SAP Bank Communication Management: What You Need to Know

  • by Mary Loughran, Independent Consultant
  • Praveen Gupta, Consultant, e5 Solutions Group
  • March 18, 2015
Learn the key advantages of using the SAP Bank Communication Management module. Discover how SAP Bank Communication Management increases the efficiency and automation of payment processing within organizations.
Learning Objectives
Reading this article, you will know how to:
  • Leverage the benefits of the SAP Bank Communication Management module
  • Understand the end-to-end process using the SAP Bank Communication Management module
  • Configure the SAP Bank Communication Management module
  • Use the SAP Bank Communication Management batching functionality to separate payments based on different parameters
  • Understand the payment life cycle
  • Understand how status reports (payment acknowledgements) are used in SAP Bank Communication Management
Key Concept
SAP Bank Communication Management is a relatively new module of SAP’s Financial Supply Chain Management component. SAP Bank Communication Management can be used to efficiently manage inbound (current day reports, prior day reports, payment file, and transaction-level acknowledgments) and outbound (AP, HR, and Treasury payments) communications with banking partners. In addition, SAP Bank Communication Management provides additional capabilities such as payment batching, approval capabilities using SAP standard workflow, digital signature, and payment status tracking.
Prior to the release of the SAP Bank Communication Management module, SAP did not provide users with the ability to merge payments from various payment runs using pre-configured rules and route them for approval to appropriate users. SAP system users also could not process and track file and transaction-level acknowledgments that were provided by the banks. With the addition of SAP Bank Communication Management, SAP provides these additional capabilities along with payment and bank statement status monitoring tools.

Before SAP Bank Communication Management, there were gaps in the visibility in the payment and reporting processes in the SAP system. For example:
  • It was not possible using standard functionality to combine the output of multiple payment runs into one payment file that was then sent to the bank.
  • It was also not possible to report on payments across payment runs.
  • The standard functionality also depended on receipt of bank statements to track the status of payments that had been sent to the bank.
  • It was not possible to import status messages into the SAP system.
  • It was not possible to see from a high-level the status of the bank statements received.
SAP Bank Communication Management fills these gaps.

Let’s consider the payment life cycle when SAP Bank Communication Management is used starting from the payment runs. The payment life cycle consists of the following stages:
  • Run payment program
  • Batch payments
  • Approve payments (if required)
  • Generate payment files
  • Deliver payments files to the bank
  • Receive file level acknowledgements
  • Upload file level acknowledgements into the SAP system
  • Receive transaction-level acknowledgements
  • Upload transaction-level acknowledgements into the SAP system
  • Receive and upload bank statements

Key Advantages

Using SAP Bank Communication Management provides you with the following advantages:
  • The ability to merge payments from various runs using predefined rules and create batches that can be routed for approvals. There are many payment attributes (such as amount, payment origin, company code, payment methods, currency, house bank, and value date) that can be used to batch payments together. However, be aware of the fact that payments from the SAP ERP HCM (Human Capital Management) module cannot be merged with payments from AP and Treasury.
  • The optional ability to approve payments before they are delivered to the bank. A payment batch can still be sent to the bank without approval, if approvals after the payment runs are not necessary. SAP Bank Communication Management provides functionality to have as many approvals as required using standard SAP workflow.
  • The ability to import both file- and transaction-level acknowledgments into the SAP system. Upon successful import of acknowledgments, the payment batch status is updated in the SAP system. The Batch and Payment Monitor (BNK_MONI) in SAP Bank Communication Management shows all payments and their associated statuses.
  • The ability to set up custom alerts if a batch status is not updated as per the agreed upon time frame. For example, if the file-level acknowledgment is not received from the bank within 15 minutes of sending the file to the bank, an alert is triggered.
  •  SAP Bank Communication Management’s bank statement monitor gives Treasury and bank reconciliation users a quick view of the status of bank statements imported for the day. The report also notifies users of any bank statements missing for the day.
  • Payment fraud prevention
  • Increase the efficiency and automation of payment processing and payment reconciliation

End-to-End Process Flow Example (Assuming Two Approvals Are Required)

Before reviewing the configuration, we explain the end-to-end process flow when SAP Bank Communication Management is used. You can also review requirements for using SAP Bank Communication Management in the sidebar “Prerequisites to Using SAP Bank Communication Management.”

Mary Loughran

Mary Loughran has been specializing in the SAP Financials area since 1997 and has worked with numerous clients throughout North America and Europe in the areas of finance and treasury. She was employed as a consultant with SAP America and was a designated expert within SAP America for treasury before she left SAP in 2004. Mary’s expertise is in the areas of SAP Treasury and Risk Management, SAP In-House Cash, Liquidity Planner, Accounts Payable, payments from SAP in general, Cash Management, and Electronic Banking. Mary was an independent consultant from 2004 to 2016. 

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Praveen Gupta

Praveen Gupta has been specializing in the SAP Financials area since 2005 and has worked on numerous projects in the areas of finance, treasury, legal, and product management. Praveen’s expertise is in the areas of treasury and risk management, accounts payable, electronic banking, cash management, payments and SWIFT. Since 2014, Praveen has been a consultant with e5 Solutions Group.

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Comments

4/8/2015 8:36:09 PM
Eduardo

Does this require activation on FIN_FSCM_BNK?

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