Active Budget Control in SAP Business ByDesign – Scenario Extensibility
This is a detailed blog post as part of a related series of blog posts of SAP Business ByDesign capabilities addressing the topic of active budget control. See main blog post Active Budget Control in SAP Business ByDesign
Overview – scenario extensibility
In this blog post I would like to highlight the provided interfaces for partners to extend and enrich the scenarios in context of active budget control. These scenario extensions I would like to highlight are:
- create and change plan data (financial plan)
- create and change released budget data
- budget check
- enrich/change journal entry lines with budget category information
Creation and change of plan data and released budget
As shown in the previous related blog posts about:
- Active Budget Control in SAP Business ByDesign – Financial Planning / Revenue and Expenses
- Active Budget Control in SAP Business ByDesign – Budget Release
The standard capabilities allow the entry and change using an excel template with upload to the SAP Business ByDesign system. I would like to sketch some use cases where the below listed interfaces might be handy to use. In case there are requirements to create data that was planned for example in another system (e.g., SAP Analytics Cloud) you can use both interfaces to create a plan version or create an initial budget release version. Moreover, we know from customers feedback on very diverse ‘budget change’ or’ budget shift’ or ‘budget adjustment’ scenarios.
Examples I would like to share:
- Request shift from one budget category to another (constraint – but without exceeding the overall budget of the cost center. This scenario affected plan data and/or released budget with or without approval steps.
- Adjust for a selected set of cost centers / budget categories the plan data or released budget by +/- percent or amount.
- Introduce change request scenario from manager to manager or assigned cost accountant with tracking about the approved or declined requests.
Industries are different, not all types of cost centers are treated the same, not all budget categories are equally influenceable by the spending behavior of cost center responsible. Therefore, we by purpose published 2 interfaces to create and change plan data and released budget data. These interfaces are:
- A2X inbound service interface for Create/Update Plan
- A2X inbound service interface for Create/Update Budget Release
I can foresee some useful customer tailored solutions combining:
- Change request:
partner developed business object to capture the user request to change budget
- Validation with ODATA based queries or the budget check itself or using the budget check API
- Validating against customer defined constraints
- Updating the plan or released budget with above mentioned interfaces
Currently the budget check is implemented in the standard offering in the procurement and supplier invoice for cost centers and a selected set of project types in the area of overhead cost management.
The published ‘Active Budget Control API’:
Method CheckBudgetAvailability under Class ActiveBudgetControlUtilities
So, this API can be accessed as ActiveBudgetControlUtilities.CheckBudgetAvailability().
The documentation can be accessed from SAP cloud application studio menu option
Help -> SAP Cloud Applications Studio Help
The main parameters that the budget check requires:
- For cost centers: budget category, date, and amount to be checked
- For projects (cost collector and direct cost projects): date and amount to be checked
Two main use cases were the motivation to publish the API:
‘Plug In’ the budget check in other scenarios. For example, you have a shopping cart system in place and would like to introduce ‘BEFORE’ ordering a budget check you potentially can plug in the budget check API. There are obviously many similar scenarios where this integration point might be a valid option as pre-validation for a subsequent step.
Budget category enrichment in journal entry
As described in the related blog posts it is essential that on the actual costs in the journal entry lines affecting the overhead cost ledger for cost centers and supported project types the budget category does get populated. The SAP Business ByDesign implementation has a standard derivation strategy implemented. In case customers have a need to overrule these standard derivations because additional information should be considered the budget category derivation can be overruled. There is a dedicated step in the standard derivation to intercept.
A (potentially simplified example) could be a 3rd party travel management solution that interfaces with the SAP Business ByDesign financials solution. For example, the ‘type of reimbursement document’ might indicate which budget category is to be affected.
BADI (Enhancement Options): BudgetCategoryDetermination
There are many variations of possible scenarios and enhancements. I’m convinced that there are partners that will build valid scenarios enhancements over time and some might even publish them over time in SAP store. These packages might be large – but I also foresee nice ‘utilities’ for budget release or plan data changes with light weight approval workflows.
In case you have a solution in place that extends the active budget control scenario – let the community know about it and comment.
Back to main blog post: Active Budget Control in SAP Business ByDesign