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Author's profile photo Former Member

Simple Finance – The Convergence of the GL Account and the Cost Element

In this post we will look at the convergence of long standing pieces SAP ERP finance master data, the GL Account and the Cost Element. As anyone that has worked with SAP CO in the past knows the cost element is key to the controlling side of SAP. It in an object that allows you to identify the type of activities that can be done within controlling with that account. They are generally divided into Primary and Secondary cost elements.

  • Primary cost elements have an associated GL account and are generally expense or revenue accounts.
  • Secondary cost elements exist only in CO and are used for internal settlements, assessments, and allocations. 

When creating a new revenue or expense account in the GL you have to create a corresponding cost element in CO and typically all you were doing was selecting a Cost Element Category.

With the Simple Finance Add-on 2.0 (now called On Prem 1503) the traditional cost element create, change and display transactions are gone. The functions have been combined in FS00 – Manage G/L Account Centrally. This greatly simplifies the act of creating a new account and eliminated the need to maintain separate masters.

On the Type/Description screen there is a new field called account type. If you select either “Primary Costs or Revenue” or “Secondary Costs” a new field will appear on the Control Data tab for you to enter the Cost element type.

Primary Cost Example:

FS00 screen 1.jpg

FS00 screen 2.jpg

Secondary Cost Example:

FS00 screen 3.jpg

FS00 screen 4.jpg

I think this is a good step forward in simplifying the SAP finance master data and driving the convergence of FI and CO.

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      H John,

      Thanks for the informative article.

      As regard to account type, I wonder what the account type "non operative expense income" is for. I guess maybe for P&L accounts for which controlling integration is not required and for which cost element need not be created.

      Do you have an idea?



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Arjun,

      That is correct. This is for expense and revenue accounts that in the past you would not have set up a cost element for. Things like you change in inventory for goods issue to delivery (COGS) or others.

      When you select the non-operating accounts none of the cost element fields appear on the control tab.

      As a note, when I copied my chart of accounts from the template company codes in SAP all of the expense accounts came in as non-op. I had to select a primary cost for all of the ones that I needed and assign the cost element category.

      I hope this helps.


      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi John,

      Thanks I was asking so many pals regarding above ....clear definition of Account Type; Non-operative expense/Revenue  &  Primary Cost/Revenue . Now its clear.


      Author's profile photo Abdul Jabbar
      Abdul Jabbar

      Hi John,

      Nice Document. Thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Shanid MP
      Shanid MP

      Hi John,

      Thanks, I was wondering what are the changes in FS00 in SFIN 2.0.

      Thanks for sharing.



      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Shanid,

      The changes mentioned above are in FS00. These are the main changes to that transaction with SFIN 2.0.

      I am not sure what your question is beyond what I have explained above. The rest of the fields and functions in FS00 remain the same as previous versions.

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Hi for Cost of Goods sold account is created as cost element category 12 in my ECC 6 can I still continue to have Cost Element category 12 for Cost of Goods sold account in SFIN.

      Will there be a problem?

      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      ECC 6 the cost element category for COGS is 12 and can I maintain 12 for SFIN COGS as well

      Author's profile photo Abdelmalek TEBOUDA
      Abdelmalek TEBOUDA

      Hi, thanks for the article.
      I'm wondering, if now we can use LSMW to mass create GL account master?