In this advancing world of technology, we witness uncountable lines of logical codes being written day by day either to create new software or to make the existing one better and error free. Writing codes and getting errors are two key aspects of any software development and its successful execution. Being a software developer, my main motivation was to build smart and dynamic applications. While doing my internship, I came across a topic for creating a framework for automated contract correction for the revenue accounting. It basically relates to creating a dynamic framework that can be used in order to fix error patterns caused either by migration of the legacy data or because of some human errors. High complexity of revenue accounting and increasing number of errors made this topic challenging. To see a bigger picture of SAP and my framework, let us now deeply get into the World of Revenue Accounting
1.1. About SAP
SAP (Systems, Applications and Products) is one of the largest business software companies founded in 1972 and headquartered in Walldorf, Germany. The SAP is often considered to be a global head in the world of enterprise software. Its 45 years of run, SAP has introduced a wide variety of products for many industries, providing smartest solutions to best-run businesses.
The world witnessed its first Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Software product called SAP R/98 in 1973, built with an aim to have data stored centrally and perform multiple tasks in a common system. SAP introduced its second ERP in 1979 which was a mainframe-based application software used by many large European multination companies. It was in 1992 when SAP saw its major breakthrough by launching its first version of SAP R/3 client-server version which could be used for real-time data processing providing 3-tier architecture – database, server and a client.
SAP then went on providing many different versions of its R/3 product which also included many enhancement packages for its central components. Then SAP NetWeaver came, which is a Web Application Server which could provide individual J2EE services and ABAP services or both. SAP also introduced an in-memory computing database called SAP HANA which could easily run on very large data sets thereby providing the fastest ever real-time processing. There are many more module based products which SAP has produced and is still working on creating many more. Only time could tell how far SAP could go to provide and keep its Best Run for Businesses.
1.2. Revenue Accounting and Recognition
Revenue Accounting and Recognition module were first announced in 2014 by SAP which could automate and simplify the revenue recognition and accounting process. Now, what is revenue recognition? Revenue Recognition is the process of recognizing income when a sales contract is fulfilled and the ownership of goods/services are transferred from the seller to the customer.
SAP introduced this product specifically to help businesses comply with new statutory regulations for revenue recognition. It provides the flexibility to support different revenue recognition methods as well as multi-element scenarios. It also supports automation and simplifying standard recognition processes by reducing errors and reducing auditing time, while ensuring compliance.
Revenue Recognition and Reporting was introduced as a separate module because of the following reasons:
1. The traditional Revenue Recognition failed to offer the allocation of transaction price which does not comply with statutory regulations.
2. It has failed to manage different accounting principles thereby avoiding any scope of parallel processing.
3. The traditional Revenue Recognition does not meet new IFRS disclosures.
1.3. Concept and Motivation
The recently found problems were discovered during the productive use. SAP is intensively running RA, due to which new issues were encountered in this usage. Initially, the counts of known issues with the product were almost seven different error categories. However, by the first year of the productive usage the final error category has increased up to eighteen. Most of the errors in SAP Revenue Accounting are considered to contract inconsistencies either solely within SAP RA or between SAPRA and SAP SD/FI.
There different teams members in Wolford, Shanghai and India mainly the production support team are focusing on solving the errors in the contract. These employees take one contract at a time and investigate the errors by manual checking at different tables. Every single day more and more error category is been generated. These errors, depending on the error complexity, solving an error pattern can take from around 5 minutes to 5 hours. And in a day there can be more than 1000 new errors generated. This motivated me to create a dynamic report that can automate the error solving process.