Planning in Profitability Analysis allows you to plan sales, revenue and profitability data for any selected profitability segments. You can display the entire planning process of your company in different ways, depending on your business demands.
Sales and profit planning is generally perceived as an integrated process involving different roles within profitability and sales accounting (such as sales manager, regional manager, and sales employee). Distinctions are often made between the different approaches used, such as central top-down planning and local bottom-up planning.
The planning tool in Profitability Analysis offers all those involved in the planning process a uniform, graphical planning interface that is straightforward and modern. This interface ensures that the "poweruser", such as the central planning coordinator who models and monitors the planning process, and occasional users (such as sales employees), who only occasionally confirm planning values, can work in unison.
Since the contents and the level of detail of the individual plans vary depending on role and area of responsibility, the planning framework allows you to structure planning selectively according to specific planning levels and planning contents and to assign that planning structure to individual users. Your planning structure is represented in a tree hierarchy. From the planning framework, it is possible to execute almost all the planning functions, right from modeling the planning process and monitoring the planning tasks through to manual entry of planning data.
For sales and profit planning, many enterprises have implemented an iterative process consisting of a number of individual planning steps, in which existing planning data is copied, projected into the future, revaluated, adjusted manually, and distributed top-down until they obtain a sales and profit plan that fulfills the enterprise's requirements. To support the individual steps of a planning process, the planning tool for Profitability Analysis offers a wide range of planning methods and planning aids that you can use to create your planning data and to modify it to suit your needs. These include automatic methods that allow you to produce data automatically for an entire plan or to carry out changes on that data, and functions that allow you to enter planning data manually. As alternatives to using the standard SAP interface, you can enter planning data locally using Microsoft Excel before loading it centrally into the SAP system, or you can enter planning data into the system directly from a corresponding Web page. For a detailed example of how the individual functions can be used in a typical planning process, see the section Planning Process: Creating a Valuated Sales Plan.
Another special feature with sales and profit planning is that it is not a "stand-alone component"; it can not only send planning data to other applications but it can receive planning data from those applications as well. Accordingly, you have the option, on the one hand, of transferring to CO-PA data from Sales and Operations Planning (SOP), from the logistical information system, from internal order planning, and from project planning, and, on the other hand, to transfer planning data to Profit Center Accounting or Financial Accounting (see Planning Integration).
Planning is not limited to any specific time frame. This means that you can plan more than one fiscal year at once, or on a rolling basis. In addition, you can plan your data by posting periods or calendar weeks (see "Planning Period Types" in the section Planning Layouts).
It is possible to create and store planning data in different plan versions. This allows you to run planning data versions in parallel (such as an optimistic one and a pessimistic one) for the same object.
You can use the cross-application Schedule Manager to control and monitor recurring tasks in planning.