Skip to Content

An Instructor’s Perspective — My Favorite Management Accounting Course

While I instruct all levels of SAP Education’s FI-CO and FSCM courses, I would not be able to choose a single favorite course to deliver as they each add great value to a student’s “tool belt” of knowledge!  Each curriculum contains courses defined in a series of levels meant to be taken in progression starting with the overviews to the more detailed.  


Overview, or “level one”, courses offer a big picture tour of SAP.  You begin your SAP Educational journey here learning the basics.  These courses are of short duration mainly from one to three days.  A good example of this type of course that many will recognize is SAP01 – SAP Overview.


Foundation, or “level two”, courses focus on business processes. You create master data, transactions, and analysis in the application menu.  These courses are generally 5 days but could be less.   From our Financial Accounting curriculum, AC010 – Business Processes in Financial Accounting.


Detailed, or “level three”, courses focus on configuration. You study various settings in the configuration menu in order to understand how to make the SAP business solution work.  Many of these courses have detailed case studies and students can walk away with an excellent sense of understanding and accomplishment.  The detailed courses are generally five days (but can be less depending on the topic).   An example of this type of course from our Financial Supply Chain Management curriculum is FSC200 – Customizing SAP Dispute & SAP Collections Management.


One of my favorite courses is AC040 – Business Processes in Management Accounting (Controlling). This course is a “level two” or “foundation” course.  I recently completed another delivery of this course and want to share some of the content with you.  Of all the courses I teach, this course provides you with best example of “end to end” processes in Management Accounting.


You begin this course with a comparison of Financial (FI) and Management Accounting (CO).   For some students, the distinction between FI and CO is hard to grasp so this section is critical before moving onto the Management Accounting business processes.  Some of the important questions asked during this section are:


  • What are the tasks of each? (FI supports external, statutory reporting: CO supports internal management reporting)
  • Why do you use either?
  • Are they requirements? 


You next study CO-Overhead Management — creating master data and learning the purpose of Cost Centers and Internal Orders as cost objects:


  • Do we need real cost objects? (Yes!! We do!!)
  • When is it appropriate to use statistical cost objects?
  • What in the world is a cost object? 
  • Why do I need to plan activity prices?  (To allocate overhead based on activity quantity.)
  • What are the overhead allocation methods and how do they compare?


There are lessons that highlight integration with Cost Center Accounting, Product Cost Planning (what is a cost estimate?), Procure to Pay, Plan to Produce, Order to Cash, and always FI-CO and CO-FI process integration (did you know it works both ways?).


By the end of the week, you have accumulated a variety of business transactions which you can then analyze in Profitability Analysis.  Did you know you can use both account based and cost based CO-PA?  Do you understand the difference between the two types of CO-PA?


This is an excellent course for new students as well as experienced students. Frequently the class is made up of brand new customers who may be logging into SAP for the first time as well as experienced IT support analysts who want to better understand the functional aspect.  AC040 is also a pre-requisite the detailed Management Accounting courses.

I invite you to review the course schedule online at Curriculum | Management Accounting and join the fun and discussions in the next class!

1 Comment
You must be Logged on to comment or reply to a post.
  • I like to listen to the different classes you have taught.  Do you have some fun things that happened in the different levels?  Some interesting questions, maybe?   What types of things did you do – not high level in the classes?

    I went into the blog thinking you might give some of the student’s perspectives.  How they have influenced you.  Maybe how they have changed the classes.

    And maybe I’m just in a negative mood today, but this seems like more of an advertisement than an blog.  It gives information I would expect to see if I were signing up for the class.

    Feel free to disagree – I love a good debate!