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Looking beyond R/3 billing in CRM Implementation – Country specific function for Official document numbering

Traditionally in a CRM Project, the mindset is to do the Billing in R/3 and this is primarily due to the fact that it is an established system and R/3 is the source for all financial transactions. However, SAP CRM also provides an option to create billing in CRM. The features are similar to R/3 but CRM comes with some additional features which are missing in R/3 or needs a core modification. In CRM, Billing can be created from Service Confirmation, Contract Billing Plan Request, Credit Memo, and Debit Memo. Invoice created in CRM will create an Accounting entry in R/3 in real time via the middleware. CRM also supports Cancellation of Billing document which reverses the Accounting entry in R/3.


Unlike R/3, in CRM before you start configuration, Billing Application Engine (BEA) has to be generated. Here you have option to generate the entire application or choose the features that you intend to use. You have to be very careful in choosing the application features because once it is generated and enabled you cannot revert.


In this blog we focus on Country specific function like Official document numbering. During my R/3 SD Implementation, I came across customers with international operation who had a requirement for country specific no. range especially for some countries in Europe where it is a legal requirement. In R/3, the standard didn’t support and we had to implement a user exit with z tables to define country specific series. In a CRM Project, when the customer has a similar requirement same functionality can be implemented with standard configuration known as Official document numbering.


Using the Official document numbering we can achieve Country or sales Organization or company code specific no. ranges. This helps in continuity of invoice no. range for all billing types and gives a better control for the folks managing the invoices in the organization. Official no. can be the primary no. for printing on the invoice and creating Accounting document in R/3.


After implementing this functionality for every billing document we will have 2 nos., one is the Regular Invoice number and second is the Official document number. For convenience purpose it is better to keep the series different because Regular Invoice number is now only for information purpose and Official document number is the key no. for all interaction within the organization and with customer.


One of the design decisions will be whether Regular Invoice No. should be posted to R/3  Accounting or Official document no. will be posted to R/3 Accounting. It makes sense to pass the Official document no. to R/3 to achieve the objective of the functionality. However, please check with your client before taking a decision.


To view the Official document no. in CRM Invoice, go to header level under header overview tab. This field is also available in the selection screen.


Follow below steps to configure Official document Numbering.

Navigation: SPRO -> Billing -> Country specific functions -> Official document numbering.


  1. Define the document class
  2. Assign Billing types to document class
  3. Define number range
  4. Determine print character
  5. Transfer to Accounting


Since this is a country specific setting the following steps have to defined for all countries


Define document class – In this step, you define the document class for the billing types and the format used for numbering the Billing document. Document classes are Regular Invoice (F2), Debit Memo (L2), Credit Memo (G2) and Cancellation. In CRM there is no cancellation billing type unlike in R/3. Regarding the naming convention, we can use INV for F2, CAN for Cancellation. If the invoice no. range is numerical like 540000 to 559999 then the format will be NNNNNN, the N format and the length should match with invoice no. range. In this example the invoice number is 6 digits so the format will be 6 digits NNNNNN





Assign Billing types to document class – In this step, document class created in previous step have to be assigned to the billing types. The combination is billing type + Document Class + cancellation. Cancellation should be assigned only if Invoices, Credit Memo and Debit Memo will be cancelled. Cancellation in CRM reverses the RV document in R/3.




Define Number Grouping – In this step we need to define a Group. We can create group to match with your company code or sales organization or country code or any logical group which can be tied to your numbering process.




Define Number Range – This is an important step because here we will assign the sequential series that will be used for country specific no. range. Using the Number Group in previous step we will define number range. I suggest that before you get on to this step prepare a spreadsheet and put down the series that you plan to use for each country.  Example – for US your series is 540000 to 549999 for Japan it is 550000 to 559999 and so on…




Determine Print Character – This step controls special print requirement for printing on the Forms/Output.




Define Official document numbers per billing unit – In CRM, Billing Unit is a new partner function required for creating an invoice in CRM. Mostly the billing unit will be equal to our company code or sales organization but it depends on the client requirement. In this step we control the no. range used by billing unit for a document class (e.g. F2, G2). This step also controls which document class will use which no range and validity period of the no. range. Depending on the implementation requirement you may want to backdate the start date.





Transfer Official document numbers to Accounting – Here we control which document class will be transferred to R/3 to create an Accounting document (RV). In this step, we choose the document class (e.g. INV, CAN) that needs to be transferred to Accounting. If we do not wish to transfer Official document number to Accounts, the document class shouldn’t be selected. In that case we will be transferring our regular invoice no. to accounts.



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  • Hi,

    we need to implement ths functionality for Turekey and I’m just wondering if it’s possible to maintain it for turkey but not for other countries using the same system / client because of “Since this is a country specific setting the following steps have to defined for all countries”.

    Jürgen Limbach