There are three kinds of data residing in any SAP system:
- Table Data
- Transaction Data
- Master Data
Table Data refers to the customized information for a particular Client. This includes data such as payment terms, discounts, pricing, tolerance limits, etc., which you do not normally change on a day-to-day basis.
Transaction Data is the day-to-day recording of business information such as purchase orders, sales returns, invoices, payments, collections, etc. This includes both system-generated data (tax, discount, etc., automatically calculated by the system during document posting) as well as user-generated data.
Master Data is the control information required to decide how transaction data gets posted into various accounts (such as customers, vendors, GL, etc.). The master data is usually shared across modules (for example, customer master records are common both to FI and SD in SAP) obviating the need for defining it in various application areas. The master data remains in the system for fairly a long period.
In the case of GL Master Records, the data is created in two areas:
- Chart of Accounts Area (common to all Company Codes: Chart of accounts, GL account number, account name (short and long text), B/S or P&L indicator, account group, etc.).
- Company Code Area (specific to that particular Company Code: Company Code, tax code, currency, open item management, line item display, sort key, etc.).
In the case of the Customer/Vendor Master Record, the data is created in two areas:
- Client Specific (general data such as account number, name, telephone, bank information, etc., which is common to all the Company Codes using this master).
- Company Code Specific (valid only for the Company Code, this includes: terms of payment, dunning procedure, reconciliation account, sort key, sales area, purchasing information, etc.).