Use Head Office and Branch Information to Analyze AR Open Items

  • by Kees van Westerop, Senior SAP Consultant, Kwest Consulting
  • October 2, 2012
Learn how using the SAP functionality for head office and branch information can help you to analyze your accounts receivable open items.
Key Concept

Within the sales and distribution module of SAP, a customer is assigned to several partners, such as sold-to, ship-to, and payer. The payer is used as the debtor in the financial posting. In case the payer is not same as the sold-to, within the accounts receivable administration it is not always clear who ordered the goods or services. Although there are different solutions to tackle this problem, the use of head office and branch information is very helpful. How the branch and head office information is to be used depends on the settings in the customer master data.

Within sales and distribution (SD) you can assign several partner functions to the customer account. The partner function can be used for several purposes within SD. The partner function payer is used for financial posting of the financial sales invoice; the payer is used as the customer account in the posting. Figure 1 shows a simple example of how this looks in the SAP system. The transaction used is VD02, and you can see that there are three partner functions: sold-to, bill-to, and payer. The sold-to function is the organization buying the goods or services, the bill-to function is the person to whom the invoice is sent, and the payer is the organization that pays the invoice.

Figure 1
An example of partner functions in the customer master

When an invoice is posted for sold-to 72471, the financial invoice is posted against customer 61556. Therefore, analyzing the open items in the AR module of SAP is difficult. For example, when customer 72471 calls with questions about the invoice you need to be aware that the invoice is posted under customer number 61556. Another example is when the AR department wants to analyze the payment behavior of customer 72471, this analysis is difficult because it is part of the payment behavior of customer 61556. To improve this situation there are a couple of possible solutions. This article mainly focuses on the head office functionality of the SAP system, but also alternative solutions are briefly discussed. Head office functionality is part of AR and AP.


Kees van Westerop

Kees van Westerop has been working as an SAP consultant for more than 25 years. He has an MBA degree in mathematics and a degree in finance. Kees has been concentrating on the financial modules, especially in general ledger accounting, cost center accounting, and consolidation. He also has a great deal of experience with rollouts of kernel systems and integrating finance and logistics.

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