What is Variant Principle in SAP?

The variant principle there is 3 variants. They are 1.fiscal year variant 2.posting period variant3.feild status variant. The first customization is fiscal year variant. The variants defined under variant principle are at client level.

What is Fiscal Year Variant: The fiscal year means a general year in common. No company can maintain the books for indefinite period. They have to close the books for certain period. That depends on the company and the country’s policy. Suppose in India all the companies have to close their books on 31st march every year. But other countries may follow the different approach for Variant Principle in SAP.

The fiscal year is classified as

1. Calendar year

2. Non calendar year.

As far as customization is concerned definition of calendar is so simple.

We have to select one check box. For non calendar year definition we have to define the open and close the fiscal year and also the end days of the periods.

Period: is generally is called a month. The fiscal year variant screen appears as under

Path is as under: SPRO>RIMG>financial accounting>financial accounting global settings>fiscal year>maintain fiscal year variant TC: OB29

Select new entries button. (If the fiscal year variant is calendar year)

Variant principle in SAP 1

1. Give FV (fiscal year variant): 2 character code (alpha numeric)

2. Give description of the year: January to December calendar year

3. Select the check box of the calendar year.

4. Give normal periods: 12 special periods: maximum 4 only i.e. total periods are 16 and save the maximum periods for financial accounting usage are 16. The maximum special periods are 4.

Variant Principle in SAP

We can define any special periods within the maximum limit. Special periods are used to post any information after the close of normal periods. The special periods are not considered specially but as a part and parcel of last normal period only.

Variant principle in SAP 2

For non calendar year variant: we have to define the variant first (don’t select the calendar year check box) give normal posting periods: 12 Special posting periods: 4 maximum. Save

Double click on the period’s button to make customization. Select new entries. The screen appears in suppressed mode again select new entries button and completes the table as under.

Also See: How to do Fiscal Year Variant Change in SAP?

1. Month: calendar month

Day: end of the calendar month

2. Period: corresponding period of the non calendar year.

3. Shift key: -1 for only for the months of January to march. The shift key will adjust the calendar month of the next following year as the 10 month of the present non calendar year. After completing the table save the data, the screen will appear as under.

Variant principle in SAP 3


In fiscal year definition we define the no of posting periods in a year only.  And also the special periods. The special periods may be used for the purpose of either audit adjustments, tax adjustments, or for declaring the quarterly
results. The periods may be some times defined more than 16 periods also.

This is in case of Special Purpose ledger only. The fiscal year with more 16 periods is not used in finance module. However, we can use for reporting system in special purpose ledger. Example: in case of weekly reporting of  sales; we can create the report as every week is a period. This is exclusively for reporting purpose only.

Year shift key:

This used to change following or previous year calendar months to non calendar year period as specified. We can define with -1 or +1 also if required.  This Key is called as Annual Displacement Key also. In the example in the
picture: the first month of the calendar month is changed as the 10th period of the Non Calendar Year with the help of Year shift key.

For defining the shortened fiscal year we need to select the check box only.  Shortened fiscal year means the defined periods are less than the normal fiscal year periods.

Also See: How to Maintain Field Status Variants in SAP?

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