The Surprising Relationship Between G/L "Relevant to Cash Flow" setting and A/R Standard Reports Showing Customer's Last Payment

  • by Kurt Goldsmith, Senior Business Consultant, Enowa Consulting
  • April 15, 2003
A little-known relationship between a G/L setting and an A/R standard report can result in a frustrating mystery for end users, who can see two different results on two different occasions from doing what they probably perceive to be the same cash-application steps. This article clears up the confusion.

Most businesses that use R/3 need their cash-application employees and their credit managers to work as a team. The FI module comes delivered with this requirement covered. It offers a few different ways to record incoming customer full/partial payments that, in turn, can be convinced to automatically populate a few different tables. These tables act as the source for both list-style and summary-style standard reports that credit managers can access, as shown in Figure 1.

All variables that affect the system’s ability to increase the accuracy of, and details within, the credit manager’s receiving side of this handoff exist in the A/R module, right? Anything on the G/L-sending side that deals purely with the G/L and not the customer does not play a role, right?

Logic says yes. Your R/3 system says no. Get ready for a surprise.

Notice in Figure 1 that I highlighted the G/L offset account number that receives the debit side of the cash-application entry. A relationship between a setting in that G/L account’s master and a data entry to your customer accounts in cash-application transactions impacts the Last payment amount and Last payment date values shown in standard credit management reports. (See Figure 2 for an example of such a report).

To make things even more confusing for people not aware of this relationship, a third factor during cash applications can cause the last payment amount and date fields to be updated, leading to a frustrating mystery for the end users, who see two different results on two different occasions from doing what they probably perceive to be the same cash-application steps.1

Kurt Goldsmith

Kurt Goldsmith is a senior business consultant for Enowa Consulting, specializing in the diagnosis and resolution of productivity-related integration issues between a company’s division of labor (end users, managers, executives) and SAP software (R/3, BW, APO, CRM). He also has a lifetime performance record of one win and two third-place finishes from five career starts as a thoroughbred racehorse trainer.

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