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Representing your Organisation Structure in SAP

At the start of any project one of the first and most important things to be done is that your current
best guess of your businesses organisation structure must be configured in the SAP System. The
sooner you do this and the more accurately you do this, the quicker and better the project team can
get on with prototyping or configuring the rest of the system. Some functionality is quite dependent on
which SAP organisation elements you chose to represent various aspects of your organisation. So to
avoid wasting too much time, it is very important to get appropriate skills working on this design ASAP
in order to ensure that the initial configuration is reasonably appropriate.

Each module of SAP tends to have its own organisation elements, although some are shared across
modules (plant, division etc). If an element is very specific to that module with localised usage, then I
have not explained it here. Adequate explanation should be in the R/3 Library.
The organisation structure decisions and issues are presented in the following chapters:
Key SAP Organisation Elements / Structures
SAP Master data which represents the Organisation Structure
Flexibility Considerations - designing for or understanding the implications for organisational
change after "go live".
Key SAP Organisation Elements / Structures:

Following is a summary of the key elements for organisation structure and functionality decisions.
Follow the link on each for more detail and guidelines on how to configure. The 'integration' section
on this site will provide some further tips.
Element
Company Code
Business Area
Profit Centres
Cost Centres
Sales Areas
Purchasing Organisation
Relatively "Uninteresting" SAP Organisation Elements:
Several SAP organisation elements are required purely as the top node of the module providing an
'environment' under which a single set of data exists. Data can usually not be shared across these
'top node' elements. These elements are usually invisible to the users and can often be excluded
from training or explanatory diagrams. For that reason I do not see much point in discussing them
here - adequate information on their definition and relationship to other elements is in the R/3 library.
These elements are:
Controlling Area
Operating Concern
Financial Management Area
Credit Control Area
SAP Master data which represents the Organisation Structure:
In controlling, the Cost Centre and Profit Centre Hierarchies are also used to represent the
organisation or enterprise structure. SAP considers these as 'master data' though not as organisation
elements. Therefore maintenance of these is not found in the Enterprise Structure area of the IMG.
However they are worth discussing here. Organisation Structure issues relating to these are
presented in two sections :
Use of Profit Centres to provide some balance sheet information
Cost Centres and Profit Centres - do you need both?