How to Post to a Branch Customer Account from a Finance Posting

  • by Mark Chalfen, Finance Capability Lead, Bluefin Solutions
  • May 27, 2010
In a company with many branches, each branch does not pay for its goods – the payment comes from a central head office, potentially from a shared service center. Within sales and distribution (SD), you can mirror the company’s hierarchy via business functions. This enables a billing document to be sent to the payer, which is the head office, but it also details the sold-to account – the branch to which the goods were sent. See how to mirror these postings when making FI-only postings.
Key Concept
When making manual FI postings, identifying the branch to which a posting refers is invaluable. Companies require the ability to view their statements, broken down by branch, so they can internally confirm all charges are correct prior to making payment. If a client does not provide this information it could potentially delay payment of these manual FI postings, leading to extra work by the collections team and affecting cash flow. Furthermore, being able to break out FI postings to branch accounts can provide more complete reporting. You can also break down some of the functionality within SAP Financial Supply Chain Management, including Collections Management and Dispute Management, by branch account – with some automated posting being required to be entered at branch account level.

Most people are aware that when a billing document is transferred into FI from sales and distribution (SD), where the payer and sold-to are different, a posting is made to the Branch Account field in the accounting document. Various reports are run at the branch account level to provide an extra level of customer reporting. Not all postings to accounts receivable (AR) are posted through SD into FI. Therefore, without aligning master data in FI, you are not able to report all FI postings for a branch account.

I have been asked on numerous occasions if it is possible to replicate the layer of information achieved from SD when creating an FI-only posting. You can do this simply by adding some master data into the customer master. If you do not do this, you cannot perform branch accounting reporting from FI. Without this knowledge, I have seen users using basic SD postings to ensure the correct information is posted into FI, and never making any simple FI postings, to ensure a branch account is always used.

The payer account from SD equates to the customer number in FI and the sold-to account in SD equates to the branch account in FI. Figure 1 shows the different customer master data and the different levels in both FI and SD.

Mark Chalfen

Mark Chalfen is the finance capability lead at Bluefin Solutions, a niche SAP consultancy in the UK, and an SAP mentor. Mark has more than 12 years’ experience in SAP FI/CO in a number of industries. Mark’s core skills include Financial Supply Chain Management (SAP FSCM) and the new GL. He is currently advising a wide variety of clients on maximizing their SAP landscape either in the current R/3 version or upgrading to SAP ERP.

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