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Review of ABAP Development for Financial Accounting: Custom Enhancements

Since the other book hasn’t been published in the US yet (March 28) I figured I could add a few comments about ABAP Financials beyond one line that I have left at sappress.com. In a way, both books are related to each other as they both deal with SAP.

ABAP Financials book, however, is more appropriate for practitioners as it deals with the actual code that is installed in thousands of locations that carry financial and other business data throughout the world. What make this particular book different from many other ABAP books that are available in the market are the author’s comments and opinions on why this or that code snippet is appropriate for a given business problem and what’s most important where it’s hidden and how it fits with the rest of the SAP application.

The author is not trying to sell the latest ABAP technologies, but rather help practitioners find their way around the code in one very specific area: FI or Financials. ABAP code on which financials are running has been around a very long time (since 1992 at least) and the author is showing the historical progression of how the code evolved. It’s a refresher for me and I see many familiar objects cast in a larger ABAP context: BKPF and SKB1 tables, and SDF logical database are explained along with DMWTR data element. The underlying objects haven’t really changed since I had the first peek, some 13 years ago.

I find this particular ABAP code area very applicable to financial reporting, IFRS, and eventually XBRL. This code is the workhorse of the whole SAP application and as the author puts it: the process where the system counts money. It’s simply music to any accounting ears out there. The real value for developers lies in exposing many hooks to the application and walking through enhancement with a focus on each particular area and how it differs from its equivalent, e.g. accounts payable are not the exact mirror image of accounts receivable as far as the user exits are concerned.

I read about 2-3 SAP books per year and this one hasn’t been sitting on my book shelf for too long. The only complaint I have is that it’s too short, so I have already asked for the second edition.

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