Necessary adjustments to the SAP® utility cost statements for the 2023 billing year – the path to digitalising data exchange with billing service providers

The entry into force of the amendments to the Heating Costs Ordinance in 2021 will result in further changes to the requirements for utility cost statements from the 2023 billing year. Data exchange with billing service providers must be expanded to include information on the energy mix and CO2 emission cost allocation. The Arbeitsgemeinschaft Heizkosten e.V. (ARGE HeiWaKo), which represents the interests of metering and service companies, has defined and published a new version of the record formats in version 3.10 for this purpose. The data exchange in SAP® must be brought up to date before billing in 2024. This is due to the requirements of the billing service providers, who expect a data exchange in ARGE version 3.10.

Initial situation

The necessary information on the energy mix for the fuel supply and the CO2 emission cost allocation is provided by the energy supplier. They must be handed over to the respective billing service provider by the landlord or property manager. Until now, digital data exchange with billing service providers could only take place in mixed format versions. M/L records (tenant and property data) could only be generated with the SAP® standard in ARGE version 2.1, the PROMOS-supplemented B/K records in ARGE versions 3.02 or 3.04. However, as most billing service providers require a standardised ARGE version for billing, the cost report, including quantities and initial and final stocks of storable fuels, was and is recorded, usually manually, in the billing service provider's portal.

The solution is standardised data exchange with ARGE Version 3.10

In order to meet the new legal requirements and thus create the opportunity to increase the efficiency of billing processes in the future, an adapted, standardised data record format is absolutely essential. This is made possible by the new ARGE version 3.10, which, for example, now also contains the values for CO2 cost allocation in the D record in addition to the tenants' billing results. This means that a standardised and continuous data exchange between the SAP® utility cost statement on the one hand and the billing service providers on the other can be implemented in a single step. This is the cornerstone for the further expansion of the digitalisation of the entire billing process in the coming years, involving all service partners.

The standardisation of record formats is a milestone, particularly in view of the ongoing digitalisation and future automation of data exchange processes. The aim is to digitalise the entire billing process with the involvement of all partners – from the receipt of invoices to the utility cost statement, including data exchange with billing service providers, through to the final dispatch to the tenants. We will continue to report on this in the newsletter.

Optimisation of PROMOS solutions for the 2023 annual accounts

We are working intensively on optimising our solutions in order to provide you with the adapted program functionalities for billing for 2023. SAP modifies the record formats provided in the standard system for the M/L records, the A records and the D records as well as the B/K records generated via the PROMOS Utilities Cockpit for the cost report.

Adjustments are currently being made on all pages. Publication is planned from around April 2024. PROMOS will not only take into account the utility cost statement, but also a home-owners’ association assessment statement with any subsequent tenant statement.

We expect to report here in detail in the April 2024 newsletter on what the solution can offer you as a real estate company and what you need to do for it. It is an important step towards the complete digitalisation of utility cost statements in the coming years. You’re welcome to join us on this journey!

IMPORTANT, so make a note; there's something that needs to be done before the 2023 annual statement!

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