SAP Clearing of Open Items

Advertisement

SAP Clearing of Open ItemsThis tutorial is part of our SAP FI course and it talks about SAP Clearing and Open Items in Financial Accounting. You will learn what are open items in SAP FI and why they need to be cleared. We will discuss different ways to perform clearing of open items in SAP ERP: SAP Automatic Clearing and SAP Manual Clearing. Our explanation will be illustrated by examples for customer, vendor, and G/L accounts.

Open items in SAP are incomplete transactions (e.g., outstanding vendor payment or pending customer payment). SAP FI documents containing open items are archived in the system after clearing. A transaction is considered cleared when an offset value is posted to an item or group of items, so that the resulting balance of the items is 0. Clearing transactions always create SAP clearing documents.

Advertisement

There are two types of open items clearing in SAP:

1. Posting with Clearing

Posting with clearing is applicable for General Ledger (G/L), Accounts Receivables (A/R) and Accounts Payable (A/P) open items.

Example of posting with clearing for A/P and A/R:

A/P A/R
What generates the open item Invoice posting against a Vendor account Invoice issued to a Customer
What will drive the close of the open item Payment made to the Vendor Payment received from the Customer
How the open item will be closed in SAP Invoice is cleared with payment resulting 0 balance; Invoice is cleared with payment received resulting 0 balance;

Posting with clearing can be performed for several accounts and currencies simultaneously and using the automatic clearing program.

2. Account clearing

Account clearing can be exemplified through manually clearing of an open invoice with a related credit memo and payment on account.

Advertisement

SAP Open Items

In SAP ERP, the status of documents (cleared or not cleared) is distinguished by color marks. Not cleared documents (Open Items) are marked with a red circle in the Status column as show below.

An Open Item (Not Cleared)
An Open Item (Not Cleared)

Cleared Items are marked with a green square in the Status column as shown below.

A Cleared Item
A Cleared Item

SAP Open Items in Accounts Payable

To view open items for accounts payable, navigate to the following path in SAP menu:

Financial Accounting -> General Ledger -> Account -> Display/Change Line Items

Or directly start the transaction FBL1N from the command field. Enter Vendor account number and Company code. And then, select Open items to view open items. Input the key date for open items view.

SAP Vendor Open Items Display
SAP Vendor Open Items Display

The transaction is displaying the Open Items marked with red in the Status column. There is no Clearing document for the moment, because this document will be cleared as per the date from Net due date column when the invoice will be paid.

SAP Vendor Open Items (Example)
SAP Vendor Open Items (Example)

SAP Open Items in Accounts Receivables

To view open items for accounts receivables, navigate to the following path in SAP menu:

Advertisement

Financial Accounting -> General Ledger -> Account -> Display/Change Line Items

Or directly start the transaction FBL5N from the command field. Enter the Customer account number and Company code. Then, select Open items to view open items. Input the key date for open items view.

SAP Customer Open Items Display
SAP Customer Open Items Display

The transaction is displaying the Open Items marked with red in the Status column. There is no Clearing document for the moment because this document will be cleared as per the date from Net due date column when the payment from the customer will be received.

SAP Customer Open Items (Example)
SAP Customer Open Items (Example)

SAP Open Items in General Ledger

To view open items for General Ledger (G/L), navigate to the following path in SAP menu:

Financial Accounting -> General Ledger -> Account -> Display/Change Line Items

Advertisement

Or directly start the transaction FBL3N from the command field. Enter the G/L Account number and Company code. And then, select Open items to view open items. Input the key date for open items view.

SAP General Ledger Open Items Display
SAP General Ledger Open Items Display
SAP General Ledger Open Items (Example)
SAP General Ledger Open Items (Example)

SAP Automatic Clearing

It is possible to perform clearing in SAP ERP automatically. Functions of SAP automatic clearing are:

1. Group items per account together

The program groups items together from accounts that have the same:

  • Reconciliation account number;
  • Account number or a number interval;
  • Five freely defined criteria from document header or items (e.g., allocation field, reference number, etc.)

The criteria can be specified for each account type based on a single account or an interval of accounts. You use these criteria to restrict the number of items that are considered to be grouped together. This ensures that only those items that are related to the same business transaction are cleared together.

2. Clear Open Items

If balance in local currency of grouped open items is 0, then the SAP system automatically clears them and creates a clearing document.

Prerequisites for Clearing

  • Accounts must be managed on the open item basis
  • Accounts to be cleared must be defined

Items that are not cleared by SAP automatic clearing are:

  • Noted items
  • Statistical postings and certain special G/L transactions (down payments and bills of exchange)
  • Items with tax withholding tax entries

Configuration of SAP Automatic Clearing

Let’s have a brief overview of how to configure automatic clearing in SAP. Go to SPRO transaction. The menu path in SPRO for configuration of automatic clearing is:

Financial Accounting (New) -> General Ledger Accounting -> Business Transactions -> Open item Clearing ->Prepare Automatic clearing – S_ALR_87004879 – Prepare automatic Clearing (OB74)

SAP Automatic Clearing Rules
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Chart of Accounts
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Chart of Accounts

First criteria: define the accounts type to be cleared automatically (Customers, Vendors and G/L accounts).

SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Account Type
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Account Type

Second criteria: define the range numbers to be cleared automatically from each account type.

SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Account Ranges
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Account Ranges

Other criteria (max 5): choose from the list below. In the present example, the criteria used are assignment, business area, trading partner, and purchasing document.

SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Additional Criteria
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Additional Criteria
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Assignment Field
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Assignment Field
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Business Area Field
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Business Area Field
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Trading Partner Field
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Trading Partner Field
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Purchasing Document Field
SAP Automatic Clearing Rules – Purchasing Document Field

Clearing Vendor with Customer

In practice, a specific customer can also be a vendor for the same company code. In this case, open items from the A/P side can be offset with the open items from the A/R side for this specific account. The offset is made using the clearing transaction. Clearing vendor with customer open items can be executed only after the following setup is made:

1. Enter the vendor account number in the vendor field in the control section of the general data in the customer master record. (transaction FD02).

2. Enter the customer account number in the customer field in the control section of the general data in the vendor master record (transaction FK02).

3. Choose “Clrg with vend” and “Clrg with cust” in the company code data section in both the customer and the vendor master records.

Example

Below is detailed illustration of the setup for vendor clearing with customer.

Set up Vendor Master Record

Go to the following path in SAP Easy Access menu:

Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> Accounts Payable -> Master Records -> Create/Change

Or directly start the transaction FK02. Input the vendor account number, the company code, and click Enter button on the keyboard.

Change SAP Vendor Transaction – Initial Screen
Change SAP Vendor Transaction – Initial Screen

In tab “Account Control”, enter the customer number as shown below.

Customer Number in SAP Vendor Master Record
Customer Number in SAP Vendor Master Record

In the tab “Payment transactions”, select the “Clrg with Cust.” checkbox.

“Clrg with cust.” Checkbox in Vendor Master Record
“Clrg with cust.” Checkbox in Vendor Master Record

Set up Customer Master Record

Go to the following path in SAP Easy Access menu:

Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> Accounts Receivable -> Master Records -> Create/Change

Or directly start the transaction FD02. Input the customer account number and the company code.

Change SAP Customer Transaction – Initial Screen
Change SAP Customer Transaction – Initial Screen

In the tab “Control Data”, enter the corresponding vendor number.

Vendor Number in SAP Customer Master Record
Vendor Number in SAP Customer Master Record

In the tab “Payment transactions”, select the “Clrg with vendor.” checkbox.

“Clrg with vendor” Checkbox in Customer Master Record
“Clrg with vendor” Checkbox in Customer Master Record

Transactions for SAP Automatic Clearing

SAP offers two variants of a transaction for automatic clearing:

  1. F.13 – Automatic clearing
  2. F.13E – With specification of clearing currency

Let’s see how perform automatic clearing in SAP. Go to the following menu path:

Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> Accounts Payable -> Periodic processing -> Automatic Clearing -> F.13 – Automatic Clearing

This transaction clears A/P, A/R and G/L open items based on the selection on the initial screen.

Vendor Automatic Clearing

You need to specify Company Code, Fiscal Year, tick Select vendors checkbox, enter vendor account numbers be cleared, and Clearing date. Next, select Test run checkbox in order to have a preview of the proposed items to be cleared. After checking that there is no mistakes, you will untick it for the final run.

SAP Automatic Clearing – Vendors – Initial Screen
SAP Automatic Clearing – Vendors – Initial Screen

To run the transaction click Execute button.

SAP Automatic Clearing – Execute Button
SAP Automatic Clearing – Execute Button

The SAP system will take you the next screen of the transaction and generate a list of the documents that are proposed by the system to be cleared.

SAP Automatic Clearing – List of Open Items
SAP Automatic Clearing – List of Open Items
SAP Automatic Clearing – Error Log
SAP Automatic Clearing – Error Log

Since there is no errors, we can run the automatic clearing in normal mode. For the final run go back to the initial screen, remove Test run tick selection and click Execute button. The SAP system will perform clearing and show the confirmation of the clearing posting with the generated clearing document number.

SAP Automatic Clearing – Successful Run
SAP Automatic Clearing – Successful Run

G/L Automatic Clearing

You need to specify Company Code, Fiscal Year, tick Select G/L accounts checkbox to be cleared, enter G/L accounts numbers, and Clearing date on the initial screen. Next, select Test run checkbox in order to have a preview of the proposed items to be cleared. After checking that there is no mistakes, you will untick it for the final run.

SAP Automatic Clearing – G/L Accounts – Initial Screen
SAP Automatic Clearing – G/L Accounts – Initial Screen
SAP Automatic Clearing – List of Open Items
SAP Automatic Clearing – List of Open Items
SAP Automatic Clearing – Error Log
SAP Automatic Clearing – Error Log

Since there is no errors, we can run the automatic clearing in normal mode. For the final run go back to the initial screen, remove Test run tick selection and click Execute button. The SAP system will perform clearing and show the confirmation of the clearing posting with the generated clearing document number.

Customer Automatic Clearing

You need to specify Company Code, Fiscal Year, tick Select customers checkbox to be cleared, enter customers accounts numbers, and Clearing date on the initial screen. Next, select Test run checkbox in order to have a preview of the proposed items to be cleared. After checking that there is no mistakes, you will untick it for the final run.

SAP Automatic Clearing – Customers – Initial Screen
SAP Automatic Clearing – Customers – Initial Screen
SAP Automatic Clearing – List of Open Items
SAP Automatic Clearing – List of Open Items
SAP Automatic Clearing – Error Log
SAP Automatic Clearing – Error Log

Since there is no errors, we can run the automatic clearing in normal mode. For the final run go back to the initial screen, remove Test run tick selection and click Execute button. The SAP system will perform clearing and show the confirmation of the clearing posting with the generated clearing document number.

SAP Automatic Clearing with Specification of Currency

For automatic clearing based on a certain currency, lunch the following activity in SAP Easy Access menu:

Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> Accounts Payable -> Periodic processing -> Automatic Clearing -> F.13E – With Specification of clearing currency

The difference between this F.13E transaction and the regular F.13 transaction is on the initial screen where a specific currency for the documents to be cleared can be entered as shown below.

SAP Automatic Clearing – Specify Clearing Currency
SAP Automatic Clearing – Specify Clearing Currency

SAP Manual Clearing

Now, let’s discuss how to perform clearing manually.

G/L Manual Clearing

For manual clearing of G/L open items, go to the following menu path and start the transaction:

Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> General Ledger -> Account -> F-03-Clear

Clear G/L Account Transaction
Clear G/L Account Transaction

After entering selection criteria on the initial screen (Account, Company Code, Clearing Date, and Additional Selection criteria if needed), execute the transaction by using Process Open Items button.

Clear G/L Account – List of Open Items
Clear G/L Account – List of Open Items

Next step is to assign the documents to be cleared by double clicking on each of them. We can go further to process the clearing only if the field Not assigned shows that the items assigned to be cleared are balanced to 0.

Before to save the results of clearing, we can simulate the clearing results using this button .

Clear G/L Account – Results of Clearing Simulation
Clear G/L Account – Results of Clearing Simulation

Next, click on Save button and the confirmation of the document posting resulting from the clearing action will appear at the bottom of the screen.

G/L Clearing Document was Posted
G/L Clearing Document was Posted

Customer Manual Clearing

For manual clearing of customer open items, go to the following menu path and start the transaction:

Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> Accounts Receivable -> Account -> F32 – Clear

The first step is to enter the selection criteria (Account, Company Code, Clearing Date, and Period), mention if the clearing will refer to special G/L transactions (e.g., down payments), and if it will include standard open items accounts.

In this example, the documents to be cleared are shown below in FBL5N transaction (customer line items):

SAP Customer Open Items
SAP Customer Open Items

An additional selection Document Number is used for more rapid selection of the documents.

Clear Customer Open Items – Initial Screen
Clear Customer Open Items – Initial Screen

To proceed with the clearing process, click Process Open Items button. The SAP system will show a screen where you will need to specify the additional criteria for document numbers. We will enter the document numbers that FBL5N transaction showed us.

Clear Customer Open Items – Additional Selection by Document Number
Clear Customer Open Items – Additional Selection by Document Number

On the next screen, select the open items to be cleared by double clicking on the lines and check that the Not assigned field is balanced to 0.

Clear Customer Open Items – List of Open Items
Clear Customer Open Items – List of Open Items

Next, click on Save button to perform clearing.

Save Button
Save Button

The system will confirm the posting by providing the clearing document number.

Customer Clearing Document was Posted
Customer Clearing Document was Posted

Run again the transaction FBL5N for the cleared items to check that the clearing document was indeed generated:

SAP Customer Open Items Were Cleared
SAP Customer Open Items Were Cleared

Vendor Manual Clearing

For manual clearing of vendor open items, go to the following menu path and start the transaction:

Accounting -> Financial Accounting -> Accounts Payable -> Account -> F44 – Clear

The first step is to enter the selection criteria (Account, Company Code, Clearing Date, and Period), mention if the clearing will refer to special G/L transactions (e.g., down payments), and if it will include standard open items accounts.

The additional criteria Amount will be used to simplify the selection.

Clear Vendor Open Items – Initial Screen
Clear Vendor Open Items – Initial Screen

To proceed with the clearing process, click Process Open Items button.

Clear Vendor Open Items – Additional Selection by Amount
Clear Vendor Open Items – Additional Selection by Amount

On the next screen, select the open items to be cleared by double clicking on the lines and check that the Not assigned field is balanced to 0.

Clear Vendor Open Items – List of Open Items
Clear Vendor Open Items – List of Open Items

Next, click on Save button to perform clearing. The system confirms the posting by providing the document number.

Vendor Clearing Document was Posted
Vendor Clearing Document was Posted

Did you like this tutorial? Have any questions or comments? We would love to hear your feedback in the comments section below. It’d be a big help for us, and hopefully it’s something we can address for you in improvement of our free SAP FI tutorials.

Navigation Links

Go to next lesson: SAP Incoming Payment

Go to previous lesson: SAP Tax Configuration

Go to overview of the course: Free SAP FI Training

24 thoughts on “SAP Clearing of Open Items”

  1. Excellent tutorial on the “Clearing of Open Items” in SAP Mihaela. Thank you for posting it!

    I’ve reviewed this topic before in several reference books and to be honest I never quite understood the process. Your documentation was very easy to follow. The detailed screenshots that you included in your tutorial will be very helpful.

  2. Excellent. A clear explanation of the process of ” clearing open items” and excellent screehshots to show how it is performed in the system.
    Good learing
    Thanks.

  3. Hi thanks for this tutorial, very usefull !
    I just have one quetion left : do we have the possibility to display a cleared transaction document ?
    Many thanks

  4. Hello Natan,

    There are 2 ways to display the clearing document:
    1. Using Display Open Items (for Vendors – FBL1N and for Customers – FBL5N);
    The characteristics to be input are Vendor or Customer account, CoCd, choose “Cleared items” and specify the dates between the clearing was made; by double click on the document the clearing details can be seen;
    2. If we have the specific clearing document number, we use TCode FB03 – Display document;
    We need to input here the clearing doc. no., the Co Cd and the year for clearing doc.
    I hope this answers your question.
    Best Regards!
    Mihaela

  5. Is it possible to set auto clearing role for a vendor to a customer? Common field is REFERENCE same is for Customer and Vendor.

    Regards,
    Ganesh

  6. can we clear a open item even we didn’t receive a payment from customer?
    or why we need to clear a document?
    what effect will have after clearing GL document?

  7. Hi,
    I want clear GL account with 2 selections (at the same time):Profit Center and document No . How can I do that? Many thanks .
    Best regards
    Grazyna

  8. With classic accounting, you can see the entries below for accounts receivable. I understand making an entry also in the subsidiary ledger.
    My question, you describe a/p with “invoice posting” and “vendor account” and “generate open item.” The SAP thought process is a bit strange to me.

    purchases or merchandise xxxx
    accounts payable xxxx

    accounts payable xxxx
    cash xxxx
    Can you redo the matrix on section 1 with classic accounting entries? For both a/p and a/r? What account would you use instead of Invoice Posting for instance?
    What would be the debit and credit to clear an invoice,
    for closing open items with a payment?

    Thank you

  9. Hello!

    The accounting postings are the same:
    1. Purchases = Vendor
    2. Vendor = Bank Acct/Cash
    The manual clearing assumes that we have an invoice posted as per step 1 on Vendor as open item; meanwhile the payment is made and posted as per step 2. In this moment we have 2 open items on the Vendor.
    The clearing process is matching the Debit with the Credit and clears the balance on the Vendor Acct, in the same time closing the open items in the sub ledger.
    This is happening in the case of payment value matching the invoice value.

    In the other case when the payment has a different value then the invoice, let’s say invoice is 100 and payment made from bank account to that Vendor is 200, we will clear the invoice fully (so no open items on the credit side), but we will keep a new open item of 100 on the debit side representing the rest of the payment not matched yet with an invoice.
    I hope this helps,
    Best Regards!
    Mihaela

  10. Hi all. Thank you very much for working very hard and giving this very valuable document. I need your help. One of my client is using auto clearing process(F.13). While clearing through this, a document is being generated for every transaction getting cleared with document type AB(Accounting Document). All those AB documents were having the line items again. To which GL they are doing auto clearing, the same GL is getting debited and credited with the same amount. The net effect on of the transaction is zero but while giving a report to the HQ, they are questioning that why there are many transactions happened and debit and credit balance (individually) increased(net effect is zero). This should not happen for auto clearing. Why it is happening.

  11. Really very good explanations….with a detailed screen shot..
    you could have given some more explanation on the OB74 screen and about the criterion with examples.
    Still it is a good one.

  12. Hello

    I was wondering is it possible to deactivate the automatic 0 balance matching somehow? I have some customer accounts with very high invoice volume, more than 1000 invoices monthly. It is time consuming to reconcile the payments, because customers do not match the credit notes always with the same invoice as the automatic clearing.

    Thanks in advance!

  13. Hi. Need your help please. We have special GL account that cannot be cleared by f.13 clearing. This is AP Process. IT says its because the system is clearing by amount not by Item. This was because there is a slight difference on the amount. However, we argue because on other GL account we have, Items with slight diff. on amount were cleared. Also, they said the system is clearing on FIFO basis. For ex., there is perfectly matching GR and IR on Line 20. However, GR was created first on Line 10. The systems cleared the GR of Line 10. The GR of line 20 was left open. Is there anything we should configure on the system? please advise.thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Nathan,

      Did you find a solution to your problem? I also have a GR & IR, same PO, but F.13 doesn’t “see it”, so I can’t clear…

    2. Hi Nathan,

      Did you find a solution to your problem? I also have a GR & IR, same PO, but F.13 doesn’t “see it”, so I can’t clear… MR11 doesn’t work as well, it only sees the GR but not the IR…

  14. My apologies if this question has been asked, I scrolled, but did not see it – this is in reference to clearing vendor items: I have a few instances where line items are displayed in ‘List of Vendor Line Items’, but when I go to manually clear them w/ F-44 they are not reflected. Any insight on to why this is, and how to remedy? Some of these line items go back a year, but I’ve been unable to clear them.

  15. If I clear items in a GL back to that GL with a net zero balance. I receive a document number, is there a way to retrieve all of the detail for the items that were cleared? We have been clearing the documents and now are not sure what items make up the entry.

Leave a Reply

Do you have a question and want it to be answered ASAP? Post it on our FORUM here --> SAP FORUM!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *