The SAP Accounts Payable Process – What You Need to Know

The SAP accounts payable process is an indispensable functionality of the SAP ERP system. To begin with, maintaining accurate data on the goods or services a company receives from its various suppliers is most often an extremely erratic process, which can be further complicated by trying to reconcile such information with payments that are made to suppliers, most especially if a business establishment works with a huge number of them. 


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The SAP Accounts Payable Process – What You Need to Know

Comprehensive Management of Invoices and Payments

With this in mind, SAP introduced this process in its system to facilitate for effectual and error-free management of such critical data. In essence, this functionality can be viewed as a file that keeps records of what a firm owes its various suppliers. It is also sometimes referred to as trade payables for this particular reason. All invoices that are received from the suppliers for the goods or services delivered are added to this file and removed when payment has been made in full. 

What are the requirements for implementing the SAP accounts payable process?

To fully exploit the capabilities of this functionality a business entity has to maintain several dedicated teams. Which are the invoice indexing & sorting, invoice posting, query handling, payment and vendor reconciliation teams. 

Invoice indexing & sorting team

This first team has the crucial duty of sorting out suppliers’ invoices that are categorized as MM vendors, finance vendors, service vendors and employee vendors. 

Invoice posting team

While the invoice posting team has the responsibility of feeding the sorted invoices into the system. Should an error at any time occur such as quantity mismatches, field omissions or even amount mismatches, then the affected invoices are posted as parking invoices. 

Query handling and payment teams

The query handling team on its part has the duty of handling all parking invoices and after correcting the errors they then post altered invoices. The payment team is responsible to initiate all the vendor payments by creating what is known as the payment request.

Vendor reconciliation team

Finally, the vendor reconciliation team has the duty of confirming the money due to vendors dues by reconciling all vendors payment histories within the system. If at any time there are some vendors’ dues that have not been fully paid, this team has the responsibility of creating a supplementary payment note. On the flipside, if a vendor has been overpaid by mistake or perhaps a payment entry has been duplicated, the vendor reconciliation team has the duty of creating a credit memo. Which initiates the process of recovering the surplus money or in other scenarios adjust the arrears in the next payment process when the related superior approves of such an action. 

The SAP Accounts Payable Purchase Orders

The account payable process also has the job of producing purchase orders. Which for those who may perhaps not be in the know happen to be legally binding documents a company issues to its suppliers for goods or services they need. There are four distinct kinds of purchasing orders in SAP, which are the standard, blanket, contract and planned. The standard variety is designed for use in one-time purchases, while the blanket is for purchases whose delivery itinerary has not been confirmed. The contract purchase orders for their part do not specify the materials required. The planned purchasing orders happen to be long term agreements that specifies the materials a firm needs, their projected costs as well as their tentative delivery schedule.

The SAP Accounts Payable Document Types

The SAP system has provided diverse document types for effectually distinguishing the different transactions that are executed in the sap accounts payable process. This procedure also lays the basis of how documents are stored in the system. Let us take a look at some of the most notable document types in this process. KA represents vendor documents, KZ stands for vendor payments, RE represents MM vendor invoices and KG distinguishes vendor credit memos,

SAP Accounts Payable Special GL Indicators

These happen to special keys that are used in the accounts payable procedure in the SAP system. They are designed to identify unique transactions that are reflected in the vendor line item reports. Which fall under the special GL indicators column. F stands for down payments, J represents simple payment requests, W stands for bill of exchange payments, G on its part represents bank guarantees and L, letter of credit payments

The SAP accounts payable down payment flow 

This is a critical functionality of the accounts payable process should a business establishment’s supplier demand advance payment before the goods or services ordered can be delivered. To which end, the purchases department creates what is termed as a down payment request that is then sent to the accounts department that on approval issues a down payment made entry into the system. The SAP system facilitates the F47 transaction code for users to make down payment requests. While the F48 transaction codes is for initiating down payment made entries. Finally, the F54 transaction code is for enabling the authorized users to make down payment cleared entries into the system.

The SAP accounts payable process automatic payment program (APP)

This special program enables business entities to make bulk payments to a wide range of their suppliers at the same time. The SAP transaction code for initializing the APP is F110. Which allows users to specify the exact parameters for the selected items that need to be paid by using the run proposal functionality that creates the payment proposal. This proposal is then sent to the accounts department for approval, and if approved the production run functionality is invoked and the payments are made.


It is obvious just how this process can be invaluable in permitting business establishments effectually manage all the data they accrue from their suppliers. As well, the SAP accounts payable process works to streamline the critical process of reconciling such information with their own payment records which can greatly enhance their efficiency and enable them to make well informed business decisions. 

Marissa Hart is the Lead Author & Editor ShareMe. ShareMe is a blog focused on SharePoint Online. SharePoint Online delivers the powerful features of SharePoint without the associated overhead of managing the infrastructure.