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Everybody is talking about end to end processes like Order to Cash, and for such an end to end Order to Cash process we already suggested key figures for monitoring about 4 yeas ago. Since then many key figures have been enhanced and new key figures were introduced with the different ST-A/PI releases. Something that became obvious during customer projects over the past few years, was the fact that most organizations are still not living the entire end to end process from Order to Cash. Instead most organizations are living an Order to Invoice process (with sales and logistics aspects) and the cash collection is handled separately within the finance department or some Financial Shared Service Center.

The challenge is now, if you want to improve your Order to Cash process really from an end to end perspective, then you somehow have to bridge the organizational gap between the sales folks on the one side and the finance folks on the other side. Of course you want to ensure that all SD billing documents are really transferred to accounting and hence reflected in your financial statements. For this purpose you can use the key figure Sales invoices not posted to FI that was enhanced with further exception information as of ST-A/PI 01Q (you can find a more detailed description in my corresponding blog Enhanced key figures: Analyzing/monitoring SD invoices not transferred to FI). With the help of this key figure you can at least ensure that everything is successfully tranferred from the SD module to the FI/CO module.

But what happens then? How can the sales people track if the customers are paying their respective bills and how can the finance guys gain more insight how the open FI-AR items might affect the sales and related credit checks?

Sales invoices with open FI-AR items

In my blog about new key figures with ST-A/PI release 01P, I mentioned for the first time the key figure Sales invoices with open FI-AR items. This key figure was now (ST-A/PI 01Q SP1) slightly adjusted according to common customer requests, i.e. the key figure is now only showing those open items that are overdue according to the Net Due Date. So what is this key figure doing and what is so special about it? This key figure represents a subset of all open and overdue FI-AR items. Only those FI-AR items are shown, that have an SD document as referenced source. Usually that would be all those items with document type RV, but it can also include different document types depending on your customizing settings. So with a pure financial open FI-AR item analysis you are always running into the problem on how to figure out which open items are really sales related and which are not. The key figure Sales invoices with open FI-AR items provides this kind of distinction automatically. Besides the FI information (document type and posting key) you also get to see the sales information about document category, billing category and billing type. This allows an easy analysis which business process variants are making problems and which not. This key figure also provides information whether the open item is related to some invoice cancellation or not. This is very helpful, as it often happens that sales transactions are reversed several times and at the end the finance department is losing track whether a certain transaction is still awaiting some payment or whether the whole transaction should really be cancelled. The result list is also providing the information at what date the invocie was created and sent to the customer (billing date) and since when the corresponding open item is due for payment (net due date).

So the key figure Sales invoices with open FI-AR items should especially help your sales colleagues to gain an understanding of how much of their sales is overdue for payment/clearing. The key figure could also be helpful for the finance people in order to understand how much of the open and overdue FI-AR items are related to sales.

Overdue open items FI-AR (customer items)

The key figure Overdue open items FI-AR (customer items) was already mentioned in the Best Practice blog about Order to Cash. Now with ST/A-PI release 01Q support package 1, we enriched the pure FI-AR key figure with information from the credit management module. Every open FI-AR item is assigned to some credit control area and customer. With this information you can uniquely identify credit management information that is also displayed in the open items list. The additional information that you get is

  • the risk category,
  • the total amount of open receivables for this customer that are considered for the credit limit check,
  • information whether the customer was blocked by credit management,
  • the credit limit for the customer in this credit control area,
  • when the customer exceeded his credit limit,
  • when the customer paid (which amount) for the last time in one of the company codes belonging to the credit control area.

With this additional information you have some kind of light version of what the Collections Management provides in the Financial Supply Chain Management module. It should also help to evaluate which customers need to be re-revaluated with regards to credit risk and which open items have to be written-off.

Further reading

Frequently Asked Questions about Business Process Monitoring and Business Process Analytics are answered under and respectively.

The following blogs (in chronological order) provide further details about Business Process Analytics and Business Process Monitoring functionalities within the SAP Solution Manager.