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How To Use SAP S/4HANA for Payment Signatories-Based Payment Approvals

Payments in SAP S/4HANA have been simplified with the introduction of Bank Account Management (BAM). However, this particular setup requires an additional license for SAP S/4HANA Cash and Liquidity Management. If your system contains this license already, then you should be able to perform all the steps as outlined in this article. You can get to the configuration settings either through the SM30 transaction or by going to Finance Supply Chain Management -> Cash and Liquidity Management -> General Settings -> Define Basic Settings. If you have “Full Scope” as an option, you have the required license to continue. If you only have “Basic Scope,” you may need to contact your SAP administrator for further instructions.

Step 1: Defining Settings for the Bank Account Master Data

The bank account master data will store all the information related to the organization’s bank accounts. To start, you’ll be using the menu path: Finance Supply Chain Management -> Cash and Liquidity Management -> Bank Account Management -> Basic Settings -> Define Settings for Bank Account Master Data which will pull up the view “Account Type Definition.”

The account type definition will represent a series of different account types, each with a specialized purpose. SAP already has built-in account types we can use, such as savings, checking, lockbox, etc.

Next, we’ll define signatory groups. The House Bank Account master data will have a record of payment signatories. The Signatory Groups defined here will impact the individuals who would serve as signatories for the company accounts. After this, we’ll look at Payment Approval Patterns. These patterns may be either single-step or multi-step approvals and will consider the previously defined Signatory Groups for final approval. A transaction may require one or more signatories to sign off on it for it to be approved. Finally, we’ll set up the Approval patterns and link them to a Company Code or Account Type. When we do this, we can have signatories assigned to be responsible for a particular account that the company controls.

Step 2: Signatory Control

This step ensures that individuals outlined in the Signatory Groups above can accept or reject payments based on their criteria. We use the menu path: Finance Supply Chain Management -> Cash and Liquidity Management -> Bank Account Management -> Enable Signatory Control. Once the window is opened, these two fields must exist:

  •         Process 0BANK002, Function Module FCLM_BAM_BCM_AGT_PRESEL, Product BAM
  •         Process 0BANK004, Function Module FCLM_BAM_BCM_REL_PROC_CTRL, Product BAM

To enable BAM Signatory Control, we must defer to the Bank Communication Management configuration.

Step 3: Configure Bank Communication Management

We’ll institute a rule that enables batch payment generation and set the priority as required in this step. Our menu path for this is Financial Supply Chain Management -> Bank Communication Management -> Payment Grouping -> Rules Maintenance.

After the window pops up, we’ll double-click on RI Maint and check the rules. We’ll look for a rule labeled “CC1710_11,” which will affect payment documents posted for company codes 1710 and 1711. According to the rule, when a transaction with those company codes comes in, it’ll be batched for processing.

Step 4: Additional Criteria Configurations

Is there a way we can get approvals sent directly to the person that needs to sign off on them? Assigning additional criteria gives us power over the routing for particular batches. The menu path we’re concerned with here is: Financial Supply Chain Management -> Bank Communication Management -> Payment Grouping -> Additional Criterions for Payment Grouping.

In the case of CC1710_11, payment documents will be generated when 1710 and 1711 show up. HKTID should show up in Grouping Field 1, and VALUT (the value date) should be in Grouping Field 2. These criteria mean that payment documents would be grouped, first by House Bank Account and then by the date that the payment record was generated. Finally, this enables batching to consider company code, house account, and date generated when creating the batch.

While S/4HANA may not improve workplace culture through its bank account management suite, it provides useful financial tools for any organization interested in managing their accounts from within S/4HANA.

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