SAP Controlling FAQs – Master Data

1.    List the five types of master data in cost center accounting (CCA).
•    Cost centers
•    Cost elements
•    Activity types
•    Statistical key figures
•    Resources

2.    What characteristics do the master data types in CCA share?
•    Time dependency (except for SKF)
•    Can not be deleted once transaction data has been posted (except for SKF and resources)
•    Can be arranged in groups (except for SKF)

3.    Name the two types of cost elements and explain them.
Primary cost elements: They originate from outside the CO module (i.e. posted through FI). They have counter-parts in FI and are used as a method for moving costs into the CO module.
Secondary cost elements: Originate from within CO and have no FI counter-part. Secondary cost elements are used as a tool for moving costs for internal reporting within CO.  They exist exclusively in CO.

4.    True or False? Once a cost center has been created, the open or validity period of such center cannot be changed.
True.  CCA master data is time dependent and once created cannot be changed.  However, creating a new item and attaching its date range to the original date range may extend the effective date.

5.    Define a cost center group.
A cost center group is a hierarchical structure consisting of nodes and attached cost centers.  Cost center groups can facilitate the analysis of costs by allowing costs to be reported on the cost center level or at the group level.

6.    Define the Standard Hierarchy and explain its use.
The standard hierarchy must, by definition, contain all cost centers from all company codes attached to the controlling area.  This ensures that all costs posted in FI and assigned to a cost center are captured in CO.

7.    True or False? All cost centers must be attached to either the standard hierarchy or an alternate hierarchy (cost center group).
False.  All cost centers must be attached to the standard hierarchy in order to ensure that all costs posted in FI are captured in CO. They may furthermore be attached to as many alternate hierarchies (cost center groups) as desired.

8.    True or False? Cost centers can be attached at any node level within the hierarchical structure.
False.  Cost centers can only be attached to the lowest node levels within the hierarchical structure.

9.    True or False? A cost center cannot be attached to more than one alternate hierarchy.

10.    Define activity types.
Activity types are units of measurement for the internal allocation of costs from within CO.  Activity types define the main cost drivers or services performed by a cost center.  Examples include direct labor hours, machine hours and maintenance hours.

11.    Define activity price.
Activity types are used to derive the activity price.  The total costs are divided by the total planned or actual activity quantity to derive the activity price (cost / activity type unit).

12.    Provide two examples of statistical key figures.
Statistical key figures are derived from non-financial statistical data, such as the number of telephones or the square footage of a building.  Statistical key figures are used for the allocation or planning of costs.

13.    What are Resources?
Resources are goods and services, which are supplied internally and externally to an organization in order to produce business activities. They Resources are used to carry out detailed, quantity-based primary cost planning below the cost element level for cost centers, orders and WBS elements.

14.    Name the two types of internal orders and explain the major distinctions.
An Individual Order collects costs of a one-time business activity.  This order is typically settled in full at the time of completion and is closed after settlement.
A Standing Order collects costs for smaller, recurring jobs.  These costs are settled on a periodic basis (typically at month-end).  After settlement the order remains open for postings. The benefit of a Standing Order is, not having to create a new order for the same costs each month.

15.    Define statistical orders.
A Statistical Internal Order can be defined to collect costs for informational purposes only and therefore need a real cost assignment (e.g. to a cost center) at the same time.  The costs posted to a statistical internal order are not settled.

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