The Public Sector Accounting Structures ES bundle streamlines the handling and maintenance of accounting structures of a government agency or nonprofit organization by allowing any employee – not just those in the finance department – to request the creation of new accounting structure elements or trigger the change of existing structure elements.
The System Landscape
The bundle extends the functionality of SAP for Public Sector by setting up a seamless link between that application and a business portal. This bridge allows electronic requests regarding the maintenance of accounting structure elements to flow quickly between employees and the finance department and removes the need for slow and problematic paper-based processes. Requests can include submitting accounting structure elements for funds that need to be kept separate from a main budget, changing a single program's budget accounting element, and creating an accounting structure element for a new expense type.
Phase 1: Creating an Accounting Structure Element in the Business Portal
This is a two-phase process. In the first phase, a department manager or other employee logs into an organization's portal and clicks on a button to create an accounting structure element request. This can trigger a composite application, and a screen pops up. Alternatively, the screen could be replaced by a form designed using Adobe Forms Designer, where one can import an existing PDF or Microsoft Word document, a blank form, or an existing template, and then convert and save it as an Adobe Interactive Form.
In either case, the employee fills in the relevant information to create or change an accounting structure element request, which includes details such as the project or program's name, description, and validity timeframe. Using the agency's intranet, the request is delivered to the finance department.
Phase 2: Approving the Accounting Structure Element
In the second phase, a finance department employee calls up the form in a work center. The employee reviews the request, adds information if needed, and decides whether to accept or reject it. If the employee clicks on the "approve" button, it triggers the ES bundle to create the accounting structure element in SAP for Public Sector. The system sends confirmation to both employees that the request has been created and approved.
Public Services Accounting Structures (click to enlarge)
How This Bundle Helps with Budget Preparation
This ES bundle also enables a second important functionality. It allows SAP for Public Sector to communicate with third-party systems that support the process of budget preparation. Part of the budget preparation process might be the creation or adaptation of the accounting structure. Whereas in the past these two processes remained separate, the change or creation of these accounting structure elements now can be triggered directly from the third-party system.
The Public Sector Accounting Structures ES bundle can serve all four sectors
of public services:
- Public sector
- Higher education and research
The bundle is valuable to all small and large organizations interested in expanding the accounting structure maintenance process to all employees and doing away with paper-based procedures. This ES bundle is also valuable to organizations that want to trigger the maintenance of their accounting structures from third-party systems.
For details on Service Operations, Business Objects and Process Components, please check the ES Workplace.
How to Use This ES Bundle
Currently, employees of government agencies or nonprofit organizations must contact a central finance department by mail, email, or fax to submit a request to create or change an accounting structure element. A finance department employee then creates the accounting structure element in SAP for Public Sector (for example, a Funds Management Fund or Grant, and so on), reentering all the information in the request into the SAP back-end system.
The ES bundle bypasses this cumbersome and time-consuming process by allowing any employee to directly create and submit an electronic version of a request using the organization's business portal and intranet. Not only is the ES bundle a more efficient way to process accounting structure element requests, but it also helps avoid errors that creep up when finance department employees reenter the information in SAP for Public Sector. And by making information about accounting structure elements available electronically, all employees can have the most up-to-date information on a project or program at their fingertips.
Likewise, the ES bundle also allows third-party systems to communicate with SAP for Public Sector, making the finance department more efficient. This means an employee can create an accounting structure element in a third-party system, and the ES bundle can update SAP for Public Sector with the information. Previously, an employee had to manually reenter the information into the SAP system.
This section will explore a series of use cases for the Public Sector Accounting Structures ES bundle. Each scenario will show how different outcomes can be achieved by using the enterprise services in different combinations. While these examples illustrate a few of the ways that this ES bundle could be used, the intention is to show the flexibility and reusability of these business objects and enterprise service operations so that you will have a clearer understanding of how to best deploy them in your own environment. This wiki is also a space for you to share knowledge and collaborate with others who are implementing the Public Sector Accounting Structures ES bundle.
Use Case 1: Creating a Funds Management Program
An employee for a city's public works department might want to create a accounting structure element for a playground refurbishment project that will take place over a two-year period. Projects with a specified timeframe and an operational purpose are known as Funds Management Programs. Funds Management Programs can vary from simple activities to complex projects and can cross fiscal years, funding sources, and different departments of the government agency or nonprofit organization. These programs enable employees to record a budget, control postings, and monitor the performance of the project.
Entering the Accounting Structure Request in a Portal
The public works employee begins by logging on to the portal and clicking on the accounting structures element request button. This launches a composite application and a screen pops up. Alternatively, the screen could be replaced by a form, designed using Adobe Forms Designer, where one can import an existing PDF or Microsoft Word document, a blank form, or an existing template, and then convert and save it as an Adobe Interactive Form. In either case, the employee must include the following information:
- Name of the project (mandatory, for example, Sunnyside Playground)
- Description (optional, for example, Sunnyside Playground repairs on swings, slide 2007/2008)
- ID number (optional, for example, Sunny2007)
- Valid from (mandatory, for example, 1/2/2007)
- Valid to (mandatory, for example, 10/12/2008)
Sending the Request for Approval
The employee then clicks on the "Send to Finance Department" button, finalizing this process step. The request will appear among a list of others when a finance department employee logs on to his or her work center. The finance employee then opens the request and checks it to see if the information is sufficient. The finance employee can update the request if more information is needed. Once the update is complete, the employee clicks on the "approve" or "reject" button.
If finance employee clicks on the approve button to approve the program, this triggers the enterprise service Create Program, which creates the Funds Management Program in SAP for Public Sector. The application sends a message to the public works employee and the finance department employee that the Funds Management Program has been successfully created and approved.
Applicability of the Process
This process can be followed for any type of Public Sector Accounting Structure element, but most likely the type of request will be predetermined by the finance department depending on the needs of a particular department. For instance, that means when the public works department employee logs onto the portal he or she will only be able to create a request for a Funds Management Program. Other employees may have opportunities to create some of the following types of Public Sector Accounting Structures elements that can be created or changed with this ES bundle:
- Funds Management Functional Area - a classification of financial transactions according to functions executed in an organization. The Funds Management Functional Area provides information on the overall purposes or objectives of each transaction. Similar activities are grouped together in a Funds Management Functional Area, which is based on high-level objectives for providing major services or accomplishing regulatory responsibilities.
- Funds Management Account - individual revenue and expenditure line items within a Financial Management area.
- Funds Management Fund - moneys provided by a financial source, such as a public organization, which are managed separately for a specific purpose.
Use Case 2: Finding an Existing Funds Management Program
Use case 1 describes the process of requesting a new accounting structure element and having that request approved. But before the finance department approves the request for Funds Management Program, the finance employee might want to search SAP for Public Sector to see if a program already exists for a given project, such as the playground refurbishment we are using as an example in this use case. The finance employee then clicks on a find button that triggers the enterprise service Find Funds Management Program by Elements. The employee can search for the program using the following selection criteria:
- ID number
- Valid from
- Valid to
The system tells the user whether the Funds Management Program exists, and, if it does, provides the ID number of the program. The finance department employee then rejects the request from the public works employee. The finance employee informs the public works department of the existing Funds Management Program ID number through the organization's portal.
Use Case 3: Updating SAP for Public Sector with an Accounting Structure Element in a Third-Party System
Third-party systems might be used for planning projects, and this use case describes how data can be transferred from such systems to SAP for Public Sector using enterprise services.
The finance department might use a third-party system to do detailed project planning for the playground refurbishment project. In the third-party program, the user can set up a project including a project plan, milestones, deliverables,and so on. Once finished, the employee sets a "project setup complete" flag which triggers the third-party project to analyze which objects are in use, calls a service to find if these objects exist, and if not, calls another service to have them created in SAP for Public Sector.
This ES bundle connects a business portal to SAP for Public Sector through a composite application or through Adobe Interactive Forms. The composite would communicate with the systems over an organization's intranet.
- SAP ERP 6.0
- SAP enhancement package 1 for SAP ERP 6.0
- SAP for Public Sector
- SAP NetWeaver 2004S
- Guided procedures (optional)
- Adobe Interactive Forms (optional)
- Third-party systems (optional)
Related ES Bundles
SAP and SDN Links
- SAP for Public Sector
- SOA Homepage on SDN
- Blog relating to public services accounting: Enterprise SOA Roadmap in Higher Ed - Maastricht University by Ralf Ott
- Why Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture is helpful for Public Sector, a blog on the Public Sector by SAP's Corinne Reisert
- Webcast that describes the unique characteristics of the public sector that make it an ideal candidate for SOA: Making Systems Consolidation a Reality Through Enterprise Service-Oriented Architecture Webcast, Will Greer (Principal, State and Local Government, SAP) and Richard Varn (Senior Fellow, Center for Digital Government)
Thanks to Richard Hirsch for pointing out this resource in the forums.