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Author's profile photo Bin Li

Efficient and reliable return processing with Accelerated Returns Management in SAP S/4HANA Cloud

In today’s world, the company is expected to have a reliable after sales process which includes complaints processing, repair, and return processing.

Since the customer expects high quality products, the return process is also expected as a service process which will be handled transparently, efficient with an immediate refund process.

The SAP Advanced Returns Management (ARM) is used for the administration of customer returns and provides a variety of advanced functions for the returns management.

Beside a continuous process of the returns management, a permanent monitoring and interferences in the processes are possible with the help of the returns overview. An optimized and accelerated returns management is the result of the SAP ARM.

In S/4HANA Cloud, the Advanced Returns Management is introduced with the Best Practice “BKP: Accelerated Customer Returns” (and a number of other variant scope-items: 1Z3, 3QD, 3TE) and it’s three sub-scenarios

· Return to seller

· Return to seller with inspection at customer site

· Return to supplier via seller

Users with returns and refund clerk role start return process with Fiori App Manage Rustomer Returns. Accelerated return (document type CBAR) is used to manage your return order and refund. Return reason and other information can be maintained in accelerated return. Inspection step is normally expected as input for further refund and logistic follow up decisions. Logistic follow up activities are pre-defined to accelerate your logistic relevant actions. Credit memo and replacement material can both be supported as typical refund type.

Using WEBGUI App VA01 with document type CBAR, you can also address the use case to

· create accelerated return without reference.

or even run a return process without an additional inspection step while

· using logistic follow up activity ‘Immediately Move to Free Available Stock’

More details on process flow and test script can be found in Scope Item BKP

Besides of the comprehensive “Accelerated Customer Returns” S/4HANA Cloud still supports the so-called Customer Return (Scope-Item: BDD) process.

The basic process steps include

· Create sales order

· Create return delivery

· Create billing document

Users with Internal sales rep role start the return process with App Create Sales OrdersVA01 while using document type CBRE to create the return order. Due to the basic design of BDD: Customer Return there is no inspection step required as material is directly returned to unrestricted-use stock. Credit memo is the supported refund type, billing block needs to be explicitly removed in lean return before credit memo request creation.

More details on process flow and test script can be found in Scope Item BDD

Meanwhile It is important to be aware of the limitations for Customer Return when using sales document type CBRE. This is addressed in Limitation part in test script for customer return (BDD) – as can be found via link above.

So, when running one of the outlined return process variants below please use Accelerated Returns Management with sales document type CBAR, since Customer Returns (BDD) is not planned to support these:

BKP: Accelerated Customer Returns [sales document type: CBAR]

Return of sales kits as documented in Sales Order Processing for Sales Kits

Return of trading goods with milestone-billing plan

Return of free-of-charge goods

Return of make-to-order goods with milestone-billing plan

Return of bought-in good

Return with selection of an alternative replacement material (and plant)

1Z3: Accelerated Third-Party Returns [sales document type: CBAR]

Direct return of 3rd party goods

3QD: Accelerated Third-Party Returns from Seller to Supplier [sales document type: CBAR]

Return of 3rd party goods via seller to supplier – using a Return Purchase Order with Return Material Authorization

3TE: Return Order Processing for Non-Stock Material [sales document type: CBAR]

Return of non-stock good

Return of non-stock good with milestone-billing plan

Return of free-of-charge non-stock goods

Return of service with Credit Memo in context of Return Order

Return of free-of-charge service

Return of service with milestone-billing plan

2F4: Intercompany Process for Customer Returns [sales document type: CBAR]

Return and refunds using affiliated plants

Due to these limitations in Customer Returns (BDD), it is recommended to directly start with Accelerated Returns Management. This also brings the advantage that the Sales & Refund clerk can decide on immediate compensation options without waiting for inspection results – as would be expected from the customers.

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      Author's profile photo Andrew Saunders
      Andrew Saunders

      Really great overview Bin. Thanks!

      Author's profile photo Sai Giridhar Kasturi
      Sai Giridhar Kasturi

      well summarized. thanks for sharing.

      Author's profile photo Scarlett Wang
      Scarlett Wang

      Thanks Bin for sharing this blog.

      Author's profile photo Sean House
      Sean House

      Thanks Bin for sharing.  I have been a fan of Accelerated Returns Management (aka Advanced Returns Management) since it was delivered in ECC.  One area that I struggle to find documentation is the integration of ARM with the Repairs process.  I know there are standard Follow-on Activities 0016 and 0017 for Inhouse and external repair but would appreciate if you could direct me to any Blogs or documentation about integration of those activities with ARM.  If there is nothing you can directly reference, can I suggest a future blog topic?

      Author's profile photo Bin Li
      Bin Li
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sean

      If you mean the configuration in ARM (on premise) to enable the Follow-on Activities 0016 and 0017. you can check the standard configuration guideline document attached in Note 2967776


      Best Regards,




      Author's profile photo Sean House
      Sean House

      Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.

      Really what I was hoping for was something more "business consumable" similar to the ARM Best Practice Content:

      Accelerated Customer Returns (‏BKP‏)

      Accelerated Third-Party Returns (‏1Z3‏)

      I suspect publishing a formal Best Practice would be administratively difficult, so I am not looking for an official document, but was hoping to convince you to publish an "Accelerated Customer Returns with In-house repair" step-by-step process description and example.  I admit I could probably corral one of our CS consultants and setup something myself, but that is like herding cats sometimes...

      Sean House

      Author's profile photo Morne Smart
      Morne Smart

      Hi Sean House - did you manage to get something documented and/or implemented for Follow-on Activities 0017 - External repair with ARM?

      Author's profile photo Bin Li
      Bin Li
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Sean

      Just something new regarding returns and repair.

      Since S/4HANA Cloud CE2111, there is an integration between BKP (Accelerated Customer Returns ) and In-House Repair (‏3XK‏). New logistical follow up 0026 : in-house repair (service) is newly introduced in BKP.

      Here you can find the formal best practice for inhouse repair in 3XK, which is Service based solution.


      Author's profile photo Sean House
      Sean House

      Thank you for following up!  I have downloaded the Best Practice and will review the suggested settings with my Service experts.  Very much appreciate you getting back to me on this topic!




      Author's profile photo Moises Jaime Trejo Rayon
      Moises Jaime Trejo Rayon


      I have an issue with returns un SAP.

      Actually in my company. We offer additional product when customer reach certain quantity, for example, if customer buys 10 products we give 1 additional at no cost. The problem comes when the customer returns all the products. How can i apply a credit memo to those products. BDD and BKP only admits goods with price in the return order and i need to return 10 products with cost and 1 at no cost.

      Hope you can help me.

      Author's profile photo Nadia Doukkara
      Nadia Doukkara

      Hello Bin Li,

      Thanks a lot for this blog, it's very helpful.

      I have a question although about free goods return with ARM. Is it handled by BKP ? if yes, can you share with me it's flow process ?

      Thanks in advance !

      Author's profile photo Bin Li
      Bin Li
      Blog Post Author

      Hi Nadia


      yes, it can be handled by BKP. it is very straightforward. You can just check the test script of BKP, Create returns order with reference to the free goods item from preceeding document.


      Author's profile photo Nadia Doukkara
      Nadia Doukkara

      Hello Bin Li,

      Thanks for your reply.

      I've checked the test script of BKP that named "BKP_S4CLD2308_BPD_EN_DE" ( Attached in my comment) , but i didn't find this scenario.  Am I looking in the good file ?

      Could you please give me more details about that test script ? It's number or anything identify that scenario in the script test.

      Thanks a lot !