Legal requirements mean that companies are obliged to grant the fiscal authorities access to tax-relevant data during a specified retention period. This applies to data which is available online in live data processing systems and also to data which has already been archived. Tax auditors can demand that a company provides the relevant information on a data carrier which can be evaluated on an IT system.
The authorities also have the right to directly inspect tax data stored in data processing systems or to check analyses, which must be prepared according to their requirements. Companies must therefore have the means in place to ensure that data on financial, asset and payroll accounting as well as other applications can be accessed at all times.
Extracting and storing tax data
The SAP Data Retention Tool (SAP DART) enables companies to make tax-relevant data from a SAP system available to the fiscal authorities by data carrier. This solution can be used to extract the appropriate information from SAP R/3 and store it on external data carriers. The PBS archive add-on tool CDART from SAP Partner PBS Software GmbH is also available to create very large DART extracts at any time using SAP archive files. These solutions enable companies to make SAP database and archive files available for data carrier transfer as part of a tax investigation. SAP DART is a release-independent tool and is included in the SAP standard installation.
The data for the fiscal authorities is produced from DART extracts in the form of DART views, which generally contain a subset of the DART extract data. The DART views are stored in SAP AIS format (SAP Audit Information System), which allows the data to be externally analyzed by the fiscal authorities. A SAP system including DART must be in place in order to create DART views.
Creating DART views without an SAP system
The new PBS IDA (Independent DART Access) tool from PBS software now makes it possible to produce DART views for the fiscal authorities from existing DART extracts, with no SAP system needed. PBS IDA converts the SAP internal format of the DART extracts into SAP AIS format and enables DART views to be generated for the fiscal authorities. This is extremely useful if, for example, one area of a company has been sold and the SAP solution is no longer used there, but tax data must still be produced for the fiscal authorities. PBS IDA also allows departments with no access to a SAP system to view DART extracts for information purposes.
PBS IDA is based on a similar tool called DUST (DART Upload Service Tool – cf. SAP Notes No. 522167) which SAP AG began developing but then discontinued. Unlike its predecessor, PBS IDA can process DART extracts without loading them in an external database. This makes it much easier to process large quantities of data.
PBS IDA enables access to SAP DART extracts from SAP DART 2.0 onward. The software runs on Microsoft Windows and offers an easy-to-use graphic user interface which is highly intuitive. An MS SQL database running in the background stores the administrative data from the DART extracts, i.e. all administrative information, for example DART segments or data dictionary information, with the exception of the data records themselves. The software architecture is based on the classic client/server principle with different PBS IDA terminals using a shared database. The software is available in German and English versions.
Easy to manage and visualize DART extracts
In order to process DART extracts, they are “checked in” to PBS IDA from their storage location, for example an external data carrier or the file server. The solution stores the administrative information contained in a DART extract file in the PBS IDA database. The DART extracts can now be managed easily. What’s more, the extracts can be organized following a hierarchical tree structure according to business years or the SAP applications from which they originate. The contents of the DART extract files can also be visualized via the user interface according to different criteria.
- Display of key administrative information relating to the extracts, e.g. source system, date of creation, author or file size
- Overview of the segments, i.e. data classes used for structuring the data extracts. One segment generally corresponds to a database table from the SAP system, e.g. segment TXW_FI_HD for table BKPF/accounting document header, segment TXW_MM_HD for table MKPF / materials document header
- Display of reference data, i.e. data records for relevant segments of a DART extract
- Data dictionary with meta information on reference data
- Display of parameters used to create the extract in the SAP application. These are settings for the scope of the exported data, such as company codes, accounting periods or whether they were extracted with or without master data or sales, delivery and materials documents.
Further functions from PBS IDA allow DART data to be sorted and filtered so that data records can be accurately selected. The solution also enables DART extract data to be further processed with external programs. To this end, PBS IDA converts the DART data into other formats, e.g. XLS or AIS, using integrated export functions.
PBS IDA not only manages DART extracts, but also files which are already in the SAP AIS format of the DART views. The solution thus offers an integrated, uniform working environment for the DART extracts and the DART views formed from them for the fiscal authorities. PBS IDA is a complete tool for managing, visualizing and analyzing DART extracts and DART views, and for exporting them in different data formats. Companies are therefore able to create data carriers with tax-relevant data when required by the fiscal authorities.