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Parallel Accounting: Account-Based approach/Ledger-Based Approach + Configuration Steps


In Parallel Accounting topic it is important to understand basic things:

  • What is parallel accounting?
  • What is an Account-Based Approach?
  • What is Ledger Based approach?

Of course, you can use only the Configuration Guide to know how to configure parallel accounting topics, but if you would like to improve your knowledge in Parallel Accounting and to understand this topic better, this will be very helpful for you. Let’s answer all of these questions.

What is parallel accounting?

Many of you may know, that all international companies must prepare financial statements based on different accounting principles (Accounting principles – is an accounting standard, e.g. IFRS or Local GAAP). This leads to the general question: why are companies required to file financial statements with different accounting principles?

This happens when the company belongs to a group of companies. For example, Coca-Cola in the USA and Coca-Cola in Russia are separate local branches of one company Coca-Cola. Such kind of company, that has branches in different countries needs to reap several statements:

– one local reposting for this specific location (for example, in the USA – GAAP)

– the second group of reporting (for example IFRS)

In this case, we will use parallel accounting.

Parallel accounting enables valuation and closing transactions for a company code based on group accounting principles as well as additional accounting principles such as local accounting principles.

To implement parallel accounting in your system, for example, you can use parallel ledgers. That is, you prepare financial statements in accordance with local accounting principles and, also per IFRS or US GAAP.

Important to mention here:

  • SAP provides two options – parallel accounts and parallel ledgers
  • Accounting principles are used for both scenarios
  • Ledger (0L) is always used
  • If an account-based approach is used, then several accounting principles are assigned to the leading ledger
  • If a ledger-based approach is used then the ratio between ledger and accounting principle is 1: 1

What is an account-based approach?

Account-based approach – it is an option of using Parallel Accounting in which Chart of Accounts creates based on different Accounting principles.

The architecture of the Account-based approach can be based on account logic. For example, we decided that all accounts with prefix A will be used for IFRS accounting principle, and all accounts with prefix B will be used for Local GAAP accounting principle.

Options of how to create Chart of Accounts: Prefix+Account number or Account Number+Suffix
Options with Prefix: Alphanumeric or Numeric Account number        Last digit
A 1 0 Xxxxxx (Common accounts) 0
B 2 1 Zzzzzz (IFRS accounts) 1
C 3 2 Yyyyyy (local accounts) 2

Example of using Prefix:                                                       Example of using Suffix:

A – IFRS                                                                                   0 – Common accounts
B – Local GAAP                                                                       1 – Local GAAP
C – Common accounts                                                             2 – Local Accounts


What is a ledger-based approach?

Ledger-based approach – it is an option of using Parallel Accounting where each Ledger assigns to Accounting principle.

Example of a ledger-based approach:

0L ledger – IFRS
2L – Local GAAP
TX – Local Tax


Configuration steps Parallel Accounting (example on Ledger-Based approach)

1. Prepare Ledgers and Ledger Groups. Maintain one Leading Ledger and non-leading ledgers

Transaction Code


Menu Path

IMG-Financial Accounting (New)-Financial Accounting Global Setting (New)-Ledgers

Example from the system:



Stay in the same configuration step and go to the tab “Company Code Settings” and make the basic settings for the relevant company code.

Example from the system:

2. To complete Step 2, firstly you have to finish Step 4. Step 2: Go to the last tab “Accounting principles for Ledger” and maintain values

Example from the system:


Save the configuration once it is completed

3. Create Assignment Ledger to Ledger Group

Transaction Code


Menu Path

IMG-Financial Accounting -> Financial Accounting Global Settings -> Ledgers -> Define Ledger Group

4. Define Accounting Principles

Transaction Code


Menu Path

IMG-Financial Accounting (New)-Financial Accounting Global Setting (New)-Ledgers-Parallel Accounting-Define Accounting Principles

5. Assign Accounting Principles to Ledger Group

Transaction Code


Menu Path

IMG-Financial Accounting (New)-Financial Accounting Global Setting (New)-Ledgers-Parallel Accounting-Assign Accounting Principles to ledge group


Save the configuration once it is completed and don’t forget to complete Step 2.

Please, let me know if you have any further questions, I will be glad to help you.

You are also very welcome with your comments. I will be very grateful and appreciate your feedback.

Hope this will help you.
Best regards,
Loginova Victoria
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  • Thanks Victoria Loginova for your excellent presentation, simple and complete!


    But I have some comments about it,

    Now with different approaches about ledger options, we should speak about extending ledger type. In case we have an extension ledger for the local GAAP, we need to add some kind of accounts to eliminate the main Gaap effects.

    Also, we are talking always IFRS/Economic first (for leading ledger) and local / tax Gaap for sub-ledger. In this approach, we have to focus impact on charts of accounts (managed with open items or clearing by ledger and impact on posting).

    I can’t be satisfied only by your excellent blog, we need to enrich it with different options we have on COA to provide the best solution/approach in each project.

    This is my opinion,


  • Hello Philippe,

    Many thanks for your comment. Really appreciate your opinion.

    I fully agree with you, that to provide the best approach in each project, we need fully understand different options for creating COA. Actually, my post was just like a high-level explanation of the process, but I think I can add more details, that you mentioned in a separate blog post.

    Thank you for your opinion, I’ll take it into consideration.

    Best regards,
    Loginova Victoria