1. What is a Secondary Cost Element?

A Secondary Cost Element (SCE) is the code to record revenues and cost allocations across the Johns Hopkins Enterprise. A Secondary Cost Element serves the same purpose as a general ledger account in that it classifies the nature of the expense. Secondary Cost Elements do not have unique one-to-one counterparts in the general ledger Chart of Accounts.  SCE are in the 9xxxxx series.

2. What is the KB15N (or manual cost allocation spreadsheet)?

The KB15N is part of the transaction name in SAP.  It is a transaction to process non-recurring cost allocations within SAP Controlling (CO) module.  Costs are allocated from one cost collector to another cost collector using Secondary Cost Elements (SCE).

KB15N allocations can be either:

  • Intra-Entity transaction -within the same entity (JHU to JHU, JHHS or JHHS). 
  • Inter-Entity transaction – cross entities (JHU or JHHS)

For additional information, please click link: https://interentity.ssc.jhu.edu/resources/kb15n-user-guides/

3. Does the spreadsheet need approval?

In order to provide adequate review and authorization of manual allocations, a representative from both the debit side and credit side of the entry should be included in the e-mail when the spreadsheet is sent to Inter-Entity Shared Services.

4. Where do I send my KB15N upload spreadsheet for processing?

  • Transactions that cross between the Health System and University should be e-mailed to the Inter-Entity e-mail box: [email protected] or [email protected]
  • Transaction between JHHS entities should be e-mailed to the JHHS Controller’s Office.
  • Transactions between JHU Business Areas should be e-mailed to [email protected].

5. If there are technical errors in my spreadsheet will I be notified?  How will I be notified?  Who will fix the error?

Inter-Entity Shared Services or General Accounting will call or send you an e-mail reply with the list of errors in the spreadsheet and will work with the sender of the spreadsheet to resolve the errors.

6. How do I know whether the fund is derived or not?

Fund is derived for all Internal Order (IO) and for most  Cost Centers (CC) and Work Breakdown Structures (WBS).  When a CC or WBS uses multiple funds, the fund number has to be entered manually.

7. Whom should I contact for assistance with questions about Inter-Entity transactions?

Please call Inter-Entity help line at 443-997-2481, or send an e-mail to [email protected] or [email protected]

8. Where can I see how to fill in a KB15N upload spreadsheet?

For instructions, please click the link https://interentity.ssc.jhu.edu/resources/kb15n-user-guides/

9.  When should I expect to see KB15N transactions posted to my accounts?

KB15N transactions will be posted to SAP the day after they have been executed by Inter-Entity Shared Services or General Accounting.  Inter-Entity will process within 3 business days.

10. What are the Sender and Receiver?

The Sender is the account that should get the credit in the transaction.  The Receiver is the account that gets the debit.

11. Will some departments use Internal Orders and Cost Centers?

Yes, some departments will use Internal Orders (IO) and Cost Centers (CC) as receiver or sender on the KB15N manual cost allocation spreadsheet.

12. What General Ledger code series do I use?

9xxxxx General Ledger series, Secondary Cost Elements, should be used in KB15N manual cost allocation. For the complete list of Secondary Cost Elements please visit the link below, which is located under documents:


13.  Do I need to keep documentation for the KB15N upload?

Yes, backup documentation and source documents must be maintained by departments. Documents should generally be retained for seven years.

14. Can I put balance sheet accounts on a KB15N manual spreadsheet?

No, you must use secondary cost elements.  Balance sheet transactions must be on a SAP Journal Voucher and can only be prepared by the JHU and JHHS Controller Offices.  Inter-Entity journals are processed by Inter-Entity Shared Services.

15. The Journal Transfer (Non-Payroll Cost Transfer) transaction in SAP does not allow balance sheet account transfers. How can balance sheet account transfers be made?

Transfers on balance sheet accounts can only be processed by the JHU or JHHS Controllers Office. Limited number of users has the SAP role to make such entries.

16. Are JHU departments able to order from a JHHS service center?

Yes, for all internal service providers that elect to use this process, members of all entities with the appropriate purchasing privileges (role of SRM requisitioner) will have access to create an order for processing. Once the order is processed, a manual cost allocation will occur to transfer the funds.

Full Separator

For more information, please visit the SAP@Hopkins website.