It goes without saying that a great deal of time is spent by SAP customers on their periodic closing jobs. As a response to this need SAP has made numerous attempts over the years to streamline the closing process using a variety of tools The intent of this blog is to uncover a few tips that I’ve found related to the Asset Accounting (FI-AA) module and how it interacts with one of them.
First, Some History
One of SAP’s first attempts at creating a centralized closing monitor was the Period End Partner (PEP) back in R/3 release 4.5. The PEP was found in mostly all of the FI/CO modules and used to monitor all sorts of FI/CO programs. Its intent was to provide a holistic viewpoint into the period end closing process to ease the burden of monitoring so many disparate programs. For fixed assets you could track the different period end jobs such as the Depreciation Posting Run (program RABUCH00 at the time) or Periodic Posting program. Here is what it looked like in action.
Back to the Present
The PEP had a very short lifespan as it was replaced in 4.6 when SAP introduced the Schedule Manager. Now that ERP 6.0 is available SAP is aggressively pushing the Closing Cockpit as part of their Fast Close initiative. But there are some features in the Schedule Manager regarding its integration with FI-AA periodic jobs that I’d like to highlight for those of you that work with it.
The Schedule Manager Monitor
One of the areas of the Schedule Manager that is not well documented is the usage of the Schedule Manager Monitor. What makes this tool so useful is that it records the execution of the FI-AA periodic programs in addition to most all of the normal reports if they are initiated from the Schedule Manager. In the case of the two year end closing program RAJABS00 and RAJAWE00, the recalculate values program RAAFAR00, the Periodic Asset Postings program RAPERB2000, and the depreciation posting program RAPOST2000 the logs are always stored in the Monitor regardless of how they were initiated.
These periodic programs are normally executed directly from the Asset Accounting menu shown below.
These programs are all required to be executed in the background which means you have to run to [SM37] to track the progress of the job as well as view their output. The problem with this is that it’s very difficult to view a report’s selection criteria in the Job Overview. This is a key point for consultants… many times I have been told that someone executed a program in a certain manner even though the results shown in the system (i.e., from a report) would indicate otherwise. Using the Schedule Manager Monitor I can always view the exact details used rather than relying on someone’s (vague?) memory.
Another benefit is that it’s easier to filter and select a particular program using the Schedule Manager Monitor. With the Job Overview you are limited to filtering reports based on mostly technical attributes such as the report name, userID, and execution date/time. With the Schedule Manager Monitor I can filter with similar criteria but also with more functional ones such as the company code used in the program or the posting date of the program. The output displayed in the Monitor is also superior to the Job Overview in the sense that I can view more information on the different programs at the same time. This is useful when comparing why one program was successful but another run was not.
Let’s look at an example for the Depreciation Posting Run. First, goto transaction [SCMO] to immediately access the Schedule Manager Monitor. You’ll notice that you must first enter in an Application. In this case I’ll choose FI-AA for Asset Accounting but you can see from the image below just how numerous the other applications are that use this tool.
Once “FI-AA” has been specified, the two sub-screens below will change. On the left are the selection parameters unique to the Application that was chosen previously. Those on the right are generic and in use for any application that you choose. For this example I’m going to enter in a company code and a particular fiscal year but I could also enter in any of the generic parameters such as a specific userID, program name or execution date.
As you can see below, all of the programs logged by the Schedule Manager Monitor are displayed based on the selection criteria that was entered. In this case the only program logged for this company code and fiscal year specified was the Depreciation Posting Run (program RAPOST2000). I can also see more details of the program including links to the job log and spool as well as the messages that were output. In the case of the second entry that is highlighted, the program terminated with an error because the incorrect depreciation period was specified. Some of this can be done at SM37 but not on a single screen and usually only for a single program.
You can view the selection criteria and some additional information about the program’s execution by navigating to the appropriate tabs in the top right section. The [Additional Information] tab contains the same data displayed on the Schedule Manager Monitor’s selection screen which is useful in understanding what criteria is required to filter on a particular series of jobs.