Product Drilldown Information System Provides User-Friendly Reporting on Production Order Cost Accounting

  • by Kurt Goldsmith, Senior Business Consultant, Enowa Consulting
  • June 15, 2003
When compared to R/3's ready-to-use inventory accounting reports, the options for PO cost accounting are not as friendly. As of Release 4.0A, though, your R/3 system comes delivered with an extra costing database made just for accountants that you can activate, populate, and report off quite easily. Called Product Drilldown Information System, it resembles PA's Report Painter report in the way users interact with it.

One of the most common complaints that I hear from accountants about R/3’s standard reporting is that it is weak in regards to the Production Planning (PP) module. All those production orders each month, with all those potential data-entry errors—goods issues, labor confirmations, subcontracted services, and so forth. Even ignoring that, analyzing at month-end which resources went into the making of which semi-finished and finished goods, as a way to explain why gross margins were higher or lower than expected, is a task that too often requires custom-made reports.

Agreed. When compared to R/3’s ready-to-use inventory accounting reports, the options for production order cost accounting are not as friendly. They do, however, seem to fascinate monkeys and chimpanzees for hours. As of Release 4.0A, though, your R/3 system comes delivered with an extra PP module costing database made just for us accountants that you can activate, populate, and report off quite easily. However, I see few sites actually using it. Although your users interact with it in a similar way to how they interact with a Profitability Analysis Report Painter report, the functionality for PP cost accounting has the somewhat confusing name of “Product Drilldown Information System.”

If you have never seen this functionality, you can become a lot more familiar with it in the next few pages. I’ll start with a quick demonstration of what it does from an end user’s perspective. Next, I’ll list the basic steps for turning it on. Finally, I’ll identify what I think are some important points to understand for anyone who “owns” the responsibility to keep it working after activation.

Kurt Goldsmith

Kurt Goldsmith is a senior business consultant for Enowa Consulting, specializing in the diagnosis and resolution of productivity-related integration issues between a company’s division of labor (end users, managers, executives) and SAP software (R/3, BW, APO, CRM). He also has a lifetime performance record of one win and two third-place finishes from five career starts as a thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

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