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Journal Management in SAP S/4HANA

Did you use journal park and post in SAP ECC and wonder where it has gone in SAP S/4HANA?

I have worked with SAP S/4HANA since release 1511 and many things have changed in that time, including how journals are managed with the inclusion of more capability as versions were released.

In this blog post you will find details of the enhanced capability that SAP S/4HANA brings in this space.  SAP S/4HANA version numbers are referenced in the content and further version relevant details can be located in the Fiori Apps Library.

Journal Processing in SAP ECC

Journal entry was largely a manual process in SAP ECC and many customers developed their own custom upload process to handle mass processing, some with and some without pre-validation checks.  Some customers used third party applications for this process rather than building custom code and took advantage of standard SAP connectors to create the postings.

Many customers used the park and post functionality to provide a two-step process incorporating a level of review and validation.  Some customers also used workflow processes to ensure approvals were recorded for audit purposes, but often with limited sophistication.  Value thresholds were not easy to apply without many complex rules, and whilst some might argue that value thresholds can be navigated around by posting multiple lower value journals, when parking was being used, given park and post were different transactions in SAP ECC, it was possible to give some users access only to park, thus all journals required a separate posting step anyway.

Journal Processing in SAP S/4HANA

Not least with the introduction of the universal journal table and an easier to use user interface through SAP Fiori, manual journal entry in SAP S/4HANA is simpler and faster than it was in SAP ECC.  With less fields to populate, less screen changes and the use of templates, and the ability to use text searches to find accounts and cost objects, this makes for a more efficient data entry process, but who wants to post journals manually?

Manual journals can easily be replicated with minor changes made prior to posting using the Similar Journal Entry function inside F0717 Manage Journal Entries.

Since a new journal is being created (as a copy), all the fields can be edited and after selecting the option to create a similar journal, some selection options are presented to the user to extend the capability a touch further.

In addition to the usual features expected in a journal, SAP S/4HANA provides the user with simple ways to reference source material or supporting evidence for journals in the form of an attachment, and notes can also be added.

Mass Processing

Introduced in SAP S/4HANA on premise release 1709 and cloud edition 1911, was the ability to Upload General Journal Entries.  This not only caters for mass processing of multiple journals and multi-line journals, it also provides the user with an Excel based template that is easily downloaded, modified, populated and uploaded. F0718 Upload General Journal Entries

In Post General Journal Entries (see previous screen shots) you can see that there is no option for Park at the bottom of a manual journal, only Simulate or Post, and the same is true for Upload General Journal Entries, but fear not, a more sophisticated process is available.  Introduced in the same release as the upload capability for mass journal processing, on premise release 1709 and cloud edition 1911, respectively, is Journal Verification.

Journals are entered, submitted for approval and approved using these three SAP Fiori apps.

Verify General Journal Entries also includes an upload feature to accommodate mass processing from a spreadsheet, but when processed this way, it also observes the verification rules.  This provides choices when uploads or manual journals warrant approvals or not.

A simple or sophisticated set of rules to be observed in verification are created through the Fiori app Manage Workflows for General Journal Entry Verification.

The rules comprehensively include the process steps, since it’s important to decide what happens during rejection as well as approval and are an excellent method of introducing threshold controls.  Conditions, deadlines and exception handling allow for complexity to handle most situations.

Recipients representing approvers are created in groups using the Fiori app Manage Teams and Responsibilities General Journal Entries Verification and can then be assigned to the workflow.

Journals are approved and rejected using My Inbox, but this can be accessed two ways.  Firstly, the Fiori app Verify General Journal Entries (which launches My Inbox for those types of approvals) shows the user a KPI on the home page.

If notifications have been configured, the user can also approve or reject from the notifications.

Verification processing can also be executed on a mobile device.

For details on setting up notifications in your system, please refer to these blog posts:

Notification Center Part 1 Activation

Notification Center Part 2 Providing Notifications

Displaying Submitted Not Yet Approved Journals

Through the SAP Fiori app Display Line Item Entry, the selection parameter ‘Items to be verified’ can be selected to display postings awaiting approval.  Normal items can also be selected against the same selection parameters to see the potential impact once the approvals are processed.

Items awaiting verification show the parked symbol in the status column.

Verify General Journal Entry content is available from standard business role SAP_BR_GL_ACCOUNTANT.  Please refer to the Fiori Apps Library for more information on the apps.

For more information on enabling the workflow, in addition to the blog posts already mentioned, please refer to this help file

1709 Latest help – enabling workflow

Latest version help – enabling flexible workflow

I hope you find this information useful and look forward to your comments and questions.

If you found this interesting you may wish to read this blog on Display Journal in T-Account View and other useful information can be found in the SAP Fiori for S/4HANA wiki

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