Take the Guesswork Out of Making Asset Changes

  • by Nathan Genez, Consultant, Serio Consulting
  • June 17, 2010
When troubleshooting issues with fixed assets, you can use the simulation tool to simulate depreciation term changes and asset transactions to ensure your depreciation adjustments are correct.
Key Concept
When troubleshooting or diagnosing issues in SAP ERP, it is common to make changes to data or post new transactions to rectify a given problem, such as a reconciliation difference. Making these postings is often necessary but can yield more adjustments if the results are not correct. Rather than continuously updating the database for this exploratory effort, it is better to first simulate the changes.

If you work with asset accounting (FI-AA) in SAP ERP, then you are familiar with the concept of making a change to the asset’s depreciation terms. Whether the change is to fix an incorrectly entered parameter or to reflect a change in accounting or tax treatment, you can change the depreciation terms by using transaction AS02. Other situations that often occur can trigger a different kind of asset adjustment. For example, impairments or revaluations are often posted as well as transactional depreciation adjustments. Before making any of these adjustments, I find it best to first post one of the entries to ensure that the changes to all the asset values are correct. 

This is a good idea because an asset tracks different values than most all other forms of SAP master data. To make a comparison, if you change the payment terms on a vendor, the current balance is not immediately affected. Changing the cost center category or tax jurisdiction code on a cost center doesn’t affect the existing values on the cost center. Fixed asset records are different in that they are continuously calculating planned amounts, most notably planned annual depreciation. Making a change to an asset’s depreciation terms on the master record or posting transactional value adjustments trigger a recalculation of the asset’s planned values. 

For more information on recalculating asset values, see my article “Three Ways to Ensure Accurate Depreciation Values in ECC.” 

Some of these changes are often done in both large volume and with significant dollar amounts. If they are done incorrectly, it can be difficult and time consuming to reverse the changes. In these situations, I always want to proof the solution and verify the effects on the asset and its depreciation calculation using the Asset Explorer. If the results are not acceptable, I can go back and tweak the solution and confirm the results again in the Asset Explorer.

To aid this type of exploratory process, SAP delivers a simulation tool that has been incorporated into the Asset Explorer. The benefit to using it is that it allows you to simulate both types of changes without immediately committing to the changes and updating the database. It provides a safety mechanism in that you can see the prospective effects of the changes you are making as if they were posted in real time. The tool is both convenient to access and easy to use.

I’ll cover two common scenarios that demonstrate the two ways to simulate changes and transactions to an asset record.

Nathan Genez

Nathan Genez is an SAP FI/CO- and SAP BW-certified consultant who has worked with SAP ERP since 1996, with an emphasis on the capital accounting modules: PS, IM, and FI-AA. A former platinum consultant with SAP America, Inc., he has worked with SAP BW since release 1.2B. He is currently a managing partner at Serio Consulting in Houston, Texas.

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