Cabinet of curiosities: The story of the time when zapliance discovered a body in the trunk of a car

What happens in cases where data analysis is used to uncover something quite out of the ordinary? – Well, you guessed right… we will share the details of them with you on our blog, as long as they are brought to our attention, that is, and we have the permission to publish them from the people concerned, of course. When all is said and done, we just wouldn’t be auditors if we didn’t assess the whole thing from a professional standpoint. So read on to find out more for yourself!

It was one of the days when the whole day was blocked out in the calendar for a workshop. So we went to the client well prepared and wide awake after our morning exercise routines. However, you never really know what to expect when you go to a workshop, as we never have access to the client’s data in advance. After arriving relaxed in the parking lot and making our way through reception, we went into a conference room. The presentation was projected on the wall and after the initial greetings we were ready to begin. After an explanation of zap Audit’s methodology, we proceeded directly to the application to discuss the indicators, identify striking cases and make some clear recommendations. After analyzing several of the indicators, one type of case was particularly noticeable, and kept occurring at regular intervals every now and again:

Asset retired at below book value

Broken down by asset class, it quickly became apparent that this case was associated with a profile for a car. Okay, so perhaps it was nothing so spectacular after all? But let’s briefly go into the details a little more closely: It could not be a matter of lack of depreciation (6 years for cars) and sale, as at least one further indicator from the area of depreciation would then have shown up. After making some brief enquiries, we were assured that the depreciations had indeed been made properly and that there was a different background to this case:

The auditor had in fact already investigated the matter and, after consulting with the department responsible, unearthed a plausible explanation that no one could have expected at the time:

The car had been given to an employee as a company car for private use for the purposes of exercising his professional duties. However, it turned out that he had a job on the side as a hunter and had taken to transporting animal carcasses in the trunk of the car. Due to the stench of the decaying carcasses, not even the book value could be recovered when the car was subsequently sold.

Have you ever checked asset retirement?

When it comes to checking Asset Accounting, most of you probably think of topics such as depreciation or master data. But have you ever checked whether your company has disposed of assets below book value and what the reasons for doing this were?


Then it is probably time you did so, because there could be some surprises in store for you.

The basics of an audit

If we start by looking at the definition of the book value, we notice that it is made up of acquisition and production costs, as well as any appreciation and depreciation according to the following model:

 acquisition and production costs
ordinary depreciation
unplanned depreciation
+possible appreciation
=book value

Asset retirement: Establish whether an asset has been sold or cannot be found in the “BSEG (document segment)” table in the field “ANBWA (asset transaction type)”. You should use transaction “SE16” or “SE16N”, for example, to filter by the following flow types:

210, 200, 220, 201, 209, 211, 230, 250, 251, 259, 260, 261, 270, 275, 285, 286

Use the transaction types to compile a list of all assets sold and display the corresponding sales documents from the department responsible. Although the sales price can also be determined in SAP, it is calculated using various P&L accounts, since there is no separate field for it. This is a matter that would go far beyond the scope of what can be addressed in a single article. However, zap Audit of course carries out the data analysis for you in full, so that you can follow up on an examination even more specifically. Then you no longer need any sales documents from the department responsible. You want to get to know more about this indicator in zap Audit? Simply get in touch with us here.

Depreciation and write-ups of assets: For the relevant data fields for analyzing write-ups and depreciation, we look at the SAP table “ANLC (Asset Value Fields)”. Among other things, we examine not only the accumulated acquisition and production costs in the “KANSW” field, but also the accumulated ordinary depreciation in “KNAFA”, the cumulative unplanned depreciation in “KAAFA” and the cumulative special depreciation in “KSAFA”.

Audit: Take the list of assets sold and consult the aforementioned fields in the “ANLC” table, critically evaluate whether an asset has been sold below book value and clarify the relevant cases with the specialist department.

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