Track the Lifecycle of Your Payments with SAP Bank Communication Management

  • by Juergen Weiss, SEPA-Now Consulting
  • April 15, 2008
Become familiar with the new component SAP Bank Communication Management, which allows you to better track the approval process of outgoing payments in your SAP ERP system. Understand the integration of this component into SAP ERP Financials and learn some key concepts to set up the batching and status tracking of payment flows as well as the configuration of release procedures.
Key Concept

SAP Bank Communication Management is a new component that became available with Enhancement Package 2 of SAP ERP 6.0 (formerly known as SAP ERP 2005). The application, which was until just recently called SAP Bank Relationship Management (the configuration entries still bear that name), allows cash and treasury managers to set up sophisticated release procedures, enabling rigorous controls of outgoing payments and avoiding any type of fraud. In addition, employees can track the entire life cycle of these payment flows in a status monitor.

Many enterprises today face growing pains in corporate-to-bank communication. They often have to maintain dozens of bank communication interfaces, each based on different protocols and technologies. This results in high total cost of ownership, a lack of payment-flow transparency, and significant working-capital inefficiencies. One goal of cash and treasury management departments is to reduce these complexities and inefficiencies, significantly improving straight- through processing rates and internal compliance.

Bank Communication Management enables companies to logically structure their individual payments into batches and to establish a comprehensive audit trail for payment approval decisions. Employees can implement digital signatures for internal audit purposes and set up multiple approval levels for outgoing payments. Full payment-flow transparency and automatic escalations of processing exceptions are additional features of this new application, which is tightly integrated with SAP ERP Financials.

I’ll describe some of the basic configuration of Bank Communication Management, starting with the general concept of payment batches by generating cross-payment run mediums. The idea of batching rules is key during the setup of the system and a core part in every implementation. In addition, I’ll demonstrate how you can define approval hierarchies that can vary in complexity. You’ll see the results of these settings in the approval and payment status monitors of Bank Communication Management.

Juergen Weiss

Juergen Weiss works in the functional area of SAP Financial Supply Chain Management. As part of SAP’s product management team, he was globally responsible for the Financial Supply Chain Management applications, including Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment, Dispute Management, Collections Management, Credit Management, Treasury and Risk Management, Bank Relationship Management, and In-House Cash as well as Accounts Payable and Receivable.

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