From the various clients that I have visited and worked with, I notice that one common area in the Controlling Module that is underutilized is the Planning module of CO-PA. There may be several reasons for this, mainly relating to the other planning options that are available in SAP. Some examples are Profit Center Planning, Business Objects BPC, and certain external and third party options. These other options seem to be more widely used than the CO-PA planning option, even though they do not combine the benefits of the ‘slice and dice’ capability as well as the option to drill-down directly to the source document that CO-PA possesses. I believe that the underutilization of this area of CO-PA is because of the lack of understanding of the various functionalities by the consultants that implemented the system in the first place.
I have a quick tip on how to set up CO-PA planning without much hassle. Here are the steps that you need to follow:
(1) Set up a planning layout: Go to transaction KE14 and enter a planning layout name and description and hit the “Create” button. From the top-menu, choose “Edit -> Gen. data Selection -> Gen. data selection. The form the “Available Characteristics” choose Record Type (F), Version (e.g. “0”) and Period/Year (e.g. “1” to “2”). Confirm your settings then proceed to create your rows and columns. Note that the detail needed to create the rows and columns is dependent on how detailed you want your planning data to be. Double-click on the row and column and enter the characteristics/value fields that are relevant and save your settings.
(2) Create a Planning Level from the Planning Layout: Go to transaction KEPMU and enter the Layout you created and a Planning Level name and description. Hit the “Execute” button and the system will issue a message saying that the Planning Level has been created.
(3) Create a planning Package: Go to transaction KEPM and right-click on the Planning Level you created and click on “Create Planning Package”. Then on the right part of the screen enter the necessary parameters that will further define the data that is to be entered. For example, enter periods “1/2013” to “12/2013” in the “Period/Year” field.
(4) Create Planning Data: Still in transaction KEPM, in the lower left part of the screen, right-click on “Enter Planning Data” and click on “Create Parameter Set” and give it a name and description. Then click on the “Active” box in the “Integrated Excel” section at the bottom-right part of the screen, and save your settings.
(5) Enter Planning Data: One your Planning data has been created, the you can enter the data at anytime by double-clicking on the Parameter Set that you created, and you will see an Excel template generated on the right part of the screen. Note that if you have a high-level of security in your Excel application, you may be asked to confirm that you want Macros to be enabled or disabled in order for the Excel template to show up. If you do not want this to show up then you can reduce your Excel security level to “Low”. Note that if your Excel security settings are set to “High” you may get an error message when you double-click on the Parameter set and try to open up integrated Excel. In that case you need to change the setting to “medium” or “low”. Once you have entered the relevant data, then you can click on the “Post” button. Make sure you click on the “post” button in SAP and not Excel (as they will both be displayed on the screen.
There are many more great features in the CO-PA planning tool such as Copying, Forecasting, Top-Down Distribution, Revaluation, Period distribution, etc. I may write about some of these in the future, however, by doing the above steps you are already off to a great start.