SAP CO-PA: Types of Errors and How to Correct Them

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Types of Errors

There are two TYPES OF ERRORS that can arise in CO-PA:
Incorrect characteristics or characteristic derivations,
Incorrect data transfer or incorrect valuations

Let us look at the first type of error: characteristics or characteristic derivations are incorrect. Sometimes, characteristic values have been defined as they were “up-to-date” at the time of the derivation; at the current point in time, they appear obsolete and incorrect. Here too, you have to decide whether an error occurred at the time of the transfer and derivation, or whether this is some type of temporary view.

Correcting characteristic derivations that were once valid retrospectively, perhaps also for the period in which they were valid. What does this mean? This is best explained with the example of the customer hierarchies: when the invoice was created, a customer was assigned to customer hierarchy KH1. At some point, the customer was sold to another customer hierarchy KH2. For the assessment of customer hierarchy KH2, for management reasons it may be useful to change the original characteristic derivation of the customer for the original invoice to KH2 so that, for example, this data is available for planning. However, if we did this, incorrect information would be reported for the level of sales that was achieved with customer hierarchy KH1 in the period in which the invoice was created. Therefore, you should make sure that you do not perform this type of backwards assignment change in your ERP system. You may be able to do this in your management information system, which you may have connected to the SAP system, but not in your ERP system.

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Back to error type 1: if characteristics or characteristic derivations have been transferred to CO-PA, but at the time of the transfer they were different in reality, but can no longer be corrected at the source, they have to be corrected by means of data entry in CO-PA. You can enter actual line items in CO-PA with transaction KE21 (or KE21N). For the correction, you have to create two data records: the first data record contains all characteristic values specified in the original document. All specified values in the value fields are entered with reversed, leading signs (this is the same result as you would achieve by reversing the document at the source). The second data record contains new and corrected characteristic values as well as all values in the value fields that were created in the original document.

Error type 2: incorrect data was transferred. If this data is also important for other modules, you will probably not be able to avoid making a correction at the source or would have to also make corrections in these other modules. However, let us assume that an evaluation of your costing-based CO-PA data was incorrect: you could then use direct data entry in CO-PA (transaction KE21 or KE21N) to correct this inconsistency — for the same characteristic values that you specified in the source, you enter the delta to the correct value of a value field and enter zero in the remaining value fields. This sounds more complicated than it is: in a line item, you have entered a cash discount of EUR 10, but it should have been EUR 12. For the same characteristic values as in the original document, in the cash discount value field, you enter a delta amount of EUR 2. You do not make any entries in the remaining quantity and value fields and they are filled with zeros when this line item is posted.                                             

In the event of a combination of error type 1 and error type 2, you have to apply a combination of both correction methods — i.e., you have to correct errors from incorrect characteristic values and then correct incorrect values.

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Security Measures

In the CO-PA information system, you can also define a line item layouts. After entering a line item correction directly in CO-PA, you should always check that everything was entered correctly by reading your line items and the related line item layout. For example, the total of the value fields in the correction line items should balance to zero if you have processed error type 1.
If you want to perform actual line item corrections directly in CO-PA, it is recommended to define and use a separate record type. You can create a new record type in customizing for CO-PA via the path shown in Figure below.

Defining your own record types in CO-PA

Any record type that you define can have a number between 0 and 9; letters are reserved exclusively for SAP. You then have the option of displaying exactly what you have changed in evaluations. If necessary, you can show an auditor exactly what was changed — at the touch of a button!

Simplifications in Line Item Corrections

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Once errors have been detected in CO-PA, it is usually not sufficient to simply enter a few data records. Depending on the size of the original document and how long the error was undiscovered, up to several hundred data records may be affected.
To perform mass corrections, use a batch input program, for example. Define a line item layout that enables you to present all characteristics and value fields one after the other. One layout will often be insufficient; you should use the CO-PA document number as lead column for the layouts. Export incorrect documents from CO-PA (transaction KE24) and run a download to Excel for each layout. In theory, you would have to link the layouts with one another in Excel via VLOOKUP using the document number, but the downloads are usually arranged and sorted correctly (but you should check this).
The value and data length of the characteristics and value fields should be defined precisely in advance. Prepare the Excel columns of your downloaded data accordingly and maintain the data records created automatically in CO-PA using your program.

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