Streamline Period-End Closing with Authorization Groups

  • by John Jordan, ERP Corp
  • October 15, 2005
When you need to permit a select group of users to post to a previous period, you can use authorization groups to automate access. This prevents unauthorized users from posting to the previous period without requiring you to adjust the posting settings manually after a period closes.
Key Concept

Authorization fields store permissions for system access. The system checks these values before granting users access to protected areas. Authorization objects enable you to permit select users access to restricted transactions by grouping up to 10 authorization fields together. The authorization object F_BKPF_BUP consists of just one field, authorization group. This works similarly to the authorization object for K_CCA, which is used to determine which cost elements and cost centers a user can access. It also determines which activities users can perform such as create, change, or display.

All releases of R/3 and ECC have standard functionality that allows a limited number of users to post to the previous period while blocking postings by unauthorized users. This functionality, which involves the use of authorization groups, is needed because accounting periods are typically left open for posting to the previous period for several days, depending on the type of business transaction:

1. Normal business transactions such as posting a sales order or an invoice are usually posted in the current calendar period. Most users are not allowed to post to the previous calendar period, with the exception of a few power users.

2. Period close transactions, such as cost center assessment and order settlement, need to wait until all normal postings are complete, and run typically in the first couple of days of the next month. A dedicated team usually handles these transactions, often covered by specific authorization roles containing access to the appropriate transactions.

3. Correction postings for errors and manual provisions and accruals are generally posted last, before the period is considered finally closed. Typically, only a select group of users is allowed to carry out these postings.

You could manually open the previous period using settings and manually change the settings when the postings are finished by the select group of users carrying out business transaction types 2 and 3. However, this option is time-consuming and you risk allowing accidental postings to the previous period by unauthorized users.

The authorization functionality streamlines the process and ensures that only the selected users can make changes. I will show you an example of an implemented authorization group and explain how to add authorized groups for period close.

John Jordan

John Jordan is a freelance consultant specializing in product costing and assisting companies gain transparency of production costs resulting in increased efficiency and profitability. John has authored bestselling SAP PRESS books Product Cost Controlling with SAP and Production Variance Analysis in SAP Controlling.

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6/27/2013 4:02:32 PM
Vishwanath Krishnamurthy

Dear John,

It's a very useful article...

5/14/2013 5:33:50 PM

Ditto to Magesh's comments, I can not see the screen shots in this article, can you upload the screen shots so they can be viewed in this article?


4/15/2013 9:54:13 AM

I am not able to see the screen shots in this article where as I am able to see the screen shots in other articles. Can you upload this article with screen shots..

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