Technical Background to Automatic Scheduling of Balance Carryforward Runs
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The balance carryforward is automatically scheduled by the system before the fiscal year change. Normally, it isn't necessary to understand the underlying details of the balance carryforward since the starting balance for the next fiscal year is ready in time.
However, if you want to understand more details, for example, because you need to correct business errors and want to predict system behavior to handle the situation, the following paragraphs explain more technical details.
SAP schedules a technical job, which you cannot see, every night after midnight. This job checks, for each company code and ledger combination, whether a balance carryforward job should be scheduled for this company code and ledger combination. This technical job is scheduled roughly two weeks before the fiscal year close. In the Balance Carry Forward Status app, you can see when this job is planned, in process, or completed.
The procedure for a balance carryforward from, for example 2021 to 2022, has two steps:
- The Automatic Balance Carryforward is activated for the next fiscal year (2022). This activation ensures that every journal entry posted prior to the next fiscal year, that is 2021 and before, automatically updates the starting balance for the next year (2022).
- One day later, the balance is carried forward, for example from 2021 to 2022, in a delta mode. So, every journal entry, which was already handled by the automatic balance carryforward, is ignored.
After the second step, the starting balance for next year is correct and remains so. It's important to understand that two consecutive nights are necessary to apply this procedure. During this procedure, the Balance Carryforward Status app displays this ledger, company code, and fiscal year combination as "in process".
The main reason for this two-step approach is to handle journal entries, which are posted while the balance carryforward is running. In the context of this procedure, it's assumed that there are still open periods in the current fiscal year (2021), as the current fiscal year hasn't closed yet. In a manual balance carryforward process, you would wait until all periods of the previous fiscal year are closed to avoid such a situation. A manual balance carryforward is only possible after the start of the next fiscal year. However, because SAP wants to ensure that the starting balance is ready as soon as you might need it, the balance carryforward has been shifted to an earlier point in time, when periods in the current fiscal year are still open.
If errors occur during the balance carryforward, because of missing or incorrect configuration or because steps are missing in other areas of accounting, you'll see the error one day after the first balance carryforward is run. The balance carryforward is run again the next night. If errors haven't been resolved or if errors remain, you'll see an updated error status. When you resolve the error, the Automatic Balance Carryforward is activated again on the next day after midnight. In the balance carryforward run, you'll still see that the job is in process, but without errors. One night later, the balance is carried forward. Effectively, you should see a completed balance carryforward two days after you've corrected the errors, assuming normal working hours.
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