Nine Tips for Dealing with Zero Decimal Place Currencies

  • by Rohana Gunawardena, SAP Practice Director, Exium Inc.
  • February 15, 2004
The U.S. dollar, like many of the world's currencies including the euro, uses two decimal places, which - not surprisingly - is the default setting for R/3. When you roll out your SAP functionality across geographies, however, you may run in trouble coping with currencies with other decimal-place demands. The author provides tips to help you avoid mistakes when viewing or working with various currencies.

When configuring the SAP FI module for projects based in such countries as the United States, not much has to be done to accommodate the decimal places for the currency. The U.S. dollar (USD), like many of the world's currencies including the euro (EUR), uses two decimal places, which — not surprisingly — is the default setting for R/3. When you roll out your SAP functionality across geographies, however, you may run in trouble coping with currencies with other decimal-place demands.

I have found that users are generally unaware of how their SAP systems deal with various monies, or how to enable the functionalities available specifically for handling differing currencies. Often, when doing custom programming, many turn to clumsy — and unnecessary — solutions such as hard-coding currency codes or multiplying values by some factor, particularly when creating custom ABAP reports or using the ALV for reporting. To make matters worse, most users do not fully appreciate the possibilities of misinterpreting values for currencies such as the Japanese yen (JPY), South Korean won (KRW), and other currencies that require no decimal point, or the Kuwaiti dinar (KWD) and those that that need three or more decimal places.

Not paying attention to local currency requirements when setting up a system for doing business in a country like Japan can not only irritate or confuse your end users, it can result in miscalculated or misprinted invoices being sent to customers. If your R/3 configuration does not accommodate the yen, for example, it could result in a 100-fold error (see Figures 1 and 2).

Rohana Gunawardena

Rohana Gunawardena heads the SAP practice division at Exium Inc. Exium is a leading business and technology consulting firm that enables companies to achieve their strategic business goals. Exium specializes in delivering superior IT solutions using ERP systems, with a special focus on SAP products. Rohana has been working with SAP since 1992. During his career he has assisted multiple clients on detailed system correction projects, such as correcting inventory balances, controlling area reorganizations, retrospectively activating group currency, and optimizing inter-company accounting transactions. He has spoken at many SAP conferences and has published more than 20 articles in Financials Expert, SCM Expert, and SAPtips on various aspects of SAP. His presentations have focused on Financials module selection, the order-to-cash process, global rollouts, business segment reporting, cross-module integration, and the financial impact of SCM transactions. Rohana is widely acknowledged as a leading SAP expert. Rohana is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England & Wales. Previously Rohana has worked with the consulting practices of Accenture, Deloitte, and PwC.

Rohana will be presenting at the upcoming SAPinsider Financials 2017 conference, June 14-16, 2017, in Amsterdam. For information on this event, click here.

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