O, Untimely Invoice

by Gary Byrne

June 10, 2011

Invoices not paid on time sound a death knell for companies. When I worked as a freelance editor, I sometimes had to bother publishing companies for payments that were late. In one instance, a company told me it lost my invoice and asked me to resend it and wait another month to get paid. That’s certainly not an example of best practices in invoice management, and I wondered how much that company’s reputation was hurt by delays in paying invoices.

Nowadays, with regard to invoice management, companies have to be concerned not only with customer satisfaction but also with compliance in case of an audit. Two articles on Financials Expert address different types of invoice management with SAP. In the first article titled “Use Payment Order Functionality to Clear Invoices Being Paid,” Kees van Westerop explains how to use SAP’s payment order functionality to make automatic payments without clearing invoices being paid (in some countries invoices being paid automatically are required to remain open until payment is confirmed by an incoming bank statement).

In his article van Westerop states that “to be able to use payment orders for automatic outgoing payments, first you must set up the payment method to be used wi thin Customizing. The only difference between a payment method for payment orders and any other payment method is just one indicator. Therefore, configuration is needed to set this indicator.” After starting the configuration menu in the SAP system, you follow menu path Financial Accounting > Accounts receivable and Accounts Payable > Business Transactions > Outgoing Payments > Automatic Outgoing Payments > Payment Method/Bank Selection for Payment Program > Set Up Payment Methods per Country for Payment Transactions.

According to van Westerop, “Alternatively, you can also start transaction code FBZP and choose the option Pmnt methods in country” (Figure 1).


Figure 1 Payment method by country

The second article is a quick tip titled “Minimize the Risk of Paying Vendors Twice by Enhancing Duplicate FI Invoice Check.” In this tip, Sanjay Wagh outlines the requisite steps for checking for duplicate invoices in accordance with the following settings used in the vendor master:

  • The field Chk double inv. was activated.
  • A requirement was to have only the reference number checked for a d uplicate invoice.
  • The materials management module was not activated.
  • The SAP purchase order functionality was not used.

Wagh lists eight steps to complete a duplicate invoice check with the aforementioned settings. He notes that business transaction events are needed to implement custom-based duplicate invoice check criteria. According to Wagh, you can access this functionality by either using IMG menu path Financial Accounting > Financial Accounting Global Settings or by using transaction code FIBF.

I hope these articles help you streamline your invoice management so that you never have to bemoan an untimely invoice.

Gary Byrne
Managing Editor
Financials Expert and GRC Expert

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