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 in individual regions. The other method is by electronic fund transfer (EFT).

The business transactions for Accounts Payable include the following:

  • Invoice
  • Credit Memo
  • Down Payment (Special G/L)
  • Foreign Currency
  • Cancel/Reverse Document
  • Inter-company (Idoc’s)

The Enter Invoice screen consists of five standard tabs: Basic data, Payment, Details, Tax & Notes. On the basic data tab, enter general data about the invoice and vendor, e.g. vendor number, invoice amount, invoice date.

After entering the document it is possible: To post it immediately, To “park” the document or hold the document.

What’s the difference between Parked Document and Held Document

Park document:

  • Assigned number (according to document type)
  • Available for many users (depending on authorizations in the system)

Held document:

  • Internal document number (defined by the user)
  • Available only for the user who created

Processing of Parked Documents

If you know the parked document’s details, enter the document number, company code and fiscal year on the Initial screen. Alternatively, click the List button, which takes you to a selection screen. On the Document List screen, enter the selection criteria, then click the Execute button

Special GL Transactions

Special GL Transactions allow the user to post the document to an alternative GL account instead of “normal” Vendor reconciliation account, They are defined in Customizing for Vendor and Customer reconciliation accounts & Customer / Vendor account balances are not affected.

Posting of a down payment

Except of “normal” special GL transactions, in the system there may be defined “noted items”. If the special GL transaction is defined as “noted item” then postings with this indicator do not lead to an update of the transaction figures. A typical example of a noted item is a “Down Payment Request”. A transaction entered with this indicator stores only an information in the system (no “real posting takes place). This document (down payment request) is used later to post automatically a down payment and create a payment document.

To display the transaction posted with Special GL Indicator, mark the relevant field on the “Line items display” screen. “Dynamic selections” may be used to search for different GL indicators.

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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