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The Enhancement Package 6 (EhP6) for SAP ECC 6.0 was released on May 7, 2012 – can you believe that it is already three years ago?!? Within those three years, we’ve found a few things that can help increase your functionality in SAP. Over the next two series, we will share with you those “how-to” tips for your bank statements.


Processing bank statements with variable file names

How does your bank name their bank statement files? Do they append a date to the file name? If they do, how do you get that to automatically process in SAP?

Have you ever run into a dynamic file name limitation in FF.5? How do you manage bank statement file names that change each day? Did you build some manual pre-processor for those bank statements that you received automatically in order to rename the files into a static name that can be read by your variant in FF.5?

Dynamic file names are a common problem many corporates experience. It is very common for banks to append a date at the end of their files, thus creating a different bank statement file name each day. Many companies have had to build file re-naming into their processes.

It is time to introduce FEB_FILE_HANDLING in Enhancement package 6. While it can’t leap tall buildings in a single jump, it does have the following features:

  • Reads from a logical source path for your bank statement files.
  • Reads dynamic file names based on patterns
  • Moves and archives files that have been processed

Here is an example of the selection screen for FEB_FILE_HANDLING:

Underneath this deceptively simple screen lurks a powerful bank statement process tool!

So how does the process work?

There are a few important set-up components to make this work:

  1. Activation of enhancement pack 6 functionality for bank statements
  2. Logical paths for file retrieval
  3. Entities, house banks, and accounts to process

Activation of enhancement pack functionality

This functionality comes within enhancement package SAP. This is a reversible function, so if you activate and do not like the functionality, you can simply deactivate it.

Please note – this blog post does not discuss the new bank statement functionality that is delivered with this functionality in addition to FEB_FILE_HANDLING. That will be the subject of a future blog post.

Logical paths for file retrieval

SAP uses several distinct types of directories for the files – the most important three include:

  • Source Directory: the files you want to load are stored here
  • Error Directory: the collection of files which could not be imported because of an error
  • Storage Directory: directory written by SAP of files that have been successfully processed

This functionality reads from an application server, not a presentation server. This means the files must be on a directory that SAP can read (not a local user machine). If this is a challenge for your company, a directory can be created where users upload files via transaction CG3Z for further processing.


Entities, house banks and accounts to process

Within the Posting parameters the company code, house bank, and account ID need to be set up.

Some of these settings are recognizable from the FF.5 screen. These options allow you the same flexibility you have for posting modes on FF.5.

 

Document number and reference document search ranges can also be supplied to FF.5. If you haven’t used the reference document number search before and would like to see a practical example.

Finally, the number ranges get set up:

 

Now that we have the new configuration all set up, it is time to show how the transaction processes. Drumroll please…

 

The FEB_FILE_HANDLING transaction will call the same program as FF.5 (RFEBKA00).

The output in this case will come from FF.5 and display on the screen:

 

There is one final powerful feature to mention. What happens if you run the transaction, but there are no bank statements to process? In this case, the program will finish successfully, but will have no results. For companies that received automated transfers of files, this type of flexibility makes it easy for you to schedule a job to run multiple times to pick up the files as they arrive from the bank. If there are no files, there won’t be any errors either. Here is an example showing the output when there are no files in the directory:

So, there you have it – the FEB_FILE_HANDLING in Enhancement Package 6 puts flexibility into processing bank statements with variable file names. Join us next time for part two where I will focus on how the new bank statement transaction can be used to easily post a payment based on a list of invoices received from a customer.

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