To manage a complex business, often corporates incorporate multiple legal entities. Each legal entity could be a separate company code in SAP organization structure. These company codes could be establishments in different geographies, countries or could be related parties or affiliates operating at different levels of integration of supply chain (to give some examples). Many inter-company transactions may occur between difference entities (company codes) and SAP implementation should support such transactions and valuations. This is a high-level document that shows some cross company and inter-company postings. The document is not describing detailed configuration behind these transactions or any valuations such as transfer pricing. The document may not be comprehensive, uses simple & basic examples.
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The company codes used share the same controlling area in these examples.
Cross-company code transaction (viewed from transaction code FBU3) is an accounting entry involving more than one company code. In the example shown below, company code 1000 is posting a vendor invoice for an expense incurred in company code 2000. In the accounting entry, there is a debit to expense account in 2000, a credit to vendor in 1000 and offsetting items inter-company vendor and customer accounts respectively.
In this process, a purchase order on a vendor is opened assigning cost center of another entity in the account assignment segment. In example shown, purchase order is in company code 1000 and the assigned cost center 2010 belongs to company code 2000 (other cost objects such as orders can also be used). The goods receipt posted against the purchase order creates expense in 2000 but liability to pay vendor in 1000. The offsetting line items from inter-company clearing create a payable in 2000 and a receivable in 1000.
Take the following into consideration:
- Message KI 113 is switched off
- Inter-company clearing accounts are maintained
- Business Partner master data is maintained if assigned as clearing accounts
- Document types involved should allow customer, vendor and inter-company postings
Purchase Order with cost center of another entity
Goods Receipt Accounting Document
Logistics Invoice Accounting Document
In this transaction, a company code makes payment for an invoice open item posted in a different company code. In example shown below, company code 1300 selects a vendor open item from company code 1000 to post payment. A cross company code accounting document is posted to clear vendor open item in 1000, bank outgoing in 1300 and inter-company payable and receivable in 1000 and 1300 respectively. (F-53 transaction is used for simplicity)
Start outgoing payments transaction
Specify Open Item Selection
Accounting Document after posting transaction
Stock Transport Order (STO) is a type of purchase order document that posts goods movements in sending and receiving plants while also accounting for receivables and payables in their respective company codes. The process requires configuration of stock transport orders, inter-company pricing and billing. Some important definitions in configuration are:
- Define supplying and receiving plants for STO process and link those to respective customer master, sales area (sales organization, distribution channel, division), purchase document type, delivery type, checking rules.
- Maintain and assign an inter-company pricing procedure to the sales area of supplying plant. The settings of inter-company pricing procedure are important to pass product price from STO in billing documents. Maintain pricing conditions if required as per definition of pricing procedure.
- Activate account assignment of offsetting entry of inter-company transaction. Inter-company billing document can trigger an accounts payable I-doc to post vendor invoice in receiving company code.
- Some further settings to get vendor invoice to post in receiving entity are defining and assigning output type to billing document & setting up relationship between customer master of sending entity with vendor master of receiving entity
- Some manual configurations are required to make the invoicing process work.
- Make sure logical system (LS) is active for the client
- Maintain vendor profile (LI) for the inter-company vendor. Assign inbound message type (e.g. INVOIC), message code and process code. Process code INVF posts FI invoice, INVL/INVM can post MM logistics invoice.
- As an alternative to creating AP I-doc, it is possible to flag the purchase process for ERS (Evaluated Receipt Settlement). ERS can read all goods receipts in receiving entity and post invoices using rate from STO. However, if order combination is allowed for deliveries, it is easier to reconcile accounting with AP I-doc since the accounting is a mirror image of the AR side.
- Maintain customer profile (KU) to create Invoice/Billing document. In message control, assign message type to create invoice.
- Make settings for invoices received via electronic data interchange (EDI)
- Assign vendor to company code
- Assign vendor company code on invoice to company code
- Assign G/L account to post offset for inter-company vendor invoice
- Assign default tax code for vendors per country
- Maintain additional account assignments
The screen views below show an example of STO process with accounting entries.
Stock Transport Order
Delivery followed by goods movements
Document flow after billing the delivery
(**Under Intercompany Billing, there are two accounting documents. First is inter-company AR posted in sending entity. Second is inter-company AP invoice posted in receiving entity with I-doc output type. An enhancement is used to modify SD document flow to display inter-company AR &AP documents together. It is possible to open the document by clicking ‘Display document’)
Inter-company AR Invoice
Inter-company AP Invoice
A production or process order in this process uses a work center assigned to a cost center of another company code of the same group. It indicates some resource sharing between affiliate companies. On posting confirmation and consumption of inputs, the resulting accounting document shows inter-company receivable and payable in respective entities. An example is shown below.
Work center from another entity
Cost Analysis view
Accounting document for confirmation
Cross-company sales order involves three parties – end customer, selling entity and order fulfilling entity. A customer places order the fulfilment of which takes place from an affiliate company. In order based billing scenario, customer billing takes place on receipt of order. Subsequently, supply chain can allocate the products ordered from own plant or from plant of an affiliate. In cases where affiliate fulfils the order, it triggers cross-company scenario. The pricing on sales order now shows another pricing condition type for inter-company pricing.
Inter-company billing is delivery based and triggered only if cross-company order fulfilment takes place. The billing against delivery creates inter-company AR billing and the output type assigned creates an I-doc to post inter-company AP invoice. The internal customer for AR billing is assigned to sales organization in configuration. The corresponding inter-company vendor ID is referred from customer/vendor relationships maintained in EDI logical address configuration. There is kind of overlap in the STO and cross-company sales configuration. One difference to note is, ERS could be an alternative to Idocs in STO (subject to its limitations) whereas cross-company sales order should use I-doc since there is no goods receipt in the selling company code.
Customer Sales Order
SD Document Flow
Customer Billing Accounting Entry
Post goods issue from plant of affiliate
Inter-company AR Billing
Inter-company AP Invoice
The way inter-company transactions are tracked is amazing. Throughout the package solution the programs are always mindful of possibility of inter-company and have ability to automatically generate line items and accounting documents in interacting company codes. The capabilities of SAP are not limited to the examples discussed above. Solutions like in-house cash, inter-company leases take it to the next level.
It is always fun working on SAP for consultants and end users.