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Author's profile photo Nitin Gupta

SAP Central Finance – Overview of options/issues in initial load and Introduction to Empty Initial Load

In this blog we will cover below items in details. Few items are already covered in other blogs so i will refer to the right blogs.

  • Introduction to Initial Load
  • Need of Initial Load
  • Scope of Initial Load
    • Financial Accounting document (Primary postings)
    • Controlling Documents (Secondary postings)
  • Financial Accounting
    • Loading only Balances
    • Loading only open items
    • Loading Balances & Open items
  • Empty Initial Load
  • Summary of Summarization issue in SAP

In SAP Central Finance Initial load is of key importance but at the same time it is very much complex. If you want to have an overview of Initial load and why its needed, please read here.

Now we will talk about the options available for an organization to execute initial load. It is always recommended to keep the Initial load period as short as possible but it is also a key to understand how the Implementation program is managed in terms of timelines and what is the financial year of the organization as well as its subsidiaries.

Keeping in view, the following options are available to any organization


How this can be done? All this lies in one setting:


I will explain the approach by referring to the fields as marked in numbers.

Loading only Balances: – 1

In 1 fill the Fiscal Year from which the balance transfer is needed and system always takes the balances from the start of the beginning of the fiscal year

Loading only Documents: – 2+3

In 2 fill the fiscal year from which you want the system to start transfer line items and in 3, fill the first period of that year (from which you want the system to start transferring documents). In the above example, the system starts transferring documents from first period of 2019.

Loading both – Balances & Documents

  • In the 1, fill the year from which you want the system to start transferring balances.
  • In the 2 field, fill the year from which you want to start transferring documents.
  • In the 3 field, provide first period of that year

GL Reconciliation – check field 5 to replicate GL reconciliation postings triggered in CO (in source ECC) to SAP S/4HANA CFIN system

Initial Load Complete – Check Field 6 when Initial Load is complete and you want to start Real time replication.

For explanation for Field 5 – It’s good to understand end to end process so please Read here

Let’s discuss the empty Initial Load now: We have below used cases for Empty Initial Load

  1. Loading of data at the start of CFIN go live is always an option for the organization. Hey may or may not bring in balances and open items and documents from last fiscal year. However to start the replication its always a technical requirement to complete the initial load. So in this case the concept of empty initial load comes into picture. Initial load is executed without any data transfer however this execution fills the technical requirement of marking initial load complete in staging tables.
  2. When an organization is doing a CFIN POC and want to prove tats CFIN really works then to save time empty initial load is executed (again to meet technical requirements)

Settings for empty Initial Load:

  1. Company Code
  2. Empty
  3. Put future year
  4. Put anything between 1-12
  5. Put 12
  6. No input
  7. No input

What is the technical requirement?

FI documents – In table CFIN_MIG_LOG the entry per company code is marked with date and time stamp which ensures that initial load is complete from system standpoint.

CO Documents – Also, In table CFIN_MIG_LOG_CO the entry per company code with Controlling Area is marked with date and time stamp which ensures that initial load is complete from system standpoint.

Commitments – In table CFIN_MIG_LOG_CMT the entry per company code marked with date and time stamp which ensures that initial load is complete from system standpoint.

Common issues with SAP Initial Load

SAP Initial Load still needs to be improved in several ways – Functional & Technical.

Technical aspects:

  • For CO documents and Cost Objects it is still quite fair as the documents/objects in Initial load pass through AIF. For Financial documents, it’s like a long story. Documents are bundled in packages and when you execute posting the packages are executed. If the document in package has error then the package execution stops. For example document number 1 to 100 are packaged and if document number 67 has error then system will stop processing remaining documents and user need to resolve the error in document 67 and reprocess the package. This way each time you resolve error and repost the new error comes and with different documents, it can be different error. Like in this case 67 is posted not document number 78 has new error do it will stop the package posting again. So from system performance point of view as well as from execution point of view its like a process of week(s).
  • Additionally it requires lot of system resources in source as well as on target side so lot of investment is needed on infrastructure if the data loads are huge.

Functional aspects:

  • Several changes may be expected in source systems in terms of technical changes as well as functional changes may be due to the design or technical issue
  • If summarization is active in source system then the data movement to CFIN side is not complete. For example if the summarization on cost centres is active, then the error in documents will say that cost object is missing (KI-235 or KI-248). So it is very important to understand how source system is managed before you run initial load. Based on number of source systems there can be several flavours of summarization too.
  • This will prevent to have all management reporting data in CFIN so in any case the data in CFIN is not of that value even you cope it up technically
  • Check in ECC if summarization is active and for which reference procedure

Also its important to take a note of below FAQ which is mentioned in SAP note – 2185467

How do I need to set up document summarization settings?

The settings of document summarization need to be setup the same way in the source and Central Finance systems. This is currently essential because a later clearing document will only hold clearing data for cleared document items known in the source system and not for additional items which may exists, if the document summarization does not sum up some items in the target system which had been summed up in the source system.

If you used in the source system activity “FI Summarization Dependent on the Object Type” (transaction OBCY) you can still use activity “Enhanced Document Summarization in FI” (transaction OBCYX) in the target Central Finance System. Here you can configure the summarization also per Company Code which should allow you to harmonize your configuration with the various source systems. (This would not work though, if you have multiple logical systems with different summarization replicating into the same Company Code).

You should be aware that if you add customer-specific fields to BSEG, e.g. via the coding-block (CI_COBL), this may prevent the system summarizing BSEG in the same way as in the target. Because of this, fields that you need for reporting that are added on line item level should be added to ACDOCA only, not to BSEG.

Want to know more about Summarization? CLICK HERE

Additionally the posting program of Initial Load and Real Time replication works completely different way so all enhancements, BADIs etc needs to be tested from both angles – Real time as well as Initial Load.

What’s are the options:

  • Best Recommended option is to reduce the Initial load duration to as low as possible (lets say one month) but it requires alignment with program planning, reporting and other add-ons built in for consolidations and analytics etc
  • Manually plan to complete Initial load with traditional ETL methods or by using some middleware. Again, try to keep period short but here you have to execute empty initial load
  • Normal Initial load – then be ready to have good timelines in test cycles, several system refreshes and lot of to/fro communication to resolve issues in addition to having super infrastructure.


In the end i would also like you to run through this blog which is the summary of several posts on SAP Central Finance Initial Load. CLICK HERE

More video resources

Happy reading and happy INITIAL LOADing.

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