Richard Cornelisse

By May 31, 2013 SAP function hierarchical access will be disabled

In Business Strategy, EU development, Indirect Tax Automation, Processes and Controls, Technology on 02/04/2013 at 7:30 pm
Taxmarc™ SAP solution2
By Robbert Hoogeveen, CFO of the KEY Group and Director Technology of Taxmarc™

Robbert Hoogeveen By May 31, 2013 clients that use SAP for US companies must take account of a ‘downgrade’ of the SAP pricing functionality. This is caused by the fact that SAP lost in an Intellectual Property court case in the US.

SAP has appealed against this decision, but has already taken some precautionary measures to prepare its customers for the removal of the hierarchical access functionality. As for now, it appears that from May 31 on, the functionality for hierarchical access will be no longer available in SAP.

Taxmarc™  has obviated the disabling of the hierarchical access functionality timely by simulating the hierarchical access on a higher level in SAP, allowing the functionality to be realized in some other way.

This avoids the necessity of numerous changes in the relevant condition records.

The main issue

Customers who use hierarchical access and have implemented SAP with US installations or with US users must disable the hierarchical access in SAP themselves. In case this is not done by May 31, 2013 they will no longer have support from SAP. Without hierarchical access customers face substantial risks of the occurrence of incorrect pricing in sales orders. The solution proposed by SAP involves the addition of a new standard ‘access sequence’.

The function of an access sequence concerns the pooling of data sets. Subsequently, a ‘requirement’ can be added to an access sequence in order to ensure that the access sequence will only be read in specific cases. The solution provided by SAP – that is, extension of the access sequence – makes that this concept of access sequence is disregarded and basically misused when SAP replaces the hierarchical access functionality entirely by access sequences.

In practice, this is not an actual solution when a substantial amount of different data elements are used in pricing condition tables. In case a pricing condition table contains multiple ‘hierarchical reads’, many new access sequences have to be included. The impossible limit of 99 access sequences could then be reached, which makes the proposed solution unusable in actual practice.

Also, as side effect of this solution, problems regarding the condition records will arise. This will mainly occur if multiple ‘hierarchical access reads’ are used for reading a table. When adding access sequences is undesirable or impossible, the only alternative is the addition of many condition records.

The disadvantage is that such a large amount of conditions combined with different access sequences makes it nearly impossible to check whether all transactions and outputs are incorporated and therefore produce the correct result. Problems will also arise with regard to maintenance – for instance in the event of changes, as an enormous amount of conditions must be selected, evaluated and adjusted. This is not only a complex process in SAP – the condition records are actually listed in two tables – but also an extremely time-consuming and risky process (prone to manual errors).

The above may appear to only be a tax issue, that is however not the case; it concerns a standard pricing issue.

An example to clarify. Using Taxmarc combined with hierarchical access, 96,000 conditions could be reduced to 480 conditions. After May 31 and without Taxmarc, companies have to go back to 96,000 conditions if and in so far as access sequence is not possible.

For SAP users this will result in the following with respect to US companies:

  • Unrealistic time schedules for implementation
  • Non compliance
  • Substantial commercial risks for SAP customers

Taxmarc™ has obviated this problem in an innovative and effective manner by realizing the functionality of hierarchical access on a higher level in SAP, thereby preserving the function.

  1. Reblogged this on Nieuwszender voor Indirecte Belastingen and commented:

    Taxmarc™ has obviated this problem in an innovative and effective manner by realizing the functionality of hierarchical access on a higher level in SAP, thereby preserving the function.

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