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SAP Data Archiving Principals & Legal Consolidations

Introduction:

Before starting SAP Data Archiving Project in any organization, It is necessary that the  IT team should aware of the basic principals and legal conditions for Archiving data. Many will fail if they did not considered legal aspects. one should aware how archived data can be stored securely and read data or access with readable format by external auditors during auditing. If tax auditor could not able to view financial data , there may be legal violations on the company. There are chances IT person  who do not aware of archival data may delete files and company may loose important business data.This may lead to huge fine to the company and legal actions. To avoid these challenges , one should know and follow the Basic principals of SAP Data Archiving and its Legal requirements for successful SAP Data Archiving Project.

Let me give small overview about SAP data Archiving.

What is SAP Data Archiving:

Removal of application data from SAP system which is no more used by business and storing this data into an archive files with the help of write program via specific archiving object.

This application data is not used on day to day basis by business. For example : May be accessed once a year of audit purpose only or running year end report.

Archiving objects are the business objects.Archiving objects combine the tables that are logically linked by business objects.

Need for archiving the data: 

There are many advantages like,

  1. Reduce or control the growth of the data in the SAP system.
  2. Improve or maintain the SAP system performance
  3. Cost Savings

When to take decision for archiving data:

Below flowchart allows to make decision on how you can preserve and archive the data.

With the help of ADK tool kit , SAP data archiving will be performed.

 

Decision%20Flow%20chat

Decision Flow chat

Source Image taken from SAP Learning HUB ( Data Archiving Book)

Archive Development Kit (ADK) :

ADK tool is available in the SAP system via SARA transaction.

The Archive Development Kit (ADK) is the technical basis for SAP data archiving. It contains a development and runtime environment.

Development environment:

If necessary, develop a custom archiving object or enhance existing archiving objects.

Runtime environment:

Use the write program assigned to the archiving object to create a new archive file, or if you want to use a corresponding transaction to display archived data, the system automatically calls various ADK function modules in the background.

ADK%20tool%20-%20SARA%20tcode

ADK tool – SARA tcode

 

Here I am not going to cover Archiving process and details. Just providing short description on what, why, when and which tool used to perform the data archiving.

Legal Considerations:

Legal Requirement is the one of the deciding factor during any data archiving project along with technical and Business requirements. Every country has their own legal policies and data prevention acts, these differ from US to EUROPE. Hence consulting the tax auditor or legal advisor is much needed in the initial planning itself.

Based on the relevant laws we need to get below information

  • Retention Time:
  • Location
  • Data Access
  • Transfer to Storage Medium
  • Supporting technology
  • Archive Media

It is also necessary to understand and know the international legal regulations before start of the archiving projects. Because your SAP system may be residing in US or Europe or Asia.

Look at the below table where only few counties are mentioned with retention location, retention time and transfer to media.

 
Country Retention Location Retention Time Transfer to Data Medium
United States Domestic 10 years Yes
China Domestic 10 years No
Belgium Domestic 7 years Yes
France Domestic 6 years Yes
Switzerland Domestic 10 years No
Germany Domestic 10 years Yes

 

How auditors evaluate or read archived data?

External auditors and Tax auditors use IT based tool to analyse quality of tax relevent data in the SAP system, hence it is required to use IT tool which can be used to extract the tax-relevent data from SAP system with required format as per the auditor requires.

Data Retention Tool ( DART) is the IT based tool used for this purpose.

  • DART is used to extract tax-relevant data from the SAP system
  • Defining tax-relevant data
  • Transaction FTW0

DART is available in every SAP system via transcation code FTW0 without additional cost. Hence majority of the companies use DART. There are other tools available in the market with cost.

DART tool can only read data from database , its a prerequisite to run data extract before data archival. Note : Always Create the DART Extract before Data Archiving

DART%20Tool

DART Tool

How to identify which data in the SAP system is tax relevant ,  as data stores in the database tables and which SAP system table consist of tax-related data. To help on these queries use DART tool menu with below 4 areas.

  • Utilities
  • Information system
  • Extras
  • Configuration

I am planning to write a another blog for SAP Data Archiving – DART Run for Extract Data and Display and view data.

Conclusion :

There are many factor includes during SAP Data archiving project , basic principals and country specific legal regulations need to be considered thoroughly. These decision factor influence your data archiving project and smoother execution and safeguarding your business data also obeying the country specif laws.

 

Additional references:

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