Prevent Errors by Using Excel-Based Planning in CO

  • by Akhilesh Mittal, Lead Consultant, Infosys Technologies Ltd.
  • March 15, 2008
Eliminate the manual entry step from the planning process in the SAP Controlling module by implementing a direct upload of your data using Microsoft Excel. This method prevents the errors that can occur when planning data is keyed into your SAP system manually.
Key Concept

You need to maintain planning data for cost objects in the Controlling module in your SAP system for quantity and prices. You create planning data in the SAP system for a fiscal period before posting a transaction to that fiscal period. SAP provides the flexibility to integrate Microsoft Excel for entering planning data. You can either manually enter the data into an Excel look-alike interface in the SAP system or maintain the data manually in Excel and then upload it to your SAP system. The Excel integration functionality does not come activated by default in an SAP installation. Instead, you need to carry out the necessary configuration setup.

In the Controlling (CO) module, you create planning data in the SAP system and compare it to actual cost data so you can analyze the variances. SAP provides separate transaction codes for planning for cost objects, such as KP26 for cost center/activity type planning or CP26 for business process planning. With the configuration I’ll show you, you can integrate Microsoft Excel functionality with your SAP system. You then can use data in Excel and upload it directly into your SAP system using these transaction codes after you maintain the required configuration. You could activate Excel integration for any of the transactions, but you should adjust the planning layouts for them to note that you intend to gather data via Excel.

You must maintain the planning transactions in CO manually on a periodic basis. Manual maintenance is time consuming and prone to errors when users enter the planning data into the SAP system. Most organizations use Excel as the primary tool for planning. Users manually carry out planning in Excel and then the planning data undergoes various approval processes to ensure that it is accurate and correct. Excel-based planning builds on the data in the Excel workbook during the planning exercise for direct upload into the SAP system. Direct Excel upload saves time and is also less error prone because it eliminates the step of manually entering data.

I will take you through the necessary steps to maintain the required configuration for Excel integration in your SAP system in two sections: define the layout and define the planning profile. The layout provides a structure in which you can store planning data in the Excel sheet. After you’ve defined it, you assign it to the planning profile so you can upload Excel files directly into your SAP system. I’m using cost center/activity type planning to demonstrate planning using Excel because this transaction is widely used to maintain activity rates in the manufacturing and maintenance environment.

There is little or no information available related to Excel integration functionality in CO and the information in this article is based on my experience. My example uses screenprints and examples from SAP ERP Central Component (ECC) 6.0 but the functionality works for any SAP release.

Akhilesh Mittal

Akhilesh Mittal is a lead SAP consultant at Infosys Technologies Ltd. with eight years of consulting and industry experience. He has experience in FI and CO along with exposure to SD. Akhilesh is currently a consultant in the SAP space for a leading organization in the high technology domain. He has a degree in electronics and communication engineering from IIT Guwahati and an MBA in finance and systems from IIM Lucknow.

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