In this blog you will be shown some app functions that you might not notice yet or even haven’t thought about what they are used for. Although they are all small and low-profiled, they could be very useful when you adjust your workflows for verifying general journal entries or currency adjustments.

Trigger Sequence of Workflows

When you open the Manage Workflows for Journal Entry Verification - In General Ledger app from the SAP Fiori Launchpad, you see a list of workflows that are created by others or by yourself. 

From the screenshot above, you can see each workflow has two display fields: Status and Order. It is easy to understand the status field. When the status is inactive, the workflow won’t be triggered at all, even if the start conditions are met. In other words, a workflow is triggered when the following conditions are met:

  • The workflow status is active.
  • The start conditions of a workflow are met. It could be possible the start conditions are empty. In this case, the workflow can be always triggered.

However, this might not be the whole story. You could also care about when the workflow can be triggered. That’s why we have the Order column in the workflow list. The number assigned to the workflow determines the sequence of which active workflows are triggered. The smaller the number is, the higher possibility of the workflow is started. If a workflow order is No. 1, the system checks this workflow first and decides whether to trigger this workflow depending on the start conditions. If the No. 1 workflow can’t be triggered, No. 2 workflow is the next one to be checked by the system. Please note that all the workflows in the list, including active and inactive ones, have an order assigned. It makes sense, because a workflow that has a complete configuration can be activated or inactivated any time. To better illustrate how workflows are chosen and triggered, we can use the following graphic:
Workflow.jpg

As you can see, the system checks four workflows one by one, from Workflow 1 (with order 1) till Workflow 4 (with order 4). A journal entry to be verified is received by the system and the trigger logic is listed as follows:

  1. The system passes Workflow 1, because the start conditions are not met (company code is inconsistent).
  2. The system passes Workflow 2, because it is an inactive workflow.
  3. The system triggers Workflow 3, because start conditions are met and the workflow is active.
  4. The system doesn't check Workflow 4, because Workflow 3 has been chosen to trigger.

Note: When you leave the start conditions empty, it means that the condition check will be passed. 

Here is something worth your attention. The system always checks the workflow with a smaller order number first. You might ask the following question: What if none of the workflows can be triggered? Yes, it happens sometimes. When the system finishes checking every workflow and decides not to trigger anyone, the workflow status is changed to Workflow Pending (previously known as No Workflow), which you can find the status in the Verify General Journal Entries – For Requester app. I am sure you don’t want this to happen, and you do can avoid failing to trigger all workflows. Suppose you have configured 10 active workflows in the list, some with complicated start conditions while some without. What are the suggestions to prioritize your workflows? 

The easiest way is to give a smaller order number to workflows that have more restricted and complicated workflows, so that they can be picked and checked by the system. Furthermore, give a smaller order number to workflows frequently used. At last, to make sure at least one workflow can be triggered, add an 11th workflow without any start conditions and place it at the end of the list (give the order 11). This one is very useful particularly to involve some "exceptional" journal entries to the verification workflow process. For example, journal entries with amounts under the threshold can be posted directly.

Add Alternative Conditions

The button is displayed in the Start Conditions section of a workflow editing page. Do you use the Add Alternative Preconditions button when needed? The button serves as the “OR” option that you can use when you add a new condition. Let’s take a simple example to further explain how to use the button. if you want to trigger a workflow to verify journal entries for cost center 1 or cost center 2, it is necessary to use the button to set “condition 1 or condition 2”.

On the editing page, the Plus icon at the end of each condition enables you to add another condition with an “AND” relation with the previous condition. For example, if you want to trigger a workflow for journal entries for cost center 1 or cost center 2, but the two cost centers are under different company codes, you can easily set the conditions using the Add Alternative Preconditions button.

The workflow is supposed to be triggered when one of the following conditions are met:

  • Company code =1210 and Cost Center = CC1
  • Company code =1020 and Cost Center = CC2

The start conditions of the workflow are configured:

Please note that this button is available for use on some other editing pages, for example, on the step editing page. The use of the button is the same and you can freely configure condition groups to meet your business needs.

Step Sequence and Step Conditions

Similar to workflow orders, the steps you created follow a sequence to be executed. As the screenshot shows, the system will go through the Verify step first ahead of the Post step. You can use the up arrow to adjust the steps if you want.

On the editing page of each step, you enter the step conditions to start the step. For example, in the screenshot below, the Verify step can be started only when the journal entry is for cost center 3 and cost center 4. If the step conditions are not met, the system skips the Verify step and go to check the Post step. Please make sure you define the conditions well so that all journal entries you want to go over the verification workflow can be verified properly and posted later on.

For more information about managing workflows for journal entry verification verification, you can find general configuration steps and examples on the SAP Help Portal.