One-Time Ship-to Customer Data Is More Accurate When You Use CO-PA Global USERTEMP Fields

  • by George Colburn, Principal Consultant, SAP
  • September 15, 2006
Capturing the correct ship-to address information for profitability analysis can make all the difference to your profitability reporting and operational sales analysis. USERTEMP fields can ensure that your key performance indicators reflect true sales activity and business decisions around key countries, regions, and cities — even with one-time ship-to changes.
Key Concept

SAP provides eight global USERTEMP fields for temporary storage of characteristic derivation rule values. You can use these temporary derivation values in more sophisticated derivation steps or when a task requires multiple derivation steps. For example, you can use them to determine an end characteristic value — a frequent occurrence since you must read each SAP table involved in a derivation individually, and often several tables are linked through complex data relationships. Every SAP table contains key fields that read the other data fields in the table. Storing temporary values for these key fields often can be useful. These fields open the door to the rest of the data contained in the table. You can use several USERTEMP fields for a single derivation or, since each USERTEMP field is 32 characters long, you can divide a single USERTEMP field into multiple segments. You then can call on the derivation rule to store the extracted value in only a portion of the total characters. An SAP system always reads tables starting with the character position of zero.

As standard functionality, an SAP system does not update the KNA1 (general data in customer master) table when a user makes one-time changes to a customer ship-to address on a sales order. Instead, the system tags the sales order header with an address key that points to another table, which stores the details of the one-time address change. The same thing happens when you enter ship-to address information for one-time customers in a sales order.

This means that when you try to extract this information from the sales order, the information is not there, or the system extracts incorrect information from the KNA1 table regarding the ship-to party. In my experience, given the impact on profitability reporting of ship-to country, region, and city, incorrect or inaccurate information could present a false profitability view of the reports, leading to bad business decisions. I’ll show you a method to make that information available and then I’ll explain how to validate the configuration. I used mySAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 5.0 for the derivation, but it also works in R/3. First I’ll give you some background information about the derivation process.

George Colburn

George Colburn has been a business software consultant for 22 years with experience as a systems analyst, software developer, trainer, and project manager. He has worked with SAP America for the last 10 years as a principal consultant focusing in CO – Cost Center Accounting, Profit Center Accounting, Internal Order Management, Profitability Analysis, Product Costing, and Report Writer/Painter.

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