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Four methods to post a vendor invoice in SAP

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The company needs to pay its invoices in order to function properly. It also needs to record vendor invoices and payments in the accounting books and registers. SAP is a help here. Accounts Payable is an important part of SAP Finance.
Let’s look at the process of posting the invoice into SAP Finance. What are the options SAP gives you?

Enter manually in Finance

The most obvious way to post an invoice in SAP Finance is to do this manually. This is possibly the simplest way to process invoices. It works almost “out of the box” and requires minimal configuration. There is a range of transaction codes available, depending on the user preferences and company processes. Just a few of them:

  • FB60 – Enjoy-transaction for invoice posting
  • FV60 – Enjoy-transaction for invoice parking with future posting
  • F-43 – “classic” transaction for invoice posting
  • F-63 – “classic” transaction for invoice parking with future posting
  • FB01 – “Swiss knife” in SAP Finance
Transaction FB60

Transaction FB60

Process the Purchase Order

If your company uses Purchase order processing, then you may process the invoice against the previously raised Purchase order. It may require PO to be approved and or goods or services to be accepted. It depends on the processes of your company. The whole process of invoice entry through the Purchase order in SAP is called “Logistics Invoice Verification”.
There are 2 transactions you should remember in that area:

  • MIRO – Post the invoice
  • MIR7 – Park the invoice
Transaction MIRO

Transaction MIRO

Import IDOCs

IDOC, or intermediate document, is another method to enter vendor invoices into SAP. Of course, vendor invoice process is not the only application of this powerful tool called IDOC. SAP Expert has already mentioned another reason to employ IDOCs.
If you want to go this IDOC route, you need to think about the sources of your data. Several options are available here.

  1. Process invoices in other systems. It may be the case that you process your invoices in another system for operational purposes. Then, SAP only needs them for recording. In this case, you can build an interface.
  2. Receive from vendor. Your vendors may have implemented SAP or other IDOC-enabled ERP system. In this case, you can agree on the direct interface between two ERP systems. This avoids or minimizes manual operations. Even if your vendor cannot produce IDOCs per se, they may wish to send you XML or other type of files with invoice data. In this case, use SAP PI to transform this file into IDOC. Moreover, some countries in Latin America make this e-invoicing approach mandatory.
  3. Create in your own system. It may not be truly vendor invoice, but some internal processes can benefit from intra-ERP IDOC invoice processing. Just to name two examples: intercompany billing and Stock Transfer Orders (STO) in Retail.

In the case of IDOCs, you have two flavours of the process. They correspond to two types of invoice processing mentioned earlier: Finance and Logistics. Depending on your processes, your IDOC message type can be either FIDCCP02 or INVOIC02.

Third-party vendor invoice management software

There are several vendor invoice management (VIM) solutions available on the market. Just to name a couple, Readsoft and Esker.
These VIM solutions vary in the functionality they provide, but just to name a few cornerstones in AP invoice processing:

  • Scan the paper document
  • Optically archive the image
  • Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
  • Manually verify OCR versus stored image
  • Map data between OCR and SAP fields
  • Initiate approval cycle
  • Post invoice into SAP

Similar to IDOCs, these solutions support both Finance and Logistics ways to process invoices.

With this variety of ways to process invoices, it is no wonder that many companies use a combination of them in their systems. Which ones are in use in your SAP implementation?

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