A question that periodically arises is “When should I use Transaction, Studio or either of the Runner versions as opposed to Journal Entry?”
First of all, it’s important to understand that Journal Entry is targeted exclusively at finance related tasks such as entering manual journals, entering incoming invoices, performing accruals, and entering deferrals or credit memos. Journal Entry is only available as a Microsoft Excel add-in application, but is available in two licensing modes; as an author with Workbench, or as a runner who can consume, configured and customized templates.
Journal Entry is perfectly positioned as an alternative way for entering data into the SAP finance side of the system, when there is an absence of full-integration between SAP and sub-ledger systems.
Not only does Journal Entry make data entry easier, faster and less prone to mistakes, it also enhances the overall completeness of document processing by allowing you to automatically add the sourcing workbook and any additional supporting documents you might require to close-out concerns raised by internal or external audit.
From a technical standpoint, Journal Entry uses the same basic mechanisms as Transaction and Runner to communicate with your SAP ERP system. In addition, you can augment the overall data entry process by wrapping the Microsoft Excel workbooks with standard or custom workflows using Winshuttle Foundation in order to add additional levels of governance and compliance to your manual journaling processes.
Journal Entry comes bundled with 14 different pre-built processing transactions at the time of writing, and 21 different boiler-plate templates.
Customers have the option of adding their own scripts or leveraging an SAP BAPI as an alternative to one of the prebuilt solutions.
Journal Entry Explanatory Video
Studio, Transaction and Runner
Winshuttle Studio is the umbrella product suite that includes the ability to create recordings of SAP transactions, expose SAP programming interfaces (BAPIs and remote enabled Function Modules) and also build on the fly queries and data extracts for use with Microsoft Excel and Access. Studio is also an imperative product in creating technical objects used with Winshuttle Foundation to support web forms and Winshuttle Web Services.
As you can imagine, a product that enables you to choose from one or more of the tens of thousands of standard SAP transactions, APIs and tables, InfoSets, and logical databases, offers much more flexibility than Journal Entry. Studio is not limited to any single area of SAP, module or transactions.
Complex scenarios such as ‘roundtrips’ where data is extracted from SAP, transformed in Excel or Access and then updated in SAP as a final step, are commonly built with Winshuttle Studio.
The four key components of Winshuttle Studio are: the Transaction recorder, the Query builder, the SAP API distillation tool – Direct and the workflow Designer used with Foundation. Similar to Journal Entry, Studio and all its components can be used together with standard Central or custom Foundation workflows.
Clients who use The Runner for Transaction and Query and Studio Runner bundle users don’t have the ability to create recordings or build queries. However, they do have the ability to leverage automations built by Studio authoring clients. Runners can access the automations which can be bi or uni-directional without restrictions and have the choice of accessing the application from either the add-in in Microsoft Excel or through the Runner-rich client for Windows.
Essential differences for finance users
An important differentiator between the Journal Entry product when compared with Studio, Transaction and Runner in particular, is the fact that only with the latter products is it possible to extract data from SAP.
Extraction can be done either with a Query or a reverse mapping of fields from an SAP transaction or BAPI, and these can also be used by Runners. As an example, a query can be used to extract all accruals or deferred postings and a supplementary transaction recording using FB08 can be used to mass reverse. This isn’t possible to do with Journal Entry.
Similarly, single record or mass changes to credit limits for customers cannot be done with Journal Entry, but can be done with Transaction, Studio or Runner. The same holds true for mass or single record creation or change of other SAP finance data of either a master record or transactional record nature.
FB08 Accrual Document Reversal in SAP with Winshuttle Studio
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