This is my very first blog in the SAP Community, and I would like to use this platform to give a brief idea about few issues that I (personally) have faced while configuring the Milestone Billing plan for advance payment for one of my customers.
I have followed the SAP Standard configuration steps which are required for Milestone Billing using SPRO IMG. I have jotted down the steps below, just in case you need it.
We will go step by step for the configuration that is needed from SD perspective, and I'll make sure it's short and sweet so you don't have to scroll it down and read long to understand the whole process.
Standard Configuration for Milestone Billing Plan.
Step 1) Define Billing Plan Types
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Plan > Define Billing Plan Types
Maintain Billing Plan Types for Milestone Billing.
Maintain Billing Plan Types for Periodic Billing.
Step 2) Define Date Descriptions.
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Plan > Define Date Descriptions
Step 3) Define & Assign Date Categories.
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Plan > Define & Assign Date Categories
Maintain Date Category for Billing Plan Type.
Allocate Date Category.
Step 4) Maintain Date proposals for Billing types.
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Plan > Maintain Date proposals for Billing types.
Step 5) Assign Billing Plan Types to Sales document Type.
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Plan > Assign Billing Plan Types to Sales document Type.
Step 6) Assign Billing Plan Types to Item Categories.
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Plan > Assign Billing Plan Types to Item Categories.
Step 7) Define Rule for Determining the dates.
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Plan > Define Rule for Determining the dates.
Apart from this, You also have to set the Billing Relevance in Item category as "I" which is "Order-relevant billing - billing plan".
Issues Faced -
After configuring all the necessary steps for Milestone Billing Plan, I was unable to determine the Billing Block automatically.
When Billing Block is determined in the sales order, and if I were to bill the first milestone using VF01, the system would consider all the Billing Milestones for Invoicing, hence splitting the Invoice for all the Milestones.
Resolution to the issue -
In CJ20N, under the milestones created under the WBS, the Actual date should be blank.
Actual Date in WBS Milestone
SAP Function based on Actual Date -
Actual Date in a Milestone, confirms that the Milestone is ready for Billing. Once this confirmation is done, SAP automatically disables the billing block in Sales order which otherwise would be applied in the Milestones available in the Billing Plan.
Actual Date is as good as a Green Signal, once Actual date is provided in the Milestone, you won't have to go back to the sales order to remove the Billing Block, and you can seamlessly go to the Billing document creation (VF01) and enter the Sales order no. and Post the Invoice.
For this issue, there is a Basic Setting of Assigning the Billing block to the corresponding Billing document type. Once this assignment is done, the system would consider the block and will only allow to Bill the milestones, which are free from the Billing Block.
Menu Path - SPRO > IMG > SD > Billing > Billing Documents > Define Blocking reasons for Billing > Assign Blocking reasons to Billing Types.
SAP Function based on Billing Block
SAP will not block the creation of billing document even if the block is assigned to the milestone in the billing plan.
This is because, SAP considers the blocks to be applicable only for the billing documents which need an approval and or process confirmation (for example in the above case, the Actual Date is a confirmation of process which is applicable only for the Billing type used for Milestone Billing). Hence it is mandatory to assign the Billing Block to the required Billing Types, then and only then, will SAP consider the Block, and start blocking the other milestones, which are supposed to be billed later, and which are assigned a block in the Billing Plan.
Hope this blog was useful to understand the basic requirements/configurations and the system behavior in different cases, however for you to know more about configuration of Milestone Billing, I am leaving a link below for your reference.