With SAP S/4HANA release 1909, the new SAP Fiori app “Display Journal Entries in T-Account View” is shipped in order to provide general ledger accountants with a more visual and familiar approach to analyze journal entries.
T-accounts are well known as a standard data structure in the context of bookkeeping and accounting. Since they are also the structure of choice for teaching the latter, it is reasonable that people with an educational background in accounting will be familiar with it.
The concept is simple: To reflect transactions in double-entry accounting, each ledger account is represented as a table with two columns: a debit column on the left and a credit column on the right. With the title of the respective account as header, this constellation forms a T-account. Each transaction needs to appear twice: One time on the debit side of a T-account and one time on the credit side of a T-account. Since the overall balance of all ledger accounts needs to be zero, this practice can be considered as indirect cross check to detect errors. In this case the T-account structure then also facilitates the root-cause analysis by providing a clear logic to trace back the error.
With the comprehensive digitization of accounting through ERP systems, T-accounts have become more a theoretical construct than a tool to be used in accounting operations. This is now changed by the new SAP Fiori app “Display Journal Entries in T-Account View”, which recognizes the analytical power of T-accounts and makes this structure available as an additional analytical tool that offers a set of advantages and new capabilities:
- As T-accounts are still the standard approach to teach accounting, most accountants are familiar with this structure, indicating low training efforts and the potential release of existing not yet leveraged competencies.
- T-accounts provide an additional perspective for the analysis of journal entries, which offers rich detail and emphasizes the relation between the impacted accounts.
- With the graphical enhancements and analytical aggregations of the app, the provided information can be organized and enriched to make the most of the T-account view as analytical tool.
Graphical enhancements and details:
The well-known filter bar allows a dynamic preselection of the journal entries to analyze.
In the space of the preselected journal entries, the analytical focus can be changed using the dynamic selection and deselection of single journal entries.
A further option to adapt the analytical focus and to adjust the information volume is to collapse single accounts. With the balance displayed on different levels, the user will always be able to keep track of the details and the big picture.
With the help of color-coded tags, the impact of journal entries can be mapped and organized to keep a comprehensive overview.
By selecting one posting, the related postings are marked to comprehend the impact of a journal entry on the fly.
By adding attributes, which are shown directly in the context of the single postings, the analysis can be enriched to fit the user’s requirements.
It is always possible to display the accounting impact as list that shows the impacted accounts. From this view the user can leverage hyperlinks to navigate to related apps performing a typical insight-to-action pattern.
The natural strengths of the T-account view combined with the graphical enhancements of the app make it a powerful analytical tool with a variety of application scenarios. Watch the video to get a first impression. The introduced app is only one of the manifold innovations enabled by SAP S/4HANA. To find out more, stay tuned for our upcoming videos and blogs and feel free to have a look here:
SAP S/4HANA Feature Scope Description: http://spr.ly/6009Ds0UT
SAP Fiori Application Library: http://spr.ly/6006Ds0Uw
SAP S/4HANA Trials: http://spr.ly/6005Ds0Uc