Improve the Integrity of Your Electronic Bank Statement Uploads with Search Strings

  • by Quentin Hurst, Senior Principal, Virtuoso LLC
  • February 15, 2003
A little-known process called "search strings" helps increase the percentage of electronic bank statements (EBS) that post correctly through the upload process. The author illustrates the process by showing how you can use search strings when a single Bank Administration Institute (BAI) code represents two different business transactions for a single bank.

The benefits companies get by knowing their cash position at their bank are obvious. Using the electronic bank statement functionality (EBS), companies can reconcile R/3 business transactions in real time with transactions that have cleared at their bank. (See the sidebar, “What EBS Does.”) Many companies that did not include the EBS functionality in their original project are now planning to implement it.

However, even with the most thought-out cash-management strategy, transactions in EBS can fail or post incorrectly for many reasons, causing users to process transactions manually after they have failed in the EBS upload. If you limit yourself to the standard configuration screens and techniques, many of these problems seem impossible to prevent or solve.

The solution is a little-known process called “search strings,” which helps increase the percentage of EBS transactions that post correctly through the EBS upload process. Many companies that have implemented EBS aren’t aware of this advanced configuration technique, which can keep problematic business transactions and scenarios from failing or posting incorrectly.

Technically, a search string is a grouping of text and special symbols that is searched for in the Note to Payee field text information sent by the bank in the EBS. Before Release 4.6B, search strings were an often-confusing combination of configuration and user exits. As of 4.6B, search strings are solely a configuration task.

You can use search strings to help your EBS upload find the correct document to clear or find the correct cost center, profit center, or business area to post to, as well as many other scenarios. This article focuses on using search strings to solve the EBS problem in which a single Bank Administration Institute (BAI)1 code represents two totally different business transactions for a single bank.

Quentin Hurst

Quentin Hurst is a senior principal and co-founder of Virtuoso, LLC, an SAP consulting firm. Quentin is also the co-author of the best- selling book Configuring SAP R/3 FI/CO, (Sybex, 2000).

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