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Prof. Dr. Nick Gehrke

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One-Time Accounts are collective accounts for one-time transactions that are not assigned to a vendor or customer. Auditors usually do not like these one-time accounts, because transactions can be easily hidden in such accounts. You should understand the risk of using one-time accounts and how you can assess this risk.

 

Part 1 of the series: "One-Time Accounts"

1. One-Time Accounts - The quick checklist for your accounting department
2. How to find one-time invoices in SAP in three steps
3. An unsparing look behind the scenes: How to analyze one-time accounts in SAP
4. Do you have power users with one-time accounts?

 

The Risk of One-Time Accounts

Whenever there is no longer-term supplier relationship and invoice amounts are small, the use of one-time accounts may be appropriate. In this case, you can save the work of creating a vendor master record. However, this also makes it possible to maintain bank details directly in the invoice, instead of obtaining this information from the vendor master record. This ultimately makes it possible to circumvent the segregation of duties (for example, the posting of invoices and maintenance of bank data should be separated) and thusto circumvent agreed-upon processes.

You should keep this risk as small as possible.

I would therefore like to show you how to analyze one-time transactions. After studying this blog series, you will be able to:

  • identify one-time transactions in your SAP data and
  • check whether one-time accounts are used frequently or infrequently.

 

Why are one-time transactions used?

For the accounting department, one-time accounts are a practical solution. For transactions with a vendor that is only used once, you can simply use such a one-time account, and it is thus not necessary to create a new vendor master record.
However, one-time accounts should then only be used for one-time transactions and not for recurring business transactions. Lines are often blurred here, as it is difficult to assess whether it is a one-time operation or whether a business partner is going to do business several times. Too often one-time transaction are used when:

There is no internal corporate policy for one-time transactions that indicates the extent to which one-time accounts may be used. The employees of the accounting department are too lazy to create vendor master data and therefore simply post to one-time accounts.

 

How to prevent the usage of one-time invoices?

First and foremost, there should be a well-organized corporate policy on how to avoid using one-time accounts too much. To this end, the company should adopt an internal policy. Such internal guidelines may include:

Up to what amount a one-time account may be used.
How often different invoices from a vendor can be posted to a one-time account until an individual vendor account needs to be created. In practice, this is usually no more than three to five invoices.

There are also companies that completely prohibit one-time accounts.
Ask your company whether there is an accounting policy for one-time account usage.

 

Analyzing one-time transactions

The next part of this blog series provides information on how to proceed in order to analyze the use of one-time accounts in SAP within your company and assess such use accordingly.