FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING OVERVIEW
The Financial Accounting (FI) module is the core module within the financials application. Almost all functionality that resides in the other financial application modules relies on the implementation of at least parts of the FI module. Financial Accounting is designed to provide financial information from an external view. The main FI components offer functionality for the general ledger, accounts receivables and accounts payables, asset management, a special ledger used to meet user specific requirements, funds management, and legal consolidations. The general ledger (G/L) houses the chart of accounts as well as the account balances and line items. The G/L tracks all transactional postings, such as inventory updates, sales revenues, bank accounts, and expenses. Accounts Receivable (AR) and Accounts Payable (AP) are subledgers of the G/L that support the processes involved with the collection of revenues and payments of expenses. Combined AR and AP facilitate maintaining customer or vendor records, account balances and line items, payments, clearing, advice notices, dunning, interest calculations, check releases, and over/underpayment management. The AR/AP information systems support reporting for due date breakdown, payment history, days sales outstanding, overdue items, and currency risk. Asset management is another subledger to the G/L that focuses on the management of the fixed assets in an organization. Asset management maintains the master records for the assets, special valuations, country-specific requirements, and four types of depreciation calculations, one of which is for cost depreciation. The special ledger functionality supports the ability to create other ledgers or subledgers for specific user requirements. Special ledgers can pull information from other modules and can support simplistic allocations. In addition to the ledgers and subledgers, FI contains functionality supporting funds management and legal consolidations. Funds management provides the capabilities to define planned revenues and expenses for the management areas, monitor these transactions as compared to available funds, and prevent exceeding the budget. Once all transactions have been completed, consolidations can be performed. Legal consolidations functionality supports providing consolidated financial information for companies and business areas. Business areas are utilized primarily for external reporting of business segments across companies.
The Controlling (CO) module is the symbiotic counter to the FI module and is designed to provide financial information from an internal managerial accounting view. To support this view of accounting, the CO module offers functionality for cost center accounting, activity-based costing, order and project accounting, product costing, and profitability analysis. Cost center accounting focuses on showing the expenses of the organization from a departmental view for the purpose of supporting responsibility accounting. Cost center accounting also supports the planning, budgeting, controlling, and allocation of departmental expenses. Additionally, many organizations desire to show the expenses of the organization within a process view. This process-oriented view is supported by the activity-based costing component. Within organizations, costs might be incurred to support events and overheadrelated projects. The order and project accounting capabilities of CO support planning, monitoring, capturing, and allocating the expenses related to these events. For production-related organizations, many of the cost centers capture expenses that later will be attributed to products to determine product costs. The product costing component of the CO module focuses on the creation of the standard product cost estimates, charging of overhead to production, capturing actual costs of production, calculating production variances, and settling production expenses to the appropriate profitability market segment. All of the expense objects —cost center, process, event or project, and products—allocate or settle costs to the profitability analysis component, which supports the generation of market profit and loss (P/L) statements at a gross and contribution margin level. The next section provides more details on the CO module components, especially for ABC.