You use accrued expense or accrued revenue to record
expenditure or revenue for activities that have already
occurred but for which you haven’t received or generated
invoices or offi cial documents. This functionality
can be useful for any periodic postings that are based on
amount or value—e. g., contract transactions like insurance
contracts or leasing contracts, or periodic subscriptions,
SAP has introduced a useful feature called the Accrual
Engine in Financials . It lets you set up accruals based on
user-defi ned criteria, and then the system handles calculation,
recalculation, and posting on a periodic basis.
The discussion in this section focuses only on what SAP
calls manual accruals that use the Accrual Engine.
Figure 2.10 shows the different parts of the Accrual
Engine. The Accrual Engine posts accrual amounts for
accrual objects. An accrual object can be any contract,
order, agreement, etc. that is to be accrued over a period
The Company Code and Accrual Method are assigned
to the accrual object as its attributes. An accrual method
is just a function module that determines how the accrual
is calculated. SAP provides function modules for standard
accrual methods, such as linear accruals, period-specifi c
linear distribution, day-specifi c linear distribution, etc.
The Accrual Type represents the type of accrual, such as
cost, revenue, discount, etc. An accrual object is assigned
one of the accrual types as its attribute. There can be
multiple accrual types assigned to an accrual object only
if the accrual object has multiple components.
This can be the case, for example, if a contract has a
revenue component as well as a cost component, both of
which must be accrued over the life of the contract.
The Accrual Process in the Accrual Engine determines
what types of postings are implemented for the accrual.
There are three different types of accrual processes,
Opening Posting ( I )
Creates the accrual by posting the total value that is
to be accrued
Periodic Posting ( P )
Posts a periodic amount ( usually ) from the accrual
account to the income statement account
Final Posting ( F )
This posting is made only if the accrual is terminated
before the end of the accrual period. Depending on
the confi guration setting, either no further accrual
posting occurs, or the remaining portion of the
accrual amount is posted immediately in the period
in which termination occurs.
For the purpose of G/L account determination in the
Accrual Engine, you can use standard fields that are available
in a standard SAP system and user fields for which
you must do additional confi guration. Standard fi elds
include Accounting Principle , Accrual Process , Accrual
Type , etc
The following subsection describes how G/L accounts
are determined based on account determination objects
associated with the Accrual Engine.
General Ledger Accounts for the Accrual Engine
In a simple account determination setup for accruals, for
a combination of standard fields and user fields, the following
two G/L accounts are assigned:
Account to be posted from ( credit )
Account to be posted to ( debit )
Depending on the accrual process ( opening, periodic,
or final ) and accrual type ( cost, revenue, or discount ),
the start and target accounts are different—e. g., the target
account is the accrual account for opening posting,
whereas it is the income statement account for periodic
However, this account determination logic becomes
difficult to maintain if there are multiple company codes
that use the same accrual logic but different charts of
For this type of situation, SAP provides extended
account determination that uses symbolic account logic.
Instead of the account determination referring to an
actual G/L account, it refers to symbolic accounts. In a
different step, individual G/L accounts are assigned to
symbolic accounts by means of user-defi ned rules.
In the G/L Accounting component, most of the G/L
account determination functionality provided assists in
period-end closing activities.