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The City of Portland, Oregon

Office of Management & Finance

Bureau of Technology Services

BTS HelpDesk: 503-823-5199

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Suite 1111, Portland, OR 97204

SAP: News You Can Use!

SAP Learning Center - Connecting People with Information

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SAP Learning Center - Connecting People with Information

In 2008 SAP became the enterprise “system of record” for the City of Portland for financial and human resource transactions. At that time, work instructions were developed for transactions to guide end-users in their use. Since then the City has implemented more modules and increased the performance of existing ones (ESS, MSS, CityLearner, Treasury, FMLA Workbench, vendor/employee ACH, reporting, time management redesign, etc.). The City continues to implement new modules and improve on processes for existing modules.

Each time there is a new module implemented or changes/improvements made, work instructions and/or user guides and videos are developed to guide and support the use of the modules. In addition, the EBS Training and Change Management Team has a scheduled review and revision process for older materials.

And…all of those documents reside in one easy-to-access area—the SAP Learning Center on The SAP Learning Center materials are organized by SAP module and then by roles associated with each module.

Some highlights:

For new SAP users:
Intro to SAP—a 7 minute video about the use of SAP in the City of Portland
SAP Basic Navigation

For ESS and MSS Users:
City Link Portal Information

For Report Users:
SAP Reporting

And that’s just a very small sample.  Take some time to explore what’s there and if you’re looking for something in particular and don’t see it, please contact and we’ll help you find what you need.

Segregation of Duties, Role Conflicts

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Role conflict… segregation of duties… separation of duties…

What’s that all about? And why are you so picky about it, anyway?


In SAP, the database that operates the City, “roles” control who can perform certain actions. For example, one role allows a user to order goods and services, another role allows a user to approve the purchase. There’s a role that lets your timekeeper enter your time, and another role that lets your manager approve your time sheet.

It’s possible for roles to “conflict” creating the risk for fraud, the appearance of fraud, or to just plain make a mistake. For example, if one person has the ability to order, approve, buy, and receive goods with no one else involved in the process, there’s no way to verify that the correct merchandise was actually ordered from an appropriate vendor  – or that merchandise was ordered at all, even if the invoice was paid.

The City has specific rules, called internal controls, to reduce the risk of fraudulent spending. You’ll find the Accounting Administrative Rule at FIN 6.15 – Internal Controls and Management’s Responsibility.

Working with the City Controller, the EBS team maintains a list of roles that must be segregated.

While not recommended, there are cases where an exception can be granted under special circumstances by the City Controller. Your bureau change agent is the person who can provide more information on Segregation of Duties.


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Do you spend a lot of time entering data into SAP? Do you ever ask yourself if there is a faster way? If so, Winshuttle might be a solution for your work group! Here's a little more about Winshuttle and how it is used with SAP.

Winshuttle is a program for doing mass data uploads into SAP. Depending on the amount of data and the number of steps to upload the information, Winshuttle can save users a lot of time. Since January 1st 2013, Winshuttle has saved users over 41 days of straight data entry.

This program has been used for helping BHR with major data uploads for organizational changes, training records, and personnel maintenance. It could also be used for uploading time entry data if your bureau is moving time information from a different system into SAP. Some bureaus have been using it for vendor and business partner maintenance and invoices. The possibilities are numerous.

Winshuttle provides a wizard which allows users to record, map, and run transactions to upload data into SAP. Non-technical users can work directly from Excel, set up scripts, and map these fields to an Excel spreadsheet (creating a SHUTTLE file) or transaction template.

Here are some key benefits about using Winshuttle:

* Easy to learn and simple to use

* Work directly from Excel

* Maximizes opportunities for automated SAP data entry

* Improves SAP data quality

* Able to link multiple uploads when running multiple transactions in a specific order

* Guarantees control and security: data errors are immediately flagged in the Excel file

In order to use Winshuttle, a license has to be purchased. For more information about Winshuttle and to explore pricing, contact Tracey Letmate, EBS Training Manager. 

CityLink Portal - More than Time Sheets!

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CityLink logo

CityLink Portal - More than Time Sheets!

The SAP CityLink Portal is your link to your personal information in SAP. This website contains employee self-service, manager self-service and the CityLearner training catalog. You have probably used it many times to access time sheets, quota information, or sign up for training. In the next year, more features will be added to the CityLink portal! In this post, we want to highlight some of the things you can already do, in addition to some of the new things coming.

Today, you are able to review and change the following information:

  • Personal address, phone and email – Keep your personal contact information current. This info is used as your official personal mailing address.
  • Emergency contact info – Add a person to contact in case the City needs to get a hold of someone on your behalf.
  • Tax withholding (W-4) – Make changes to your state and federal tax withholding throughout the year.
  • Banking information (direct deposit) – You can add up to four bank accounts for direct deposit; change this information as needed throughout the year.

CityLink Overview screen

Coming soon! (Watch your inbox for more information)

  • Deferred compensation (enroll, start and stop your deferred comp plan)
  • More robust collection of emergency contact and other personal data
  • HR Forms & Processes for managers and HR personnel (electronic forms for personnel and organizational changes)

Where Did My Colleague Learn So Much About SAP Finance?!?

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Have you ever wondered how your colleague knows just what report to use to get to the information they need, and how they always seem to be “in the know” for any changes in SAP? My guess would be your colleague is a card-carrying member of the City of Portland SAP FILO User Group!

What’s a FILO User Group you might ask?  Let’s break it down………….

  1. What does FILO stand for?  It’s not “first in, last out.” FILO is an abbreviation for Finance and Logistics which encompasses the SAP Finance Modules

Currently FILO SAP modules implemented by the City of Portland include: AA (Asset Accounting), AP (Accounts Payable), AR (Accounts Receivable), CO (Cost Accounting), FM (Funds Management), GL (General Ledger), GM (Grants Management), MM (Materials Management), PS (Project Systems), and SD (Sales Distribution).

  1. User—a City of Portland employee who “uses” any of the SAP FILO modules.  Use could range from occasionally viewing a report to spending the majority of one’s time entering, viewing and analyzing data in SAP.
  2. Group—a number of persons bound together by common interests.

The FILO User Group meets quarterly in the Auditorium (2nd floor) of the Portland Building for the express purpose of providing networking opportunities and an open forum for discussion for all FILO users.  Topics include tips and tricks, report usage, system updates, explanations of business processes, Q & A, and we even have some fun!

Join us on June 12th, Sept. 11th, and Dec. 11th from 2:30 – 4:00 in the Auditorium of the Portland Building.  If you would like to be included in the mailing list for these meetings and receive advance notice and agendas, please contact Jen Clodius at

Are you just finding out about these, or missed a session in the past? You can view all past user group agendas and presentations here.