Q&A: Deep Dive into the Universal Journal

SAP Consulting


  • How does the Universal Journal replace previous FI/CO reporting?

  • What reporting options do you have with the Universal Journal Table ACDOCA ?

  • What are the new functionalities of S/4 HANA that can be viewed in the Universal Journal?

  • What are the Multidimensional Capabilities of the Universal Journal?

Speaker: Paul Ovigele, FI/CO Expert

Watch the prerecorded webcast by pressing play:

Is the Universal Journal the same thing as Central Finance?

No. The Universal Journal is an SAP table that combines several fields from different FI/CO modules, while Central Finance is an SAP (S/4 HANA) system that integrates the financial transactional and master data from several SAP and non-SAP systems in a Centralized manner. One confusion with the two terms is that the Universal Journal was sometimes referred to as “Central Journal” when it was first introduced. 


Is Project Systems also part of the Universal Journal?

Some of the data from PS as it relates to CO postings is included in the Universal Journal, however, the module itself is still separate. 


Is the Combined Profitability Analysis part of the Universal Journal?

No, this is a separate functionality that was introduced by SAP’s support team and is not part of the Universal Journal. 


Can KE30 Reports be created for Account Based CO-PA in HANA?

Yes, KE30 reports can be created as they were done in ECC. With Account Based CO-PA the data is extracted from Table ACDOCA as opposed to COEP. 


Can we do Substitution rules for GL Accounts (from Secondary to Primary) in S4 (1709)?

I think you are referring to the COFI substitution rule in OKC9 which is where you can assign (one or many) primary cost elements per business transaction, when the secondary cost element (e.g. Assessment, Distribution, Direct Activity Allocation, etc.) is posted across company code/functional area/profit center, etc. In S/4, there is no concept of COFI integration because the secondary cost element is now a G/L Account. Therefore, you should not need to do a COFI substitution. I understand that sometimes, companies do not want to show secondary cost elements in Financial Statements (which is another need for a substitution), however, you can always create the secondary cost element in the same range as a Primary G/L Account, with the only difference being that the G/L account type is “Secondary Cost Elements”. Therefore, when you report your financial statements the secondary cost element will be shown just like a primary cost element and there would be no need for a substitution.

Note that even within primary G/L accounts, G/L account substitution is not provided in the standard SAP system, as a lot of rules and object assignments depend on the G/L account. However still, you can remove the “Exclude” indicator from BSEG-HKONT field in view VWTYGB01 and define the substitution for the G/L account. 


Can you explain why the BSEG table continues in Universal Journal and BSIS and so on not?

Although the BSEG table exists in S/4HANA, it does not contain all line items as it did in ECC. The reason it still exists in S/4HANA, is because there are several applications such as sales and purchasing components which use the interface to BSEG, and SAP has not yet converted all applications to divert to ACDOCA from BSEG. The long-term vision is that table BSEG will be used only for open item management - and postings that do not related to open items will no longer create entries in table BSEG.

As a first step towards this vision, postings from Controlling such as assessments and distributions do not create entries in table BSEG. Instead they only create entries in table ACDOCA. Also, foreign currency valuation postings or manual currency adjustments (such as FBB1) do not create entries in table BSEG anymore. These postings have a status in the BKPF table (BKPF-BSTAT) of 'U'.

However, BSIS, BSAS, BSID, BSAD, BSIK, BSAK are index tables, which stored duplicate data in ECC for faster access to open item/ cleared items processing. With the computing power of S/4HANA based on the in-memory database and columnar storage, these index tables are no longer needed as the data is extracted from database on the fly in real-time. 


In S/4 HANA, what happens to the CO data that is stored in Cost Objects in an ECC system today? What happens to Results Analysis data?

For actual CO data (Value Types ‘04’ Actual) which were previously stored in COEP, this is now being stored in ACDOCA. The required actual data for long running orders/projects from COSP_BAK, COSS_BAK is stored in table ACDOCA. Access to table COEP is redirected via the view V_COEP to the new Universal Journal Entry. Compatibility views V_<TABLENAME> (e.g. V_COEP) are provided in order to reproduce the old structures. Access to data in the old tables (e.g. COEP) are still possible via the views V_<TABLENAME>_ORI (e.g. V_COEP_ORI). You can refer OSS note 2270404 for more details.

Currently, the header table COBK is written as before. The target is to replace COBK with BKPF.

Data for Value types other than ‘04’, are still stored in COEP, COSP_BAK, COSS_BAK.

Result analysis has not changed so far, and thus table COSB/COSBD etc. will continue to work in S/4HANA as before.


Does ACDOCA includes open items for Customers and vendors as well?

Yes, ACDOCA contains the open items information for customer/ vendors/ GLs in the field XOPVW “Indicator: Open Item Management?”. 


If I would like to build a report on open items, then what are the tables I can link? Is it only from ACDOCA?

Depending on the output requirement, you may need to include BKPF (for extra header data level information), master data tables (LFA1/LFB1/KNA1/KNB1 etc.), if you are looking for to display some master data information from these and other tables.

Also, SAP provides CDS (Core data service) views, which combine the data from various related tables for easy use in reporting. A Fiori application called “Query Browser” (Fiori ID F1068) is available which allows you to simply create the open item reports using these pre-delivered CDS view (and you also have the option to create your own custom CDS views.) 


IS BSEG one of the tables replaced by the Universal Journal?

The information from BSEG is available in Universal Journal table ACDOCA, but from a process standpoint, BSEG is still being used. Also note that the field names are not identical in these two tables, e.g. Trading Partner is having a field name of VBUND in table BSEG and RASSC in table ACDOCA; Cost Center is having a field name of KOSTL in table BSEG and RCNTR in table ACDOCA and so-on.

Refer question 2 response for more details. 


You mentioned that BKPF and BSEG still exist in the S/4 FI CO data model.  What about BSIS, BSAS, BSID, etc...? 

BSIS, BSAS, BSID, BSAD, BSIK, BSAK are index tables, which were duplicated in ECC for faster access to open item/ cleared items processing. With the S/4HANA computing power which uses an in-memory database and columnar storage, these index tables are no longer needed in S/4HANA and data gets extracted from database on the fly in real-time. 


If you have a lot of ABAP reports and plan on moving to S4.  Is there tool that assist remediating code in these reports?

Custom code remediation is a very important task in converting existing systems to the S/4HANA environment, to meet the new database architecture changes, process simplifications etc. SAP has a standard guide on Custom Code Migration, provides useful information on what and how to convert the code. SAP tools UPL/ SCMON provide the custom code usage information and therefore the client can decide what needs to be corrected or not, as not all custom code may be relevant to carry forward to S/4HANA environment. Then SAP tools like ATC provides the issue information for the custom code. There is also a “Quick Fix” possibility to correct some issues in ATC. Apart from that there are some third-party tools, such as the Infosys-developed CMO (Code Migration and Optimization) tool, which enables you to to identify these code issues and fix them automatically alongside performing unit tests in automatically. 


At my company we have extended ACDOCA with custom coding block fields but have found the getting those fields to different Fiori tiles requires many different programming techniques. Has anyone made this work effort simpler with Fiori reports and coding block fields?

SAP Fiori application “Custom Fields and Logic” (Fiori F1481) provides a simple procedure to add custom fields in the coding block and seamlessly integrate and extend the various UI applications for these custom fields. For e.g. it can be integrated to the following: Accounting Journal Entry Item Cube; Manage Journal Entries; Manage Supplier Invoice; P&L – Actuals; Post General Journal Entries; Post Incoming Payments; Post Outgoing Payments etc. etc. 


Is the Trial Balance only available via the FIORI user interface?

Basically, Trial Balance is just a list of G/L accounts with balances. The trial balance can also be generated using SAP GUI transaction as was done in ECC. Therefore, the GUI transaction codes S_ALR_87013336 “Financial Statement”, S_EBS_44000137 “Financial Statement: Ledger Comparison”, S_ALR_87013612 “G/L Account Balances” etc. can still be used in S/4HANA in addition to  the standard Fiori apps Trial Balance (Fiori ID F0996A) and Trial Balance Comparison (Fiori ID F2767). 


Can the reports like trial balance comparison be scheduled?

S/4HANA has made analytics very fast and as real-time, so presently SAP has not provided a scheduling option in other Fiori reports like Trial Balance Comparison (Fiori ID F2767), unless it is a GUI-based Fiori app (e.g. Display Credit Master Data (Fiori ID UKM_BP_DISPLAY) which also has a scheduling option in the GUI environment in the form on “Execute in Background” option.

However, there are a lot of transactional Fiori apps, where scheduling options are available, e.g. for G/L balance carry forward, foreign currency valuation etc. 


Does CO-PA come activated with the new ledger or do you still have to choose to use CO-PA?

NewGL is mandatory in S/4HANA as part of the universal journal. COPA is an optional application and not mandatory in S/4HANA. Both Account based COPA and Costing Based COPA are available in S/4HANA, although account-based COPA is recommended approach as this is fully integrated to Universal Journal. Costing based COPA is not integrated to universal journal and continues to update CE1XXXX table for actual postings.  


Is it true that there is no G/L planning or Cost Center budgeting in S4?

The planning feature is still available in S/4HANA; however, the method of planning has changed, using BPC features. Please refer below best practice content for these planning features: 

  • General Cost Center Planning (‏BEX‏) 

  • Internal Order Planning (‏BEU‏) 

  • Revenue Planning (‏BEA‏) 

The classical way of G/L planning can also be reactivated in S/4HANA. You can refer to OSS note 2474069  for this.  


Some literature posted on some blogs says that, BSEG is continued because of Open Item Management. Is it true? If so, what is the limitation the ACDOCA has from not having that functionality (Open Item Management)?

Open item management is a vast scope to manage, as it impacts the upstream applications and downstream applications as well. At the moment, to avoid the business impact that relies on these applications, SAP is not yet planning to transition the open item management functionality away from the BSEG table. This is not due to any limitation of ACDOCA table. It is quite possible in future years, that BSEG gets removed completely, but right now not on SAP’s published roadmap. 


How do you differentiate between Real Postings made to COPA and Real Time COPA update (ex: at the time of posting to WBS etc.? Which Reports to use to see the data posted to Real Time COPA?

If PAOBJ Relevant indicator (table ACDOCA- Field XPAOBJNR_CO_REL) has a value X, this means it is a real posting instead of a derived one. Also, field OBJNR in table ACDOCA shows the object type of the postings, whereas the real postings in COPA have the object number starting “EOA”. However, this differentiation is not really needed, as the reporting such data populated for COPA is treated at similarly. The standard Fiori reports such as “Market Segment – Actuals” (Fiori ID F0943A) have all the profitability data irrespective of whether it is posted directly or in real-time via in real-time. 


Does the built-in reporting make it easy and possible to do comparison reports? This year vs last year period over period, multiple periods for trends, etc. can you easily do this without bi, or coding?

There are various in-built reporting tools for period comparison, such as Trial Balance Comparison (Fiori ID F2767). For custom reports/ KPIs it is also quite easy to create reports that compare two different periods. Refer Fiori app Manage KPIs and Reports (Fiori ID F0818)/ Report Workspace (Fiori ID F2319). If the logic is quite complex, the other reporting layers such as BI/ Analytics for Cloud, Lumira etc. are useful. 


Are there plans to include other tables into the Universal Journal?  Anything related to Oil and Gas Industry?

There are more simplifications planned on roadmap for universal journal, such as currency introduction in a live environment; predictive journal entries for purchasing processes etc.; however, there is no plan to make any specific table redundant for Universal Journal in SAP’s published Roadmap. For the Oil and Gas Industry, you should check SAP Roadmap for Oil and Gas for the specific simplifications in this industry. 


In S/4HANA, some Tr Code like KB11N have Ledger Option. What is the business use of having Ledger in these Tr Codes?

With S/4HANA Finance, CO processes like KB11N, KB41N and KB15N are enabled to be posted into ledger groups and you can also specify the document type. In S/4HANA, FI postings and CO postings are merged into same document using the cost element. Therefore, any posting which is intended to be adjusted for CO-only, also affects the FI posting in S/4HANA. If you want to adjust entries management purposes only and not for legal reporting, then the ledger group option helps to make Ledger-only adjustments using the Extension Simulation ledgers.


Ask a Fixer is a live ASUG-hosted Q&A session with one of ERPfixers’ top-rated SAP experts (“Fixers”) in a specific module or topic. In this real-time discussion session, you have the opportunity to pose your specific questions to a Fixer, who will provide an immediate answer during the forum. This is a great way to get quick answers to your pressing issues, as well as learn from questions posted by other users during the forum.

Author: Paul Ovigele

Paul Ovigele has worked as an ERP financials consultant since 1997 in both North America and Europe, specializing in implementing the FI and CO modules along with their integrated areas for companies in industries such as consumer goods, chemicals, logistics, pharmaceuticals, apparel and entertainment. Paul has delivered numerous training sessions to finance professionals at both the functional and managerial levels, and he has presented at various SAP financials conferences around the world.

Module(s): Financial Accounting