Prof. Dr. Nick Gehrke

written by

Prof. Dr. Nick Gehrke

Part IX of the series: “Digitization of auditing SAP purchasing processes”

In this blog post, the most important SAP tables for the purchase to payables process, which are relevant to the auditor, will be explained.

  1. Digitization of auditing SAP purchase processes
  2. How process auditing is transformed through digitization
  3. Automated auditing of SAP master data
  4. Auditing of purchase orders and goods received
  5. Invoice auditing in SAP
  6. Just pay it twice: auditing payments in SAP
  7. The search for exotic processes
  8. Segregation of Duties in the SAP purchase process
  9. SAP data structure for the purchase to payables process
  10. The end of digitization - professional judgement in procurement


Important SAP tables in purchase

The most important SAP tables for the purchase to payables process for the auditor are:

  • EKKO: Purchasing Document Header
  • EKPO: Purchasing Document Item
  • EBAN: Purchase Requisition
  • BKPF: Accounting Document Header
  • BSEG: Accounting Document Segment
  • LFA1: Vendor Master (General Section)
  • LFB1: Vendor Master (Company Code)
  • LFBK: Vendor Master (Bank Details)


Relations to accounting

Certain documents in accounting point at documents in purchasing. Such accounting documents are usually vendor invoices and goods received. Hereby, the position of an accounting document (table BSEG) within the data field EBELN (purchase document number) refers to the document header of a purchase order (table EKKO).


Data mining your SAP system

Mining data from your SAP system is not always easy. There are various tools on the market which allow for data extraction from SAP systems. Usually for this purpose, an ABAP program is installed. However, this is at the same time a “show-stopper” in many companies, as transports into a SAP system require a Change Management process. They often take a long time and have to go through a series of authorization steps.

Another possibility is to manually download single tables from the SAP system. To do so, transactions, like SE16 may be applied. However, this requires a lot of manual handling and is rather inconvenient.

Via Remote Function Call (RFC), SAP data tables can be extracted from a SAP system. For doing this, a user account with corresponding user rights needs to call up RFC-components. As a result an ABAP program is not required. On the one hand RFC is comparatively old and sometimes slow. On the other hand it is established and available in every SAP system. By using RFC, the data extraction can cleverly be optimized. In addition it makes data extraction from SAP systems for analysis purposes easy and convenient.


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Data structures in SAP are too technical?

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Simply schedule an appointment and try it out:

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About the author: 

Prof. Dr. Nick Gehrke is a member of the board of the Artificial Intelligence Centre Hamburg, and a professor and course leader at the Nordakademie Hamburg, and Co-Founder and Data Scientist at zapliance. He started zapliance after meeting Alexander Rühle at PWC and set their eyes on the same goal: Changing the way business professionals of the future work with data. 

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