Chart of Accounts Changeover in SAP

There are many reasons that speak in favor of a chart of accounts changeover. However, the changeover itself poses some risks which need to be avoided. The following article shows how this works.

The 5 biggest risks when changing the chart of accounts in SAP

The IT architectures of companies are becoming more and more dynamic, so that the reasons for a change in the chart of accounts are becoming more and more diverse. For example, processes can be simplified and made more transparent as part of internal restructuring, or centralized through a harmonized chart of accounts. The integration of a newly acquired company into one's own corporate landscape would also be a compelling reason for a change in the chart of accounts.

A chart of accounts changeover can either be carried out using classic methods using transfer postings and successive adjustments in Customizing and programs, or with the SAP Landscape Transformation Software, which can be used to change over a system and its history directly in the database.
No matter which changeover method you choose, classic or with SAP Landscape Transformation, the chart of accounts changeover must always include all master data, transaction data, and Customizing data related to the chart of accounts to be changed over.

The path to the desired chart of accounts, however, contains some underestimated potential dangers that can complicate a chart of accounts conversion and even endanger it if they are not observed.

1. insufficient involvement of the specialist department in the planning and implementation of a conversion of the chart of accounts

A chart of accounts changeover contains a chart of accounts mapping as a central activity. Here, the department knows best which processes are hidden behind the individual accounts, so that the collaboration of the department in a chart of accounts mapping is indispensable. The changeover of an individual account can, under certain circumstances, trigger a large number of changeover activities.

2. fixation on the 'Finance' department during the chart of accounts changeover

It is usually not clear that a change in the chart of accounts, which mainly emanates from the finance department, also has an enormous impact on other departments. The Controlling department is mainly affected here, but the effects are not limited to this specialist area. Controlling is usually affected if the change relates to a profit and loss account, as this automatically affects the value flows and processes of Controlling.

3. underestimating the technical aspects of a changeover to the chart of accounts

A G/L account master in SAP consists of several technical fields. It is possible that each or certain fields must be 100% compatible in order for the chart of accounts changeover to be possible. This analysis is usually performed manually, can take a long time, is prone to errors, and would have to be repeated with each mapping change.

4. unrealistic timetables for carrying out a changeover of the chart of accounts

The time required for a chart of accounts mapping and the corresponding conversion is always, and really always, underestimated. It is often assumed that only one account is compared to another account. As mentioned before, behind every account there are processes and value flows, various specialist areas, as well as a technical entity that has to be compatible in the end. As a rule, too little time is taken into account in order to achieve this goal.

5. insufficient prioritisation of test cycles

In order for the theory to work in practice, some test runs are necessary. In order to make a reliable forecast as to whether all processes will function after the changeover and lead to the correct results, these processes must be continuously tested during the changeover. Your employees will also be grateful for an adequate test phase, because the early involvement of the employees in the changeover process creates acceptance and security.

If you have paid sufficient attention to these often underestimated factors during planning, the conversion of the chart of accounts changeover may be necessary. In order to ensure a smooth implementation of the chart of accounts changeover, there is no harm in having the right consultant at your side. In addition to using the appropriate tools, he can assess risks and take the right steps to prevent them. GAMBIT has developed an SAP-based tool to support successful chart of accounts conversions, which checks the technical compatibility of a chart of accounts mapping in real time, based on always the same algorithms, as well as possible errors. From the experience of dozens of chart of accounts conversions, we know that only consistent mapping leads to a consistent ERP-SAP system.

Meinolf Schaefer01 1444x1444px

Meinolf Schäfer, Senior Director Sales & Marketing

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