Accounts Payable…What, How and Where it’s Used

accounts payable basics and quick reference

The Accounts Payable department is responsible for entering invoices received from vendors and then paying those vendors. In SAP Accounts Payable, there are two methods for entering invoices and two methods for paying vendors.

First, there are direct invoices. This method is used for invoices such as BPA purchases, credit card invoices, petty cash and change fund reimbursements, employee travel expenses. The other method is called the Three Way Match method. It starts in Procurement with a purchase order being created. Next, a goods receipt is posted once the goods are received. The final step is the invoice verification (also called MIRO in SAP). Vendors are paid by two different methods in SAP. The first is by check. This process is done at the individual regions. The other method is by electronic fund transfer (EFT).

Three-way Match Overview

Procuring items on a SAP purchase order is part of the three-way match process. In order for a purchase order to be paid, three things must occur:

  1. The Procurement Technician must create the purchase order in SAP. In this step there is no accounting impact, although PO items are coded to the appropriate general ledger account and cost center, or asset.
  2. The Accounts Payable Clerk/Receiving Agent must enter a goods receipt (GR) into SAP. In this step, the goods receipt will match up the information that was entered on the purchase order. If
    this is a partial shipment, the clerk may modify the quantity, which will leave the GR open until the rest of the shipment is entered.
  3. The Accounts Payable Clerk receives the invoice. Invoice Verification is the last step of the three-way match process. Transaction code MIRO is used to enter the purchase order number and verify that the amount of the PO that appears on the screen is the amount being invoiced. MIRO must match what was entered at the purchase order level and goods receipt.

This document on SAP Accounts Payable covers SAP Training on direct invoices, credit memos, parking invoice documents,  deleting and posting of parked documents, reversal of individual documents, three-way match overview, understanding three-way match process with respect to goods receipt and logistics invoice verification, analysis of GR/IR and freight clearing accounts,  manually clearing vendor line items and resetting vendor cleared items.

Understand in-depth about all the basic processes in this Beginners Guide to Accounts Payable (PDF) and there is also a quick reference on it Accounts Payable and presentation on Accounts Payable.

Acquisition Integrated with Accounts Payable Accounting

If you are also using Accounts Payable Accounting, you can leverage the integration options and directly post an asset to a vendor when you acquire an asset (without reference to a purchase order). This means that the asset acquisition and corresponding payable are posted for a vendor in the transaction. This reduces the time and effort required to enter the data as well as the scope for errors. Account determination enables the system to automatically determine the relevant general ledger accounts in Financials.

This means that when you create a fixed asset transaction or transactions you do not need to manually enter general ledger accounts. In this window, you can display the existing account determination types and make the necessary settings for locating general ledger accounts.

Understand more about it in this document on Acquisition Fixed Assets

Important Transactions to remember in Accounts Payable

  • Vendor Document Posting – F-43
  • Vendor Document Posting (One screen) – FB60
  • Vendor Credit Memo – F-41
  • Vendor Credit Memo 9One Screen) – FB65
  • Vendor Invoice Parking – FV60
  • Vendor Credit Memo Parking – FV65
  • Document Reversal – FB08
  • Clear Vendor Transactions – F-44
  • To view Vendor Document – FB03
  • To view Vendor master record Line items – FK10N
  • To view Vendor Master Records – FBL1N
  • Post Outgoing payment posting – F-53
  • Post Down payment Posting – F-48
  • Automatic payment Run – F110


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