SAP FICO: Hitting SAP’s 999 Line Item Limit on Journal Entries

SAPIf your company is big enough to be running SAP, you will probably bump into the 999 line item limit while posting journal entry documents. It is one of the unexplained pains of the universe. It is also a hard and fast limit, leaving you with [updated] two choices – break your entry up into multiple documents, or FI summarization (see Update at end of post). There is also a hidden gotcha in the 999 line limit – sometimes SAP generates additional line items on its own.

The simple way to create multiple documents from your extra large entries is to use a suspense account that should always equal zero. During our conversion, we created GL account 999991, affectionately called: Interface Suspense. This was specifically designed to be the in/out for when we broke entries into multiple documents.

Process for Breaking Long Entries into Multiple Documents

  1. If you’re working in Excel, break your entry up into multiple sheets that are less than 999 lines long. Note: I usually used 900 lines. If SAP decides to create extra lines for taxes or some other reason, those lines count toward the total document length and will stop you in your tracks. You may find that 700 lines or even less is necessary, depending on what you’re doing. This is that Gotcha from above.
  2. Total up the first piece of your broken entry and add a line to it that offsets the total to your suspense account.
  3. To the next piece of the broken entry, take that suspense account line you added in step 2 and insert it as the first line of this piece, flipping the sign on the amount so that your suspense account would equal 0 again.
  4. If you only had to break the entry into two pieces, then you’re done. If more, then you need to total up this piece and do steps 2 and 3 again. Repeat until you get to the last piece of the entry.

If you’ve got more than two pieces to the entry, you could leave out step 3 until you got to the last piece and then just accumulate your suspense account balance and offset it in the last piece. By including step 3, you make it a bit easier to find problems in your postings because you can tell from the balance in your suspense account what didn’t post.

Posting Long Entries the Easy Way

Ultimately, the easiest way to post the monster entries is to use something like ZOption. Here is a write-up on ZOption and how it can save you tons of time.

I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any better ways of doing this.

UPDATE: There is a forum thread over at SDN that refers to this issue. It appears that the limitation still exists in the New GL (myERP 2005, ECC 5 and 6). The forum thread does reference note 36353 which describes implementing FI summarization. I have not seen this in action, but it doesn’t sound particularly inspiring since if you had wanted a summarized posting, you would have created original entry using summarized data.

3 Responses to SAP FICO: Hitting SAP’s 999 Line Item Limit on Journal Entries

  1. RJF August 13, 2008 at 6:46 pm #

    Sounds great for FI users but what about the postings from SD/MM/LO? We have had this issue from there as well if the deliveries are too large or the goods receipt is too large. This solution only fixes a small piece of the issue. I need all fixed before I would consider not using our Excel upload which does split out the posting automatically already.

  2. byron August 21, 2008 at 8:54 am #

    I hear you. We have a project going on right now dealing with Freight invoices that is hitting this problem. We considered using ZOption for this, but that would require some manual steps. We want it to be 100% automated, so we’re going to have to write some code.

    I still don’t know of any way around this problem, particularly from an SD/MM or LO standpiont.


  3. Brian Choate January 11, 2010 at 12:25 am #

    If you are using Excel and are having to work around this row limitation in SAP, this issue is quickly solved using Process Runner from Innowera.

    For more information or a free demo, please contact:

    Brian Choate

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