Recording Financial Transactions for the General Ledger Accounting in SAP S/4HANA to Support the Universal Journal


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Understand how financial transactions are recorded in the Universal Journal

How Financial Transactions are Recorded in the Universal Journal


Now that Dave has learned about the steps of the record to report process, he wants to know how financial transactions are recorded in SAP S/4HANA and how different requirements for reporting of financial statements are met.

He was told that Bike Company sells bikes (Product A and B), as well as spare parts for both products and that it also offers related consulting services.

Bike Company has 2 legal entities: one company in Germany and one company in U.S. For each of these companies, financial statements are required that reflect local accounting principles and international IFRS accounting principles.

The internal management structure for profit responsibility is based on product sales (A,B), spare parts sales (A,B) and consulting services (A,B). According to IFRS rules, for external segment reporting, the distinction between A and B is not needed; reporting should be based on product sales, spare parts sales, and consulting services.

To see how a financial transaction is recorded, an example is shown of a posting of sales commission, related to the sales of Product A, in the German company. Dave wants to understand how this is reflected on the level of a legal entity and also covering both accounting principles. The sales commission should also be reflected in external segment reporting, internal management reporting, and in reporting based on cost of sales accounting.

For this scenario, the sales commission is posted according to the data in the tables below:

Introduction to the Universal Journal

Financial accounting is the process of recording business transactions and their legal valuation according to an accounting principle. On the SAP S/4HANA finance and risk platform, the single source of truth is the general ledger also known as the Universal Journal.

The Universal Journal captures all accounting-relevant transactions in Financial Accounting (FI) and Controlling (CO) as journal entries. It thus represents the single source of truth for both financial accounting and management accounting. The result is a fully integrated accounting system in which all line items from business transactions, regardless of where they occur, are located in one place. The Universal Journal contains all fields (columns) required by the business processes and the individual components.

Universal journal as single source of truth

General ledger posting transactions

You can easily create and post a G/L account document using the Fiori App Post General Journal Entries. The entry screen of the Fiori App Post General Journal Entries is divided into multiple areas:

  • Header data: Enter data that applies to the whole document, such as posting date and document type.

  • Line items: Enter the line items of the document here.

  • Tax Items: Enter tax items details, for example if the system should calculate the taxes automatically during simulation or posting, here.

  • Select Templates: Here, you can select templates as references.

To save time and effort when entering information for numerous journal entries, create journal entry templates that match your specific needs using the Manage Journal Entry Template app. When you create a journal entry template, you select those fields and values that you need for a specific use, such as for submitting and posting journal entries. You can also choose to make the template public to share it with other users in your organization. 

First, enter the data for the document header and the first line item. The information entered in the fields will be reflected in the layout of the line item, which can be seen by choosing the (Details) icon at the beginning of the line item. The detailed entry screen line item will appear so you can enter the posting data.  Once all the data is entered, you can view it as a simulation to check or simply post.

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