We’ve been working on a project at Woodward to implement SAP Business Planning and Consolidation 10.0, Version for SAP NetWeaver (BPC). This project is part of an overall roadmap aimed at unifying our financial systems across the company, while being able to maintain more than one ERP.
Our BPC project started with our two SAP sites. These sites were already running full SAP ERP and Financials, along with some financial reporting from Business Warehouse (BW). We’d been using costing-based COPA with some success over the last couple of years. Costing-based COPA has been particularly useful for:
- Breaking out cost of goods sold by cost component
- Production variance reporting and analysis by cost component and variance category
- Reporting repair cost of sales for billable repairs and warranty repairs
- Providing margin analysis by a variety of criteria, including product hierarchy, program, distribution channel, customer, etc.
We activated both account-based COPA and costing-based COPA when we went live on SAP, but never validated the data or used account-based COPA for any reporting or analysis. We knew it was there, and we knew it would tie to GL, but it just didn’t provide the granularity and additional info that we get from costing-based COPA. However, when we started looking at how to load COPA data into our new BPC, we ran into problems with costing-based COPA. BPC was looking for data organized by account, where costing-based COPA stores data in value fields and characteristics. We explored a few different ideas on how to manage this, including creating a custom BW cube which would translate COPA’s value fields into accounts, but none of these options were very appealing or sustainable long-term. That led us to look at account-based COPA.
Initially, we were hesitant to look to account-based COPA as a solution. We knew that we’d be missing a lot of the additional information that we get from costing-based COPA. However, when we reviewed what we actually needed in BPC for forecast purposes, we realized that we didn’t need that level of detail. We would still be doing our detailed analysis on variances and cost of sales in SAP ECC.
Our one major change to account-based COPA involved cost elements. Several of our COGS-related GL accounts did not have corresponding cost elements, as they can lead to two COPA documents (with different record types). But, as we learned, without a cost element, no document is created in account-based COPA, so we were missing a lot of information. To resolve this, we created cost elements where needed to get the postings in account-based COPA, and mapped them to an “unused” value field in costing-based COPA for reporting purposes.
In addition to the new cost elements, we also had to do some work on the BW side to pull in account-based COPA. Interestingly, the account-based COPA cube in BW requires us to use summarization hierarchies, while the costing-based COPA cube does not. We do still have some investigation and work to do on repair orders, but so far things are working well.