The Good and the Bad of CO-PA's Transfer +/- Option

  • by Mitresh Kundalia, Director — SAP Practice, Quality Systems & Software
  • May 15, 2004
A thorough knowledge of how to manage signs (plus and minus) can prevent inconsistencies in the CO-PA module. The author tells you why you should avoid using a discount condition with different signs and provides a transferring method to use if the same condition must have different signs.

Did you know that it's possible for the same posting from two different modules to have different values in CO-PA? It has to do with signs. By "signs," I mean the "+" (plus) or "-" (minus) signs assigned to amounts.

I'm going to explain why you can get incorrect results in the CO-PA module when a similar transaction is posted from two different modules. I'll then describe a method — R/3's transfer +/- indicator — that allows you to correct this problem by transferring the balance of positive and negative values. Although this indicator is helpful in certain situations — for example, when you are providing volume rebates to customers — you'll see why you may want to restrict its use. At the end of the article, you should be able to manage signs so that CO-PA provides consistent results.

Signs in CO-PA

What is so special about signs in the CO-PA module? Didn't the R/3 system take care of signs for debits and credits in the Financial Accounting application? Yes, it did. To check whether the accounting document is balanced, the FI module assigns the plus sign to debit entries and a minus sign to the credit entries. However, CO-PA uses a different method.

Let's look at how revenues are handled in the FI and SD modules for a typical revenue posting (Dr customer A/R and Cr revenues). In this case, revenues are negative in FI. However, for the same transaction, revenues are stored as positive conditions in the SD module. Similarly, sales deductions/discounts or costs are stored as positive in FI and negative in SD, as shown in Figure 1.

Mitresh Kundalia

Mitresh Kundalia heads the SAP practice at Quality Systems & Software (, a consulting firm specializing in SAP S/4HANA, SAP General Ledger, and complex System Landscape Optimization (SLO)-type reorganizations. Mitresh is widely acknowledged as a leading SAP expert, with multiple publications and an SAP-PRESS book to his credit. He has published more than 50 peer-reviewed articles and white papers, and he has given presentations at various SAP conferences and events. Mitresh is the chief solutions architect of General Ledger Migration Optimizer (GLMO), a leading product to accelerate and jump-start the SAP S/4HANA and SAP General Ledger initiatives; SAP Data Reorganization Optimizer (SDRO), an SLO-type product for managing complex system landscape reorganizations; and Group Currency Activation and Conversion (GCAC), a product suite to manage introduction of parallel currencies and conversion of data in a live SAP system.

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