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Checking for consistency also must occur. For example, master data in the Special Purpose Ledger must have elements to name and specify all the necessary data objects used to store data generated by the associated applications. Account identification, cost center, product identification, and any other attribute of interest must find a place in the Special Purpose Ledger. Of course, such information can be retrieved and identified even though, in the case of non-SAP systems, it may no longer be easily traced in the system that first created it.

One solution is to have the Special Purpose Ledger acquire master data from the transferring system. This imposes the requirement that transactions in the transferring system include all the information of interest as either optional or required entries. Obviously, information that has not been collected by the transferring system cannot subsequently be accessed from the Special Purpose Ledger.

A set of master data shared by all applications ensures consistency of data across all systems using the Special Purpose Ledger.

From other SAP R/3 applications, the preliminaries of data transfer include establishing the following specifications:

  Determining which transactions update the Special Purpose Ledger. Sources might include Financial Accounting, Material Management, or Job Order Accounting.
  Determining which particular ledger is to be updated and how.
  Determining whether each ledger is to be updated immediately or at regular intervals.

SAP R/3 guides and prompts you to set up the validation rules in each case, based on rules and combinations of fields that you can define. The system then validates transaction data, subtotals, or totals in the ledgers specified.

It is customary to have other SAP applications automatically transfer the data for the Special Purpose Ledger. A direct data entry function is also provided to enable the entry of notes or consolidation entries, for instance. As is normal practice, these entries create SAP documents. These SAP documents can be flagged to show that they are records of direct entries to the Special Purpose Ledger. If necessary, these documents can be displayed separately.

Making an Assessment in the Special Purpose Ledger

In this context, assessment refers to the process of gathering cost information from a number of sources. Consider freight charges across all warehouses for all products in a particular group or on a particular list of products. Assessment is the process of seeking out the details and calculating the total of these charges.

This task lies in the province of the Special Purpose Ledger. Needless to say, you cannot complete such a task successfully if the master data of the Extended General Ledger makes no mention of freight charges or any data field that could be used to make a proper substitution (such as delivery charges.)

Using Distribution in the Special Purpose Ledger

Distribution is sharing. For example, the total of freight charges across the group can be distributed by sharing it as some kind of overhead charge imposed by the accounting system. Who should share this burden may be hotly debated, but in the end the Special Purpose Ledger must be told to divide this cost between various accounts.

Two types of distribution exist:

  Single-dimension
  More than one dimension or level of detail

Single-dimension distribution takes place when a value is credited to the sender and debited to a single receiving account. For example, a cost center can be created so that certain costs can be reported under the name of that center. Administration Costs might be the name of such a cost center.

Distribution can also be directed at more than one receiving entity. The set of recipients might include all production departments. The costs can be distributed across specific products in a product group, for example.

Whether the distribution involves a single receiver (such as a cost center) or a set of receivers, three methods exist for computing how much is attributed to each:

  Fixed amount method. You decide how much to charge each individual recipient. A fixed amount is debited to each, and the sender is credited with the total.
  Fixed share method. You decide what percentage share of the amount to be distributed shall be charged to each recipient. Each recipient is debited with the fixed share, and the sender is credited with the total of these shares, which need not equal 100% of the assessed charge. The sender may retain a share.
  Dynamic method. The amount to be distributed is automatically calculated by the system on the basis of the subtotals already recorded in the Special Purpose Ledger.

Using the Set Concept

The logical concept of a set is used in the Special Purpose Ledger for reporting, planning, and ledger processing. A set refers to a data structure and its relationships with other data structures. A set of numbers may be defined, where the numbers are the identification codes of bank accounts, for example. A list of cost centers also can constitute a set.

The actual members of a set may not be known until the set definition is called into use. A set definition of this kind is, “The top three operating divisions for gaining new customers in the current month.” The definition of a set may include relationships between specific firms or companies in a group, not necessarily at the same level. A set may comprise any collection of data objects that meet the logical criteria forming the definition for membership of that set.

Specific business functions can call on a set definition that has been stored for later use. Assessment and distribution often take place under the control of sets.

Using Planned Amounts in the Special Purpose Ledger

The basic concept is to set target values for account totals or subtotals for one or more periods. Actual values totaled from the transaction data are then compared with these planned targets. The method is to enter a planned total and then have it allocated to periods by various standard functions. Special functions and tools in the Special Purpose Ledger provide flexible planning and controlling facilities.


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