During logistics invoice verification, the system creates a target or expected invoice based on the quantities and articles entered in the goods receipt, and the conditions in the relevant purchase order(s). This target invoice amount is checked against the actual invoice amount received from the supplier. If there is no — or just a minor acceptable difference (if a tolerance was maintained accordingly) — the invoice is correctly checked and posted, so that the payment to the supplier can be released. This process is referred to as goods-receipt based invoice verification.
It is possible to use the assignment test function as a preparatory background step before invoice verification. You can use this function to ensure that the system only begins invoice verification when open goods receipts exist for an invoice. An unsuccessful assignment test is quicker than a full invoice verification in background processing, because the system does not need to process so much data from the database (for example, article data is not required) and executes fewer checks and evaluations.
Another option for logistics invoice verification is based on evaluated receipt settlement (ERS). In this case, the system creates a target invoice based on the quantities and articles entered in the goods receipt along with the conditions of the relevant purchase order(s), and the amount determined is paid to the supplier. Whether or not a supplier uses ERS for all order items, or only for return items, is defined in the master record for the supplier (purchasing data).
The prepayment function allows you to pay invoices before verification. This is particularly useful if a cash discount agreement has been negotiated. In this case, the invoice is entered irrespective of whether or not goods receipt has been posted. The system then initiates payment to the supplier. This function requires certain settings in Customizing and in the supplier master.
Logistics invoice verification in SAP Retail is not part of the Financial Accounting (FI) module, but of the Materials Management (MM) module, and thereby allows you to perform decentralized invoice verification. It involves the following steps:
Enter an incoming invoice and assign purchase orders or goods receipts. This can be done in the following two ways:
Online in the system
With EDI (Electronic Data Interchange); this involves automatically uploading the invoice data, including the numbers of the relevant reference documents using IDocs (IDoc type INVOIC01).
In invoice verification, the actual invoice amount is checked against the target or expected invoice amount. An invoice can only be posted if the balance is zero. However, if there is only a slight difference between the total debit and credit amounts, it may cost too much time and effort to find out why the differences occurred and then have to change the individual items. Thus, it is possible to define tolerance limits for small differences. If the invoice amount is within the tolerance, the system automatically generates a posting line that posts the difference to a non-operating expense or revenue account. If a larger difference occurs, for example because the conditions applied by the supplier are too high, you can adjust the conditions directly during manual invoice verification, or subsequently after background verification. The system then automatically informs the supplier in question using message type REKL.
The data is then transferred and posted to Financial Accounting (FI). Invoices that are found to be correct are transferred to Financial Accounting as a posting record and posted there. If financial accounting takes place in a different SAP or non-SAP system, the posting records are transferred using Remote Function Call (RFC).
When an expense invoice is created online in the system, it is assigned to the relevant reference documents. In Retailing, as a PO reference, you can enter the following:
- Purchase Order/Scheduling Agreement
- Delivery Note
- Bill of Lading
- Service Entry Sheet
- Transportation Service Agent
- Outbound Delivery (in online verification only)
The user can choose between three different ways of performing verification (invoice verification types):
Immediate verification online: The invoice that has been created is verified online. This means users access the item view of each invoice, no matter if corrections will be necessary or not (may be unnecessarily time-consuming). If relevant, corrections to the invoice can be made directly.
Immediate or scheduled verification in the background: The invoice that has been created is verified in the background and the results are recorded in a list. Users can already start creating the next invoice in the system and make assignments while checks for previously entered invoices are running in the background. In due course, the users check the results list of the invoice verification that took place in the background and then processes the contents of the list. By default, the system suggests to not display fully posted invoices in further processing, so the user can focus on invoices which require further action.
Depending on the kind of error, incorrect invoices can be corrected in various ways. If the supplier bills you for a delivery quantity or price other than that specified in the goods receipt, you can adjust the quantities or prices. Any deviations in the relevant purchasing conditions are documented in detail for the relevant invoice item(s). However, this only takes place in the selected invoice; no changes are made to the master data (conditions). If the tax rate on which the expense invoice is based is too high, you can change the tax indicator. You can also exclude purchase orders, or purchase order items (articles).
If the error in an invoice is due to incorrect system data (for example, if supplier conditions or tax codes have been maintained incorrectly), a message (type EINK) is automatically sent to the buyer when the error is corrected. However, this is only possible if the relevant settings have been made in Customizing.