Reference Costing


You can create separate material cost estimates ( with and without quantity structure) or costing runs using the same quantity structure, by copying existing cost estimates (that is, the costing items in the itemization ). This enables you to make worthwhile comparisons as well as improve system performance.

You can also use the reference costing function to cost materials from a non-SAP system that have no BOMs or routings in the system. For more information, see Connection of Non-SAP PPS Systems .


You define a reference variant in Customizing for Product Cost Planning and enter it in the costing variant . The reference variant contains a transfer control ID, which finds the cost estimate to be copied.

You use the transfer control ID (within the reference variant) to specify how the system is to search for available cost estimates in order to transfer existing costing data into another cost estimate. You also define the transfer control in Customizing for Product Cost Planning. The settings for cross-plant transfer are not taken into account here, since the system also searches for cost estimates when handling stock transfers with the single-plant transfer strategy.

The settings for quantity structure determination in the costing variant are also ignored, because the required quantity structure is transferred from the reference cost estimate. The quantity structure concerned must be costed in its entirety. If there are errors in the BOM, the system does not use other BOMs.


Reference costing enables you to create a cost estimate using the quantity structure of an existing cost estimate.

The reference variant allows you to specify whether certain items should be transferred or revaluated when referencing a cost estimate. If the revaluation of items is not defined in the reference variant, the costing results are the same as those of the referenced cost estimate, provided that you do not cost a different valuation view.

When you carry out reference costing in a different valuation view , you can compare the costing results with the cost estimate copied. In such cases, transfer prices are used, or the cost component structure may be different. For more information, see Group Costing . The reason for this is that when you cost more than one valuation view, you create a separate cost estimate with its own costing variant for each valuation view, which can be linked with alternative cost component structures.

Example Example

Standard Cost Estimate as a Reference for Inventory Costing

You want to base an inventory cost estimate on an existing standard cost estimate. The system simply accesses the quantity structure of the standard cost estimate. It does not have to recalculate the quantity structure. The reference variant enables you to specify that, for example, only overhead is to be recalculated.

See also:

Purpose of the Inventory Cost Estimate

End of the example.

Example Example

Costing Multiple Valuation Views

You have executed a costing run in the group view in group costing that is defined as the operational view. You can use this run as a reference for executing costing runs for the other two valuation views, based on the same quantity structure. The reference variant ensures that the various cost estimates use the same quantity structure. The system uses the alternative transfer prices, even if you specify in the reference variant that no items should be revaluated.

You first cost the operational valuation, then the other two valuations. The operational valuation is the valuation view that, when you carry out multiple valuation, reflects the management philosophy. It is thus the principal valuation in the Controlling module. You specify which of the three valuation views is to be the operative valuation in General Controlling in Customizing. Up to two further versions can also be used.

End of the example.

Caution Caution

If you want to cost multiple values in group costing , referencing existing cost estimates is essential when calculating overhead on a percentage basis on materials. Ensure that you receive consistent data and that the price differences can still be interpreted.

If you are not using percentage overhead, or are applying it only to raw materials, you do not need to reference existing cost estimates. However, the reference costing functions can still be used to improve system performance, because the system does not have to determine the quantity structure again, and the consistency of the costed quantity structure is ensured.

End of the caution.

For more information about transfer prices and multiple valuation ,see the section Start of the navigation path Enterprise Controlling Next navigation step Profit Center Accounting End of the navigation path : Transfer Prices . For more information about group costing, see Group Costing .

See also:

Implementation Guide for General Controlling

Implementation Guide for Profit Center Accounting

Implementation Guide for Product Cost Planning