Business users of SAP® ERP use the system to perform daily operations, such as posting financial documents, creating vendors or customers, or displaying reports. They are not expected and not authorized to change the way how the system behaves. If they notice an error or request a new functionality, then they should contact an IT specialist within their organization through an appropriate channel.
Although the "standard" SAP ERP is the same everywhere, there is a great degree of flexibility in setting it up for the needs of each enterprise. An organization may choose to use or not to use certain functionality; screen fields can be made required, optional or hidden from view; in some cases, the business need may require that the normal functionality is modified through enhancements or custom-built transactions. Also, each company has different internal rules on how fields should be filled, what naming standard to follow or when certain transactions can or should be executed. Therefore, this guidebook can only give you a general overview, how SAP is structured and how it handles basic business scenarios. It does not replace any internal training that you got - or will get - in your job. However, you may use it as a basis for your discussion with an IT specialist, what functionality may be activated or changed.
As a business user, you will perform certain business scenarios with the help of SAP transactions. You may encounter informational, error or warning messages. You can customize your screens by setting up own defaults.
From a business user perspective, there are two types of data:
- Master data - relatively stable, entered once and used repeatedly for many transactions. Their quality is of high importance because an error is easily transferred on other data. Example: general ledger accounts, vendors, customers, materials, projects, rental units.
- Transactional data - relating to single business transactions, such as: accounting documents, goods receipts, purchase orders, vendor and customer invoices.
In relation to various master and transaction data, you will (or will not) be authorized to:
- Create - enter new vendors, customers, financial documents, etc. Creation is usually irreversible - to assure transparency, once an object is created, it usually cannot be physically deleted but only "blocked" or "marked for deletion" (there are technical steps to physically delete data, though, through "archiving" after exceeding a certain holding period).
- Change - modify existing vendors, customers, documents etc. Rules set up by standard SAP and by IT specialists in your company determine, which fields in which objects can and which cannot be changed. Most of the time, each change creates a log that shows previous value, new value, date, time and user who made it.
- Display - view the data without the ability to modify it
- Display change - view log of previous changes
- Execute reports - getting an overview of data from many objects (e.g., list of open vendor invoices, catalog of materials, usage of budget on investment projects etc.)