Exploring Validation Rules

Objectives

After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Discuss the validation rule settings
  • Test a validation rule on a journal entry

Validation Rules

Beyond utilizing default account assignments in everyday operations, you want to explore additional options that enhance the precision of the accountants' postings, specifically regarding account assignment objects. Consequently, you aim to gain a deeper understanding of how validation rules are used and implemented

Application Area

Validation rules increase the accuracy of your financial transactions. Validations perform an automated check ensuring that business transactions can be posted only when the specified preconditions are met. If they are not met, a user-defined message is displayed to warn you of a potential mistake or to block you from proceeding without correcting things.

In the example below, the goal is to ensure that telephone expenses are accurately assigned to a specific cost center:

In the validation, the precondition is posting to a specific G/L account. The validation then checks if the account assignment entered during the posting process matches the cost center value from the validation rule. If the values are the same, the posting will proceed. However, if a different cost center is entered, a message will appear. Here, in this example, an error message is used. This forces the user to resolve the issue (enter the correct cost center). Alternatively, you could configure the validation to show a warning message which would not prevent the user from completing their posting if they chose to ignore it.

Configuration

In the screenshot, you can see how a validation rule is configured in the Manage Validation/Substitution – Journal Entry app.

  1. In the General Information section, you enter the Rule Name and a Description. Depending on the Control Level of each validation rule, you can opt for a warning or an error message which will be displayed when an entered value doesn't comply with the rule. The Message can be selected from an existing list or individually customized to align with the user’s business context.
  2. The Precondition, here a specific G/L Account, triggers the validation. You can use numerous other fields/functions such as Customer, Posting Date or Sales Organization, and so on to customize your rule, depending on the business context for which the validation is being implemented. There are also different operators available to detail your precondition (such as > Greater than, < Less than, != Not equal to, and so on).
  3. In the Validation section you instruct the system on which field/function should by verified if the precondition is met. Apart from validating cost center values, you can select other fields such as Profit Center, Sales order item or WBS element.

Further Application Areas

In addition to financial and management accounting, validations are also used across other application areas. Here are some examples of validation use cases:

  1. Sales and Distribution: Confirm that sales orders, billing, shipping, and so on adhere to the defined business rules.
  2. Materials Management: Verify purchase orders, manage inventory, and assure invoice accuracy, among others.
  3. Production Planning: Assist in ensuring the correct use of bill of materials, routing, work center, and so on.
  4. Human Experience Management: Ensure precise entry of payroll data, employee benefits, recruitment data, and so on.

Remember, the main goal of using validations in SAP S/4HANA is to make certain that the data fed into the system complies with predefined business rules, thus increasing data reliability and preventing errors before they happen.

How to Manage Validation Rules

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