Our journey through activity type postings begins with activity type category 1 (manual entry, manual allocation). I think of category 1 as the vanilla ice cream of posting activity. This is the most straightforward method to use and understand. Activity types defined with this category must be directly posted to a cost center and at the same time have a cost object for the allocation assigned. Look at the definition of activity type CATEG1 below. In this case, the actual allocation category is left blank, which means that it will be the same as the plan activity type category. For CATEG1, that means the actual category will be 1.
In order to understand what happens when posting, let’s have a brief and very high-level word about activity type planning. Because the plan category is 1, this usually means that KP26 and KP06 will be used for planning purposes. KP26 is used for planning the quantity of activity in a cost center for a given period or year, and KP06 is used for assigning costs by cost element to that activity type / cost center combination. It is also possible to allocate costs to a cost center / activity type from another activity type using transaction KP06. Since the price indicator is set to 1, KSPI is used to calculate the planned activity price.
We will use a very simple planning example to examine the effects of making category 1 activity type postings. 10,000 activity units are planned for the fiscal year in KP26.
Some fixed and variable costs have been assigned to this activity type. The planned variable costs are dependent upon how much activity is planned, whereas the planned fixed costs are totally independent of the planned activity quantity. This will have an impact when activity is posted to the cost center.
The next step is to use transaction KSPI to calculated the activity price. Because there are fixed and variable costs planned for this activity type, the activity price will have a fixed portion and a variable portion. This will have implications when the activity type is posted.
Now that the preliminaries are out of the way, we can get to the fun stuff. Category 1 activities must be directly posted, using KB21N, using one of the production confirmation transactions, such as CO11N or COR6N, or using template allocation. We are going to stick with KB21N as this is the easiest to explain. You first determine a quantity of activity to be processed at the sender cost center and then specify a cost object to receive the allocation. It’s as simple as that, although you would have to first determine what the proper quantity would be! On the other hand, production confirmations usually rely on route or recipe standard values that are used in calculations defined for specific work centers that are assigned to the sender cost centers. The result of the confirmation will result in a quantity of activity that is posted in the assigned cost center and allocated to the specific production order, process order, or product cost collector. That is a whole set of topics in itself! Template calculations can also be used to post category 1 activity types. Templates allow you to create formulas which can be used to calculate the amount of activity to post in the cost center. As a part of period end closing the templates can be allocated by using a transaction such as KPAS or CPTA to generate the postings. Like production confirmations, defining and using templates for activity postings is a set of topics all its own.
Therefore, gratefully sticking with simple old KB21N, let’s analyze what happens when a posting is made. The receiving cost object will be a cost center. First we will look at the Cost Center Actual/Target/Variance report (S_ALR_87013625) before posting so that we can set a baseline for the sending and receiving cost centers.
As you can see above, no activity has been posted to cost center SND1 and the only target cost that is seen is for cost element 599999 – Depreciation, which was planned as fixed. No targets are possible for the variably planned costs because no activity has been posted.
When making an actual posting for a category 1 activity type, entering both the sender cost center and the receiving cost object is necessary. In this case, the receiving cost object is cost center RCV1A.
After posting 100 units of activity type CATEG1 to cost center SND1, the Cost Center Actual/Target/Variance report now shows the following information.
You now see targets posted for the variable cost elements. The target value is based on the planned amount per unit of activity times the quantity posted. Note that the fixed target does not change. Because cost element 599999 is planned as fixed, the target will not change no matter how much activity is posted. A credit posting is made to the sender cost center of the activity price times the quantity of activity posted. The cost element used is the one assigned to the activity type.
The offset to the credit posting goes to the receiver cost object. The receiver is cost center RCV1A in this example.
The posting is done using the same cost element as the credit posting for the sender cost center. Although I used a cost center as a receiver, any valid cost object could have been used. These include internal orders, production orders, process orders, product cost collectors, WBS elements, business processes, and sales orders when used as cost objects.
As you can see, this is a very simple use of the activity type. First, determine how much activity to post and then post it. Using KB21N is very manual. Although generating activity postings as a result of production confirmations helps determine the quantity to post, this still will require manual input.
Next time, we will jump ahead to a category that is much more interesting and involved: Category 2 - (indirect determination, indirect allocation).