accounting operations, and system areas with increasing responsibility. He holds a CPA license, a BBA in accounting and management sciences, and an MBA in strategy and information systems.

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