2.1 Accounts Payable process flows
We will now look at the Accounts Payable payment process, both with and without the SAP Bank Communication Management (BCM) module, whereby payment files are sent by a company to the financial institution via SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity. We will also review the import of bank statements and the treasury trade confirmation process, whereby information is received by the company via SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity. This chapter focuses on application-side processes involving SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity.
2.1.1 Accounts Payable payment process without BCM
In this section, we look at the Accounts Payable payment process where SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity is used for Bank Connectivity needs, but the SAP Bank Communication Management module is not used. The purpose of doing this is to show how the SAP Bank Communication Management module and SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity work together to give the complete end-to-end payment status reporting that most SAP customers require.
Before we get into the individual steps and the associated apps, let’s first take a look at the end-to-end process flow, as shown in Figure 2.1.
Figure 2.1: Accounts Payable payments using SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity (MBC)
The first step in the process is the posting of a supplier invoice. Once the supplier invoices have been posted, users can the supplier open items using the Manage Supplier Line Items app, as shown in Figure 2.2.
Figure 2.2: Manage Supplier Line Items app
In the selection criteria at the top of the landing page, users enter basic information such as Supplier, company code, Status, Open on Key Date, and Item Type (see Figure 2.3). By then clicking on the Go button, users are presented with the supplier open items that meet the specified selection criteria.
Figure 2.3: Manage Supplier Line Item app—selection screen
Users can select the Journal Entry link (see Figure 2.3) to get to the line item details information shown in Figure 2.4. In this example, the invoice is posted with Payment Method A, which is an XML payment method using an SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity Connector-enabled data medium format.
Figure 2.4: Manage Supplier Line Items app—detail screen
The second step is supplier payment processing using the Manage Automatic Payments app, as shown in Figure 2.5.
Figure 2.5: Manage Automatic Payments app
In Figure 2.6, we see an automatic payment run that was executed to process the supplier open item. The Payment Processed tab shows the number of payments that were processed in this payment run.
Figure 2.6: Payment run details
Users can click on the show details (>) icon (see Figure 2.6) to display the payment level details shown in Figure 2.7.
Figure 2.7: Payment level details
If you click on the show details (>) icon shown in Figure 2.7, the invoice level detail screen will be shown (see Figure 2.8).
Figure 2.8: Invoice level detail screen
Once the payment run has been successfully completed, a payment message is sent to the MBC Connector where it is ready to be sent to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity.
The payment data can also be viewed using the Manage Payment Media app, as shown in Figure 2.9. We would like to point out that this is not a required step.
Figure 2.9: Manage Payment Media app
Enter the payment run details in the selection criteria area, as shown in Figure 2.10, and click on Go to display the payment media associated with the payment run. Note that there can be more than one payment media associated with a payment run.
Figure 2.10: Payment run details
Click on the show details (>) icon (see Figure 2.10) to display the payment media details shown in Figure 2.11. Users can view details such as the Paying Company Code, the Bank Account, and the number of payments, etc.
Figure 2.11: Payment media details
As mentioned earlier, when the payment run has been completed successfully, along with the payment media creation, the payment message is sent to MBC Connector and can be viewed via the Manage Bank Messages app, as shown in Figure 2.12.
Manage Bank Messages app
The Manage Bank Messages app was released with SAP S/4HANA 1909 FPS01. SAP ECC customers, and SAP S/4HANA customers on a release prior to SAP S/4HANA 1909 FP01, can use the Connector Monitor (transaction code /BSNAGT/MONITOR).
Figure 2.12: Manage Bank Messages app
To display the payment message relevant to our payment run, we have entered Message Type and Creation Date parameters, as shown in Figure 2.13.
Figure 2.13: Manage Bank Messages app input parameters
As you will notice, the Message ID in the Manage Bank Messages app is the same as the Reference Number in the Manage Payment Media app. Click on the “>” icon (see Figure 2.13) to display the bank message details shown in Figure 2.14.
Figure 2.14: Manage Bank Messages app details
At this point, the message is in Message Created (IBC90) status and is ready to be sent to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity.
Users should also pay attention to the information in the Extended Header section which includes the UETR. UETR stands for Unique End-to-end Transaction Reference, which is a string of unique characters attached to a payment message that can be used for payment tracking using SWIFT Global Payment Innovation (GPI) functionality.
To view the actual XML content, click on the View Payload icon highlighted in Figure 2.14. The actual PAIN001.001.03 XML content is then displayed, as shown in Figure 2.15.
Figure 2.15: View message payload
Figure 2.16 shows the top right portion of Figure 2.14, where various processing options are presented. For example, if there is an error related to a message, users can press the Log button to see details of the error.
Figure 2.16: Manage Bank Messages processing options
If there is a need to send a message manually, users can press the Send button. A confirmation screen will then be presented, as shown in Figure 2.17.
Figure 2.17: Manage Bank Messages send confirmation
By clicking on OK, the system sends the payment data to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity. If it is successfully delivered, the message status will change to Message Sent to MBC (IBC91), as shown in Figure 2.18.
Figure 2.18: Manage Bank Messages app and messages sent to MBC
Send button in MBC Connector
When SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity has been fully configured, MBC Connector outbound messages are automatically sent to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity. If, for technical reasons, an outbound message is not sent, users can click on Send to transfer the payment data to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity.
The status of a message is very important because it can be used to trigger subsequent processing, which will be discussed in a later chapter. The full list of available statuses is shown in Figure 2.19.
Figure 2.19: Manage Bank Messages app statuses
The final steps involve the receipt of the file level and transaction level acknowledgements into the Manage Bank Messages app.
File and transaction level acknowledgement
A file level acknowledgement, also known as a level 0 acknowledgement, is sent by the bank to indicate that a payment file has been received and is syntactically correct. A transaction level acknowledgement, also known as a level 1 acknowledgement, is sent by the bank after initial processing of the payment file in their respective back-office system. If the payment file is sent in a PAIN.001 format, the acknowledgements received will be in a PAIN.002 format.
Users interested in knowing the status of a specific payment message can go to the Manage Bank Messages app and find the file and transaction level acknowledgements. You can view the file and transaction level acknowledgements via the Incoming Messages tab, as shown in Figure 2.20.
Figure 2.20: Incoming Messages tab
By pressing on the Show Details button, details of the incoming messages are displayed, as shown in Figure 2.21.
Figure 2.21: Incoming Messages details display
Drill down on the message shown in Figure 2.21 to view further details of the incoming message in a new screen, as shown in Figure 2.22.
Figure 2.22: Incoming Messages drilldown
By pressing the View Payload button, users can then view the incoming acknowledgement. Figure 2.23 shows that this is a file level acknowledgement.
Figure 2.23: File level acknowledgement in the Manage Bank Messages app
It is possible to download messages from the Manage Bank Messages app. To download the file level acknowledgement shown in Figure 2.23, click on the Download Payload button in the bottom right corner of the popup window.
Because SAP Bank Communication Management (BCM) is not used in this scenario, there is no other way to view the payment acknowledgements other than at the Manage Bank Messages app.
Using SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity without BCM
Using SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity without the BCM module is possible, however, we and SAP recommend implementing BCM for centralized payment status reporting with SAP. In other words, without the BCM module, users need to track payment statuses by manually viewing the acknowledgement files.
2.1.2 Accounts Payable payment process with BCM
In this section, we walk through the Accounts Payable payment process, where SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity is used for bank connectivity needs. We also look at the SAP Bank Communication Management module for payment batching, (optional) payment approval, and payment monitoring. Before we get into the individual steps and associated apps, let’s have a look at the end-to-end process flow, as shown in Figure 2.24.
Figure 2.24: Accounts Payables payments using SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity (MBC) and SAP Bank Communication Management
The first two steps of this scenario are similar to a scenario without BCM, where a supplier invoice is posted with a payment method that has an MBC Connector-enabled payment format. The posted supplier invoice is shown in Figure 2.25.
Figure 2.25: Manage Supplier Line Items details
Once the supplier invoice is due, it is processed using the Automatic Payment Program app and the payment run details can be viewed in the app, as shown in Figure 2.26.
Figure 2.26: Manage Automatic Payment app
When the payments are routed through BCM, the payment message is not created at the completion of the payment run.
Manage Automatic Payment app versus F110
When using the Manage Automatic Payment app, the system calls the BCM batching program automatically. This is different to the execution of the AP payment program (transaction code F110) in that the BCM batching program is run as a separate step, allowing payments from multiple payment runs to be batched together.
When the AP payment program (transaction code F110) is executed, a message is displayed stating that Payment Run … is Intended for cross-run payment media (see Figure 2.27). This is SAP’s way of saying that these payments are queued for batching in BCM.
Figure 2.27: Automatic payment run log
The next step is the batching of payments, which can be done either manually or by using a scheduled job, depending on the customer’s requirements with the Creation of Cross-Payment Run Payment Media (transaction code FBPM1) program. The program’s selection criteria are shown in Figure 2.28.
Figure 2.28: Batch payment program inputs (transaction code FBPM1)
This program can be run without having to enter anything in the selection screen. In this case, all payments that are queued for batching will be selected and batched as the per the predefined BCM batching rules. When the program is executed, users are presented with the informational screen shown in Figure 2.29, which indicates the number of payments that were selected for batching and the date details.
Figure 2.29: Payments batching informational message
Because the batch has already been created in the previous transaction, users are able to view the payment batch details using the Monitor Payments app (see Figure 2.30).
Figure 2.30: Monitor Payments app
In our scenario, supplier payments less than $100,000.00 do not need any manual approvals. This means that payment batches will be automatically approved when payment batching is executed, and the creation of the payment batch will immediately be followed by payment medium creation. The payment batch information is shown in Figure 2.31.
Figure 2.31: Monitor Payment app landing screen
Click on the show details (>) icon on the individual payment batch to view the batch details (see Figure 2.32).
Figure 2.32: Batch details
Once the payment media is created, it can be viewed in the Manage Bank Messages app. Figure 2.33 shows the payment media details.
Figure 2.33: Manage Bank Messages app—payment media details
To select the record, click on the Show Details button. This opens the screen shown in Figure 2.34, where further bank message details are displayed.
Figure 2.34: Message details view
When SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity has been fully configured, the outbound messages in the MBC Connector are automatically sent to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity. If an outbound message cannot be sent, click on the Send button, highlighted in Figure 2.34, to transfer the payment data to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity. If the message is successfully delivered to SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity, its status will change to Message Sent to MBC (IBC91) (see Figure 2.18).
Because the payment data is sent to banking partners in PAIN001.001.03 format, they will generally provide PAIN.002.001.03 payment status reports.
BCM is used in this scenario, so SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity sends the acknowledgement to MBC Connector. MBC Connector then automatically sends the acknowledgements to the BCM payment status consuming upload program (RBNK_IMPORT_PAYM_STATUS_REPORT), which updates the payment status based on status code in the imported acknowledgement.
The batch status in the Monitor Payments app then changes from Payment Medium Created (see Figure 2.35) to Accepted by Bank, as shown Figure 2.36.
Figure 2.35: Payment batch status before importing the acknowledgement
Figure 2.36: Payment batch status after importing the acknowledgement
To summarize, when the Accounts Payable payment process is complimented with BCM and SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity, it produces an efficient process with highly improved reporting capabilities. It also enables SAP customers to be proactive with notification capabilities in the case of issues or errors. We highly recommend using BCM with SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity for payments batching, (optional) payment approval, and monitoring needs, along with bank connectivity.
The BCM module also includes key alert functionality that can be used to notify business users and/or IT users if:
- there is an error while creating a payment file,
- a payment file has been sent to the bank, but a file level acknowledgement has not been received after a specified time interval, or
- an acknowledgement with the status code RJCT (rejected) has been received from the bank.
SAP Bank Communication Management in SAP S/4HANA
For further details about BCM, refer to our previous book—“Bank Communication Management in SAP S/4HANA”—published in 2020 by Espresso Tutorials GmbH.
If BCM is not used, there is no batching of payments across multiple payment runs, no payment approvals, and no reporting on payment statuses (from the payment acknowledgements). Without BCM, users must manually open the acknowledgement messages in the Manage Bank Messages app to check the status of payments.
Acks/Naks when using the SWIFT network
When the SWIFT network receives a message from a customer, it sends a technical confirmation back to them. If the SWIFT network is used with SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity, the technical confirmation from the SWIFT network will be received by SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity. SAP Multi-Bank Connectivity sends the technical confirmation to the MBC Connector, and it shows as a PAIN.002 message type in the Manage Bank Messages app. Acks (acknowledge) and Naks (non-acknowledge) are service messages sent by the SWIFT interface to the user application to notify whether an outgoing message was accepted or not.
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