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In previous blogs I highlighted all the different new key figures for making the exception analysis so much easier in different areas of SAP sales (delivery due, billing due, invoice transfer to FI), SAP CRM (sales & services) as well as SAP APO planning runs. Especially the billing due exception key figure or the key figures around SD billing documents not posted to FI have a direct impact on your ability to close the books at the end of a period. At Period End Closing all services and goods that were sold need to be billed and transferred to accounting for compliance reasons. Similarly there are other tasks that need to be cleared during Period End Closing at the latest, e.g. confirmation errors during goods movement postings in manufacturing or corresponding cost posting errors. All these exceptions that are not detected and/or resolved during daily operations need to be performed at Period End Closing when available time is scarce and the pressure is high anyway.

Hence in order to speed up the Period End Closing (PEC) and in order to avoid additional, unnecessary tasks during PEC it would be good to check for those exceptions on a daily basis (via Business Process Analytics or Business Process Monitoring in SAP Solution Manager) and resolve exceptions as soon as they occur.

Besides those ongoing tasks that are actually happening on logistics and not financial side, there are also those tasks that are only performed during PEC and which are typically performed in the financial departments. Those activities can be order settlements (for internal orders as well as production or process orders), overhead calculations, WIP and variance calculations, costing runs, depreciation runs etc. Also during those activities a lot of exceptions can be raised that need to be re-processed and where different departments might be involved in order to finally solve all problems. With the latest ST-A/PI 01Q* we also shipped some new key figure "SCMO Data: Message Log" that lists all exceptions that happen during the dedicated PEC activities (no matter if they are performed online in dialog mode or as background job). The key figure is based on the Schedule Manager infrastructure. An example result list could look as follows

In the result list you can see how often which exception was raised. You see the duration of the resepctvie activity and you can also see how the activitiy was performed (transaction code and/or background job name). The column "Test Run" also indicates if the exception was raised during some simulation run or during some "real" execution. By clicking on one exception text you are navigating into transaction SCMO for further details and further analysis.

This key figure should help you to identify more systematic issues that need to be resolved (e.g. missing master data or configuration issues) in order to reduce the execeptions, avoid unnecessary re-processing and hence speeding up the Period End Closing process.

Actually the feedback from customer was so good that we will probably provide some more dedicated exception key figures for specific PEC tasks in the future that will then contain specific context information related to the task that needs to be performed, e.g. costing runs containing CO area, plant and material information.

Further reading

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Process Monitoring and Business Process Analytics are answered under http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SM/FAQ+Business+Process+Monitoring and

http://wiki.sdn.sap.com/wiki/display/SM/FAQ+Business+Process+Analytics respectively.

The following blogs (in chronological order) provide further details about Business Process Analytics and Business Process Monitoring functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.