The Data Retention Tool (DART) helps SAP users to meet the legal requirements concerning data retention and data transfer for tax auditing. You can use DART to extract and store data that is relevant to tax from SAP applications at regular intervals. DART extracts the data into sequential files and provides tools that you can use to display and evaluate the stored data.
The scope of DART’s functions takes account of requirements in the area of tax laws in various countries, as well as international requirements. DART is continuously being developed further on the basis of the legal requirements, which means that you can regulate the scope of extracted data more and more precisely. You can use DART to implement numerous functions that were largely developed in cooperation with SAP user organizations.
An example of this is the adjustment of DART to meet the German Principles for Data Access and Verifiability of Digital Documents (GDPdU). The German-speaking SAP user group (DSAG) formulated a catalog of requirements here. This catalog determined what data a typical company may need in a government tax audit.
This scope of implementation is also a standard for the international use of DART. Country-specific requirements can also be integrated into DART, along with customer requirements. SAP includes generally applicable requirements into the standard version at regular intervals.
As the volume of data in your SAP applications grows, you may need to archive some of the data to make room for new data in the live database of the SAP system. To do this, you can use the archiving system based on the Archive Development Kit (ADK), although this has the following disadvantages:
● Data archived in this way cannot be evaluated very effectively.
● The structure of the storage does not meet the commercial requirements for data.
If you have to provide this data to the tax authorities or make it available in a government tax audit at a later date, DART helps you achieve this. In DART, you generate a separate dataset that is designed for later auditing. You can store and evaluate this dataset specifically for auditing processes.
You have to take the following aspects into account when implementing DART:
● You can complete the basic technical installation and configuration process in a matter of days. You have to make sufficient disk space available and decide on a solution for long-term file storage.
We recommend integrating DART into your company's general archiving strategy. See Introduction to Data Archiving for further information about archiving.
● Analyzing the data storage requirements in your company will take the most time when implementing and planning your solution. We recommend including the specialist departments (such as tax, accounting, materials management) in the project during this stage. In this stage, you decide whether you need to include more data in the DART extraction than just the data in the SAP standard system delivered with DART.
In some countries, the financial authorities require both transfer of tax-relevant data and direct access to this data in the tax payer’s IT system. This means that there need to be appropriate programs with a read-only authorization check for the auditing period.
SAP offers customers the user role SAP_AUDITOR_TAX for this purpose. Specified reports and transactions limit access to data that is relevant to a government tax audit. For more information about this procedure, see SAP Note 445148.
DART’s default settings allow you to select data (transaction data and derived master Customizing data and descriptive metadata) for extraction from multiple ERP components (such as Financial Accounting, Controlling, Sales, Asset Accounting, Treasury, Travel Management):
● The FI document is the starting point for data extraction DART uses links to predecessor and follow-on documents to also extract the associated documents.
● In addition to this transaction data, the system also extracts relevant master data, Customizing data and metadata as "snapshot" information.
This set of DART extract data makes it possible to analyze entire business processes at any future time.
DART provides the following functions and tools:
● Displaying segment catalog and field catalog
● Extracting data
● Displaying extract log
● Deleting data extracts
● Merging data extracts
● Rebuilding data extracts
● Data Extract Browser
● Data extract views
● Displaying view log
● Identifying data environment of view data
● Data extract splitter
● Displaying extract splitter log
● Evaluating checksums and control totals
● Verifying FI control totals
● Scheduling DART background jobs
● Storing extracts in the storage system via ArchiveLink interface
● Connection to the Schedule Manager
For more information about the DART functions, see User Functions.
Each individual company is responsible for assessing for themselves what data is relevant to tax. This obligation cannot be transferred to SAP. The Data Retention Tool should be seen as a tool that helps SAP customers to meet the legal requirements for presenting tax-relevant data for audits by the financial authorities.
With the standard scope of data in DART, SAP provides comprehensive support for tax-paying companies in preparing for government tax audits. However, each company must decide what additional data may be needed in a tax audit, and must configure DART accordingly.