FI Configuration-07: Posting Periods

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In the previous article we have defined fiscal year variant that determines the beginning and end of fiscal year; the number of “normal” and “special” posting periods; and the posting period length. For every company code, we must assign a fiscal year variant to it.

Now, we will explain about the posting period. What exactly is posting period? Posting period is a period within a fiscal year, such as a particular month, for which SAP transaction figures are updated. Every SAP transaction that is posted is assigned to a particular posting period. The transaction figures are then updated for this period.

By dividing a fiscal year into some posting periods, we can restrict that at a point of time we can only post to a certain periods, so we can do the closing process. After performing a closing procedure at the end of a certain period, we can then restrict that we can not post to the previous period, so (as usually required by management and law) the figure of our financial statement at the end of that period stays the same, does not change since then.

Usually we will open the current posting period (such as the current month) and will close all other periods. At the beginning of the next month, we need to close the previous posting period and open the current month as allowed posting period.

We open a period by entering a range into the posting period variant which includes this period. We can have as many periods open as we desired, depends on our accounting requirement. To make posting periods maintenance easier, SAP uses the variant concept. We can make a posting periods variant that can be used by several company codes, so we only have to open and close the posting periods once for all the company codes that use the same posting periods variant.

We can do this in SAP configuration at the following menu path on SPRO t-code: Accounting – Financial accounting – General ledger – Environment – Current settings – Open and close posting periods (for SAP 4.7.c version), or the following menu path: Financial Accounting (New) – Financial Accounting Global Setting (New) – Ledger – Fiscal Year and Posting Periods – Posting Periods – Open and Close Posting Periods (for SAP ECC 6.0 version).

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Because usually the procedure of financial closing takes some times to make sure all the financial information is accurate or to make adjustments, during that time we need some special periods (as defined in fiscal year variant) may also be opened. By doing so, we still can post to those special periods although the normal period has been closed and the next normal period has been opened. We can restrict that only certain group of users that can post to the special periods (usually the accountants).

We can do it because SAP gives two period ranges that can be opened at the same time and an authorization group that can be assigned to the first range. Only users that belong to this authorization group can post to the periods in the first range.

The users must have the authorization for the authorization object F_BKPF_BUP (accounting document: authorization for posting periods) with the same value in the field “authorization group” as in the posting period table. This object can be added to a user by SAP basis administrator in a company.

We can set that posting periods for different account types are handled differently. For example, we can allow postings on customer account (“D”) while postings on vendor accounts (“K”) / Asset accounts (“A”) / G/L account (“S”) are not allowed for a certain period.

The account type “+” is the minimum entry in the posting period variant. In the posting periods variant configuration, the account type “+” must be opened for all periods which are supposed to be opened for any other account type. SAP checks this first every accounting document. If the posting date of the document (at the header level) is out of the open posting periods for this “+” account type in the configuration then the document can’t be posted.

At the line item level of documents, SAP checks the account type of the posting key to verify that the period is open for the assigned account type.

The account range always contains G/L accounts. By entering certain reconciliation accounts behind sub ledger account types, these sub ledger accounts can be treated differently than accounts which have a different reconciliation account.

SAP determines the posting periods and fiscal year based on the posting date entered in the accounting documents.

You can download video training of How to Define Variants for Open Posting Periods, Assign Variants to Company Code, and Open and Close Posting Periods.

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