Activity Type Planning
Normally, each cost center provides a portion of the services in the activity process of the whole enterprise. This does not apply to cost centers that were created for allocation purposes only.
This portion of the activity process can be quantified into one or more activity types, depending on the cost center category. Activity types are used as a synonym of "Allocation base" as used in business publications.
Activity types are used to determine the quantity-based output of a cost center. The plan activity quantities of production and service cost centers must be reconciled with the master production schedule in logistics. This determines the required plan activity quantity, as well as the plan capacity.
Activity types are used primarily to control the activity quantities on the cost centers. This enables you to measure the operating rate or the rate of capacity utilization of a cost center.
The following examples describe how to plan measurable activity quantities. You can enter or confirm these activity quantities in the actual data. Valuating the activity quantities with either iterative or manual prices leads to secondary costs on the receivers (for example, cost centers or orders).
Production cost centers can usually measure their portion of the activity process exactly. The production cost center SF1 4210 manufactures semi-finished parts to produce machines that are sold to the external market. To do this, it uses the Lathing and Welding activities. These activities can be quantified and measured exactly so that each semi-finished part is to be lathed for 30 minutes and welded for 5 minutes. This means that the activity of this production cost center can be measured using the activity types Lathing minutes and Welding minutes.
Administrative cost centers cannot usually measure their portion of the activity process in the same way as the production cost centers. For example, the personnel cost center hires new employees for production, carries out payroll accounting, and conducts appraisals. Many administrative activities are performed on this cost center that cannot be quantified directly in terms of end products (= cost objects) sold to the external market.
In addition to manual planning of activity quantities, you can also use indirect activity allocation to plan activity quantities automatically. See: (Indirect Activity Allocation)
In Cost Center Accounting, activity types can be defined uniquely using the bases "Plan activity", "Capacity", "Output quantity", "Price" and "Equivalence number".
The price can be either:
- Set manually, or
- Calculated iteratively (In this case, the SAP R/3 System considers all the activity relationships between the relevant cost centers).
You can also overwrite the default value of the activity type category from the activity type master data record (see:Activity Type Category). The SAP R/3 System saves the new activity type category in the fiscal year and version in which you are currently planning.
Activity Type Planning and Plan Price Planning
To calculate the prices iteratively, you need to set the price indicator for the activity type during planning. You need to select a planning layout for activity type planning that has the attribute Price indicator as a ready-for input field. You can, for example, do so in the standard planning layout 1-102, in standard planner profile SAP101 (see:Standard Planning Layouts). The default value for the price indicator, which is taken from the activity type master data, is set in the standard system so that iterative price calculation executed, based on the plan activity quantity (see: Price Indicator).
You can still set manual prices for each cost center/activity type combination. This can be necessary, for example, if the prices you require for price calculation are fixed within your company and are to be unaffected by any internal activity relationships. However, if you have set the price indicator to 1 (price calculation based on plan activity) the system allocates activity quantities using the iterative price. For more information on price calculation, see:Plan Price Calculation.
Activity Type Planning and Predistribution of Fixed Costs
If you are using standard costing based on marginal costs, you do not allocate the fixed costs proportionally to the operating level. Instead, you usepredistribution of fixed costs to ensure that the fixed costs are debited to the cost centers consuming the activity. In activity type planning you can overwrite the default value for the indicator Predistribute fixed costs in the activity type master data, if you have included this attribute in your planning layout. This indicator determines whether or not the fixed costs incurred (due to producing a given activity) are to be distributed in advance to the cost centers receiving the activity.
During activity type planning, the SAP R/3 System creates a credit record (unspecified credit) that is posted using a secondary cost element. This credit record is always based on the planned activity quantity of an activity type and its price on the corresponding cost center. You can store this default value for the cost element in the master record of the activity type, and overwrite it for each cost center. This credit posting ensures that the sender cost center can be credited in full, irrespective of the planned activity inputs.
In the cost center report, the system displays a credit of the corresponding cost center, even if activity input was not yet posted.
With each activity input, the R/3 System reduces the credit on the sender by the activity quantity consumed.
During reconciled planning (planned activity quantity = total of the activity inputs), the unspecified credit record is equal to zero (quantity-based and value-based).
The Plan activity and Capacity values are used in iterative price calculation and can be analyzed in the information system. In addition to these, you can plan an equivalence number. Equivalence numbers are weighting factors used to apportion activity-independent plan costs to the activity types. The activity-independent plan costs apportioned in this way are are also used in iterative price calculation. For more information on equivalence numbers seePlan Price Calculation.
You can define equivalence numbers for each period. The overview screen for activity type planning displays the average values of the equivalence numbers.
When you initially plan for part of the fiscal year, the system sets the equivalence figures to zero for the non-planned period. Therefore, you need to always check the values for the equivalence figures in the period screen.
You can select the following types of equivalence number:
- The same equivalence number for all periods
In the overview screen, enter distribution key
Go to the period screen and enter separate equivalence numbers for each period.
See also:Planning Activity Types Executing Manual Planning