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Welcome to my second blog post in the series of Intelligent Technologies for Finance with SAP S/4HANA Cloud or on premise. If you missed the first one on Intelligent Accounts Payable, click here.

In this blog post we will see how the traditional Accounts Receivable processes which were manual, tedious, time consuming gets automated, simplified, modernized with Innovations in Intelligent Technologies like Robotic Process Automation, Machine Learning, Situation Handling and Analytics.

Accounts Receivable processes

  1. Business Partner master data creation & check

  2. Create manual entries for Customer Invoices

  3. Monitor incoming emails for Payment Advices

  4. Upload Payment Advices

  5. Upload Bank Statements

  6. Reconcile Open Invoices & Payments

  7. Alert on skipped Invoices

  8. Monitor incoming emails and update Dispute Cases

Accounts Receivable team traditionally used to perform all the above tasks manually in system making them time consuming, requiring more full-time employees, also their repetitive nature made them tedious, error prone. With innovations in Intelligent technologies, these tasks can be automated, simplified, thus Accounts Receivable team can focus on more strategic tasks that create actual business value.


SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation

Let’s see how Innovations in SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation automates the Accounts Receivable processes.

Business Partner

Mass Creation of Business Partner from Excel (58Z)
The Mass Creation of Business Partner bot will read an Excel spreadsheet and create the business partner customer master data using an API, in SAP S/4HANA Cloud.

Business Partner Master Data Check (4FB)
This bot automates a check to seek missing data and notify the same to the users to prevent downstream problems. It checks customer details such as accounting clerk, dunning procedure, dunning clerk, and dunning block are available. The bot sends e-mails to the respective recipients with the details of the missing business partner master data.

Customer Invoices

Automated Upload of Manual Entries via API (4CA)
This bot automatically collects template of customer invoice from Microsoft Outlook, extracts and validates the content and post the entries into SAP S/4HANA systems via API.

Payment Advice & Bank Statements

Automated Upload of Bank Statement Files (4X2)
This bot can automatically upload bank statement files and import bank statements to the Manage Incoming Payment Files app. This can avoid manual work and reduce human errors.

Manage Payment Advice (48Q)
This Bot Automates the import of payment advice files from emails to the Manage Payment Advice app in SAP S/4HANA system and triggers the notification to the user with the status in the Excel file so the user can confirm the payment advice.

This Bot works in tandem with Machine Learning – Payment Advice Extraction (scope item is 1MV) to automate the extraction of payment advices which are in unstructured formats like PDF or paper thus reducing the manual efforts of entering these details manually.

Dispute Management

Dispute Management - Manage Customer Email Response (48E)
Once a dispute case has been opened and a letter has been sent to the customer, a bot can monitor the processor's inbox to collect the customer's reply. The document is then attached to the dispute case for the processor to review.

All the above listed Bots are available as Standard, Out of the Box in Intelligent RPA Store.

You can refer to SAP Note 2788986 – Release Strategy for SAP Intelligent RPA with SAP S/4HANA systems.

Now Citizen Developers or Business Process Experts can create custom Bots with No Code/Low Code approach with easy drag & drop with SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation 2.0​.

Machine Learning with SAP Cash Application

Machine Learning – Payment Advice Extraction

With Cash Application, the payment advice in unstructured sources like PDF or paper are extracted into the system automatically with Machine Learning thus reducing the manual efforts.

Machine Learning – Reconcile Open Invoices & Payments

SAP Cash Application uses the past data in your system to propose invoice matching prediction results. It helps lower the manual effort in the time-consuming clearing process of open items.

SAP Cash Application learns from the past patterns of the manual actions taken during the reprocessing of the bank statement items to create templates for reprocessing rule.

As part of daily business in your SAP S/4HANA Cloud/on premise system, new incoming payment and open invoice information is passed to the SAP Business Technology Platform based matching engine, and proposed matches are either automatically cleared or suggested for review.

The reprocessing of bank statement items is triggered automatically following the initial posting with a one time set up as detailed in the video above. The system applies the corresponding reprocessing rules to the pending items to complete the postings.

Best Practice Explorer 1MV scope item should be activated in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, and Business Technology Platform license is required for leveraging the benefits of Cash Application.

Refer Open SAP Course on Preparing for SAP Cash Application.

SAP Situation Handling

Situation types allow you to manage the different circumstances that are critical to your business processes by automatically notifying the right users either as soon as a situation occurs or at a defined time. Situation types create situation instances, send notifications, and display the situation message, including related information, in the corresponding app.

Invoice skipped situation type for the Manage Payment Advice : Standard Templates and Ready-to-Use Situation Type

In past, the AR accountant would know about a missing invoice in payment only after receiving the bank statement, but now with Situation handling, automatic notification would be received at the time of Payment Advice upload. There are Standard Templates and ready-to-use Situation Types available with SAP S/4HANA Cloud/on premise. We get standard situation type for Invoice skipped situation type for the Manage Payment Advice app. The purpose of this situation is to notify about payment advices that appear to have skipped a high-value invoice or invoices within the due date range. For more details on Managing Situation Types in SAP S/4HANA Cloud, refer to Best Practice Explorer Scope item J59. Thus, Situation Handling helps in clearing the open AR items faster and reducing the Days Sales outstanding by notifying about the missing invoices in advance.

SAP Analytics

Embedded Analytics: SAP Analytics Cloud in SAP S/4HANA Cloud or on premise.

We get embedded Analytics with Fiori Apps which gives us real-time data and dashboards.

SAP Fiori Analytical Apps

  • Accounts Receivable Overview

You can also create custom analytical reports and dashboards, for details see blog post – Custom Stories/Dashboards, Embedded Analytics FAQs

What’s New?  

Important Highlights of SAP Intelligent Robotic Process Automation 2.0​


Simpler Custom Bot building with No code/low code approach.

Building Bots is more User friendly, even Business Process Experts can easily build Bots with easy drag and drop.

Ability to build Bots through Studio in cloud, orchestrate in cloud & execute wherever customers infrastructure is on premise.

Additionally, now you can monitor the Bots on CALM.

What’s New Blogs

Unveiling SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0 : Hyperautomation for everyone

Join the Future of Automation with SAP Intelligent RPA 2.0

What’s New for SAP Intelligent RPA with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2011

What’s New for SAP Intelligent RPA with SAP S/4HANA Cloud 2102

Additional References –

SAP Note 2788986 – Release Strategy for SAP Intelligent RPA

Discover SAP Intelligent RPA at SAP TechEd 2020

Try SAP Intelligent RPA for Free: Trial Version | Pre-built Bots

Offerings for Business Transformation as a Service: Rise with SAP

Get started with SAP S/4HANA Intelligent ERP

Learn more: Webinars | Help Portal | openSAP

Explore: Product Information | Successful Use Cases

Exchange knowledge: SAP Community | Q&A | Blog

Do stay tuned with the latest updates in Intelligent Technologies with SAP S/4HANA Cloud.