SAP has not continued to enhance the archiving functionality within DART as it has continued to add dozens and dozens of segments and fields to the DART extract catalogue to support all the new countries requirements. At a recent major retail client for Canadian DART implementation the Auritas team identified that of the 31 tables in release 2.6 only 4 tables were not available from archive – including the new GL tables.
The Informed Proactive approach has proven to be the most successful methodology for the customer. We request detailed information from as many previous audits as the customer has available. We identify all data being requested and confirm it is available in the DART extract or enhance the extract to include everything we need. Approximately 80% of our DART implementations are done using this option. Only on the rare occasion have we had to come in and update the extract to include any new fields and in those cases the IT management was able to get business approval that the change was not required for historical data.
Proactive with Standard DART Segments: this option is of particular note to the author since it was my first DART requirement. We had been faithfully running our DART extracts with the simple selection of standard fields. We were a US based food manufacturing with operations only in the US. As a young IT manager 15+ years ago I got a call from legal requesting a couple periods of data for a company code for a particular fiscal year. We were able to burn the CD that afternoon and made available to the IRS office as an extract. Our IRS office at the time had the ability to internally review the DART data. That was our role and the turnaround time of the requirement was appreciated. Fortunately our audits at the time were simple and our data volumes were not a factor. But the request was for two periods of data. At the time we had 90+ periods of data for 2-3 company codes in the DART library. This data as far as I know was never required again and has not been looked at other than the one audit request. Is that the best solution? At the time it seemed so, the UNIX file space was cheap and we had no concept of records retention or compliance or exposure issues. For another implementation this may not be the best solution.
If the DART view/report is a critical element of your audit response and it didn’t have all the required fields your proactive efforts have been a waste of resources since they will need to be re-run. If the DART view/report is a minor or supporting element to the audit process and the standard segments produce an acceptable report – we would certainly suggest you consider following this option and weigh it against your archiving strategy (if any) and your storage/data management policy.
Understanding your audit requirements is the most important factor in determining your DART strategy in line with responsible data management and storage resource expense. If most of your audits are for royalty or commissions, or regulatory and governance, or legal or industry specific reasons DART might not be the best practice solution any way you try to implement it.
DART is typically one element in the audit support process. Therefore in some cases versus others it will take a less critical role. At a recent client the audit request was for 48 individual vendor invoices. The DART view may have been used to find a certain set of data but the auditor was determined to get on the system and drill down through the financial document. In this case the DART data was marginally relevant. If DART can provide a starting point to an audit your standard implementation may be all you’ll ever need. Run a couple view reports and then allow access to the system for the auditors to examine detail and you’ve met your requirement. Or if the subset of data from the archive structure is sufficient for the starting point maybe a reactive approach would be the best solution in a high data volume implementation.
If waiting for the specifics of the audit request(s) adds additional processing time to meet audit requirements this is a discussion that Auritas supports their customers in pursuing. Either way Auritas continues to be leaders in providing DART solutions. – Auritas will find ways to “get you there” in implementing your ILM solutions.