Financial accounting and controlling are crucial business areas, forming a foundation for all other business activity. Tracking income, outgo and cash flow allows management professionals to make important planning decisions for the future. Finding the right accounting professionals to work with your existing SAP FICO system is critical to keeping your business running smoothly. SAP has 6 areas of focus for FICO professionals, but you can limit your questioning to the top four to fill most positions.
Asking two quick questions about each area of focus can allow you to quickly determine a candidates level of knowledge about using SAP.
Area #1: Accounts Payable
Controlling out going expenses and logging payments to vendors keeps operations running smoothly. An SAP Beginner Training course covers many of the basics for both accounts payable and receivable.
How can you use the additional log in the AP payment program for troubleshooting?
Any errors in a payments run, regardless of the reason, are reported in the additional log, allowing corrections to be made rapidly, reducing error rates.
How do you handle cash transactions or single purchase vendors?
Not every vendor needs a new master record. When you only purchase from them once, or when paying cash, a dummy code can be used on the invoice entry, and information traditionally stored in a master record is recorded on the individual invoice.
Area #2: Accounts Receivable
How is debt collection or dunning handled using SAP?
SAP allows for different levels of debt collection notices. Depending on the age of the overdue payment, collection letters can range from reminder notices to legal notifications.
How can you maximize productivity when sending out correspondence?
SAP allows you to generate correspondence requests as you work, creating invoices, statements and more, for later printing. This allows you to do all printing as a single batch at the end of the work day.
Area #3: General Ledger
The general ledger contains a record of all financial transactions. SAP GRC Training ensures that applicants know how to set up and run software to properly track transactions.
What Fiscal year options are available using SAP?
A fiscal year is nothing more than a designated way to store financial data. In SAP, you have twelve periods and four special periods, allowing for both monthly and quarterly data organization. There are two types of fiscal years that are available: Calender year and Year dependent fiscal year.
What types of GL accounts should be posted automatically?
Stock and consumption accounts are the most common, and creating the automatic posting option is fairly simple. In the GL account master record, check the box next to “Post Automatically Only.”
Area 4: Controlling
Controlling expenses and auditing accounting practices keeps a business on solid financial footing. SAP Security Training ensures accounting professionals are up-to-date on how to restrict access to secure information. Additionally, SAP BEx Analyzer training allows users to generate custom reports that show the exact data you need.
What is the organizational assignment in the controlling module?
Every company has a unique company code assigned. The controlling module allows you to create a controlling area which contains all activities related to cost center accounting, product costing and profitability analysis.
Describe the relationship between cost center accounting and profit center.
Cost centers allow companies to capture all costs related to daily businesses operations, generally excluding unavoidable monthly expenses like rent or utilities. Administrative, entertainment, food and other expenses fall under this heading. Profit centers capture data related to both cost and revenue, showing how much each dollar of profit costs to generate.
Skills to Watch For
Correct answers to the interview questions and completion of the related coursework instantly identifies the top candidates from within hundreds of applicants. Be sure to ask if candidates have complete any coursework on operations management and entrepreneurship. Both offer unique insight into how to integrate accounting and business processes.
How long is your interview process? Does having specific questions related to job expertise help you speed up your onboarding?