Differentiating Between Cost Centers and Simple Projects


After completing this lesson, you will be able to:

  • Compare the usage of cost centers and simple projects

Projects and WBS Elements

Lesson Overview

In this lesson, you will learn about the use of work breakdown structure elements (WBS elements) to structure projects, as well as why you may use them in addition to cost centers.

Distinction and Link Between Project and WBS Elements

You previously identified the usage of cost centers when tracking overhead cost information. In the SAP S/4HANA system, projects can also be used to manage overhead costs.

Let’s find out which contexts the projects apply to. Why use another cost object? For what kind of analysis? When do you use cost centers and when do you use simple projects?

When costs and revenues need to be followed up with a more horizontal approach, you should prefer to track costs and revenues by project. Often it makes sense to break the work of this project into multiple separate tasks and to set up a hierarchy for them: a transversal work breakdown structure (WBS).

A project can consist of multiple WBS elements or only one in the case of simple projects.

Cost Assignment: Cost Center or WBS Element?

Now that you know what a WBS element is, let's look at the main differences between WBS elements and cost centers.

For this, navigate through the following table:

In SAP S/4HANA Cloud, private edition, the costing functionality of simple projects can also be covered with internal orders – a controlling account assignment that is not available in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, public edition systems.

You now know that WBS elements represent discrete parts of the work linked to a project. They are used as cost objects each time you need to gather costs and revenues from a specific task related to a project.

Log in to track your progress & complete quizzes