SAP for Beginners: How to post a financial document in SAP

Espresso Tutorials

Fabian Bentz

Excerpt from First Steps in SAP, second edition.

Transactions in SAP ERP
We are now going to show you a simple example of a transaction in SAP ERP by demonstrating how to post a document in financial accounting (module FI). As we discussed in Section 2.1.3, the transaction to post a document is found in the menu tree via ACCOUNTING • FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING • POSTING • ENTER G/L ACCOUNT DOCUMENT (Transaction FB50) — see Figure 2.34.

Figure 2.34

Figure 2.34: Menu path to post a financial document

In this example, we are posting a consumption of raw materials. This means we are reducing the value of the raw material stock account and at the same time increasing the value of the raw material consumption account. In the language of financial accountants, this means we credit the raw material stock account and debit the raw material consumption account. In addition to the account information and the amount to be posted, we will also have to specify the company in which this posting takes place, the date of the posting, and the currency.

In Figure 2.35, the first thing we had to enter is the date information — the document date and the posting date (1). The document date is the date when the posting actually took place, and in this case, when the material consumption actually occurred. The posting date, on the other hand, specifies to which financial period and fiscal year the document belongs. This is important information for the financial closing. Both dates can differ from each other — for example, when the document was entered a day after the actual consumption occurred. The currency for this transaction is Euro (EUR) (2) because the company (3) in our example is located in Germany.

Figure 2.35

Figure 2.35: Posting a financial document

How does the system know that the company is in Germany? In fact, there can be thousands of different companies in one SAP system. For each of them, you have to maintain a code with a set of basic settings, such as the location, address, and currency. This code is called a company code in SAP and is part of the organizational structure you have to maintain for your SAP system. In fact, you have to define all your required organizational units first before you can start posting. We will explain organizational units in more detail in Section 2.4; for the time being, we will just assume that we have already created a company code called “MM01” (3) which is located in Frankfurt, Germany and therefore uses the Euro as its currency.

Once you have entered the date and currency, you must specify the financial accounts you want to post to (4 and 5). An account is the basic entity in financial accounting to capture and classify value flows. Each account comes with a unique number and description and belongs to exactly one company code. As opposed to a company code, an account is not an organizational unit; there can be many (usually several hundred) accounts in a company, and they are subject to frequent changes. An account is a master data entity, a concept we will explain further in Section 2.5. For now, we will simply use some accounts that already exist.

Financial Accounts
Some examples for financial accounts are:

  • Stock inventory
  • Asset value of machinery
  • Personnel expenses
  • Sales revenue
  • Material consumption

In our example, we are posting between the accounts for material stock and material consumption. As we pointed out before, the reduction of stock is considered a credit to the stock account and a debit to the material consumption account. In Figure 2.35, you can see the two accounts (4) and (5) with their numbers (column G/L ACCOUNT (G/L stands for general ledger) and descriptions (SHORT TEXT). In column D/C (debit/credit), we specify for each account whether we are posting a debit or credit and enter the amount in column AMOUNT IN DOC. CURR. (amount in document currency). On the right-hand side, we can check in AMOUNT INFORMATION (6) if our total debit equals our total credit (because the debit must always equal the credit in a financial document). This is the case in our example, so we can post the document using the (Save) button. The system will confirm this with an information message at the bottom of the screen (see Figure 2.36).

Figure 2.36

Figure 2.36: Information message upon saving

Using the menu entry DOCUMENT • DISPLAY, you can check the document
you just posted (see Figure 2.37).

Posting a financial document
Watch a video on how to process a simple transaction in SAP ERP by posting a document in financial accounting (module FI).

Figure 2.37

Figure 2.37: Display document

We have now completed our first example for a business transaction in SAP ERP. You have seen how to navigate through the menu to the desired transaction, what data to enter, how to save, and how to display the document. In addition, we have introduced the concepts of organizational units and master data, which we will continue to explain in the following chapters.

Keep reading in First Steps in SAP, second edition. 

– Learn how to navigate in SAP ERP
– Learn SAP basics including transactions, organizational units, and master data
– Watch instructional videos with simple, step-by-step examples
– Get an overview of SAP products and new development trends