What to watch out for when using drilldown reports in New GL

Drilldown reports have existed for a while in SAP. In fact, I remember them being available as early as 1999, when I saw my first CO-PA “KE30” report. For anyone that is not clear on what they are, these are the reports which allow you to use multiple dimensions for reporting. In CO-PA, for example, you can use drilldown reports to show contribution margins according to customer, material, plant , country, etc. or even a combination of any of the characteristics. All this can be done without having to go back to the initial screen to re-execute the report.

This same logic has been used for the New GL reports that are in the ECC system. Because of the multidimensional nature of the New GL (i.e. you can now report by account, profit center, segment, functional area, etc.), you can use drilldown reports to display your financial statements according to various criteria. For those of you that use the more sophisticated reporting tools, (such as business objects, crystal reports, and others) this will not really be a big deal. However, if you like to see the financial statement reports using multiple dimensions in real-time and be able to seamlessly drilldown into the source document, you will find these reports pretty handy. Examples of the “New” (not really, since they have been around for around 8 years now) G/L reports are as below:

  • S_PL0_86000028 – Financial Statement: Actual/Actual Comparison
  • S_PL0_86000029 – Financial Statement: Plan/Actual Comparison
  • S_EB5_05000741 – Financial Statement: Actual/Actual Comparison
  • S_PL0_86000030 – G/L Account Balances (New)

Here is one slight annoyance with these reports (which, in all fairness was is meant to be a neat addition that SAP made as it aids data runtime when re-executing the report) is that when you exit the report the system issues a message saying  “Do you want to save the data first?”. Now, if you are like me, then you have run SAP reports a thousand times and are used to getting the following message upon exiting an SAP report: “Do you want to exit this list?”. Therefore you are used to hitting the “Yes” button. So it is quite logical that when you see a message upon exiting a report, you will have a natural tendency to hit “Yes”. However, if you do this with the drilldown report, the system will save the version of the report that you ran, at the specific time and date that you ran it. It does not only save the report layout, but the data as well. To make it even more confusing, the saved data is available to anyone who runs the report. When you (or someone else) try to run the report subsequently, you get a pop-up box asking if you want to run a new selection or a saved one. If you select the saved one, you could be reporting on data that has now changed, and this can obviously get very misleading.

To deal with this issue, you can do the following: Select the saved version of the report; and then once you are in the report go to the top-menu and choose “Report -> Delete Data”. A pop-up box will ask if you want to delete the frozen report data. Click on “Yes” and the saved version will be deleted. If you do not want users to have the option to “freeze” the data in the report, you should do the following (perhaps with the help of your Security team): Go to authorization object K_KA_RPT (using transaction SU21), and uncheck the box of the activity “32 – Save”.

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