Why Symbolic Accounts Are the Key to a Smooth Payroll Posting Process

  • by Mohamed Khalid Yousif, Certified Senior SAP HR Consultant
  • August 15, 2005
To keep your company’s financial information up to date, you must maintain the vital relationship between HR wage types and Financial Accounting (FI) accounts. Symbolic accounts are key to this relationship. Learn about symbolic accounts, how to configure them, and why you should never delete old symbolic accounts.
Key Concept

A symbolic account is a payroll object used when posting wage type data from HR to FI. Wage types are not directly assigned to FI accounts. Symbolic accounts indicate to what accounts the payroll expenses should post. Symbolic accounts ensure that the account determination of the payroll wage type data takes place during posting to accounting. The support team should keep the related symbolic accounts with the same account assignments to accommodate posting adjustments for future payroll retrocalculation. In fact, this is a best practice even if the symbolic accounts do not have wage types assigned to them.

It is important for HR to post payroll information accurately to FI accounts. You achieve this using symbolic accounts, which tie HR wage type data to FI accounts. Many people may not realize that you should never delete symbolic accounts, even if they are no longer assigned to a wage type.

First, I’ll demonstrate the preparation involved for both HR and FI and the techniques for setting up symbolic accounts. Then, I’ll explain why it is necessary to keep used symbolic accounts active for the duration of your company’s Payroll system. In addition, I’ll show you how to detect and resolve a problem that can occur if you delete used symbolic accounts.

HR wage types are the basic element used in posting to accounting, although they are not directly assigned to FI accounts. Instead, HR wage types are assigned to symbolic accounts. In Release R/3 4.6 and mySAP ECC 5.0, HR wage types are linked to FI accounts via a two-step procedure:

Mohamed Khalid Yousif

Mohamed Khalid Yousif is a certified senior SAP HR consultant. Mohamed has a master’s degree in computer science from Khartoum University, Sudan. He is currently the team leader of the SAP HR support team and also was team leader of the ECC 5.0 upgrade project at National Drilling Company, Abu Dhabi, UAE.

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