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Why JD Edwards Server Manager isn’t enough

Best practices for CNCs from CNCs — system monitoring

Patching, debugging, deploying, maintaining and at times performing magic. That’s the basic CNC job description. When things are good, life is good. But when system performance drops, all eyes are on you to make it right—quickly. We lean on each other at ERP Suites for rapid problem-solving, but what if you are a one-person show?

The number one way we stay ahead of issues is Clarity, the ERP Suites monitoring tool.

If you are using JD Edwards Server Manager, you are only seeing part of the picture. Clarity pulls the same information PLUS unique insights like web user network/server response with the interactive application name/version by user. And it’s all presented in a single, actionable dashboard.

It’s true Server Manager provides real-time data and 24-hour history. But if you want greater detail or a deeper historical look you must run JD Edwards Application Management Suite (AMS4JDE) under Oracle Enterprise Manager (OEM). This comes with a significantly higher price tag than Clarity’s mid-market, cloud-based, subscription.

Clarity was born out of necessity. Founded on cloud and managed services, ERP Suites juggled software for years to get the most relevant performance data. We tried OEM and Real User Experience Insights (RUEI). We searched endlessly for a time-saving solution that would reinforce our team internally and on location. Nothing supported the reality of life as a CNC, so we created our own tool.

Over 10 years of hosting and application experience are wrapped into Clarity. It consolidates data sources to present a high-level picture of your JD Edwards EnterpriseOne configuration and sends alerts to help you prevent issue escalation. As a Clarity user, you can subscribe to various menu items to form your own entry dashboard including:

  • High-level metrics with SuiteScore™ — overall status at-a-glance
  • RUEI monitoring — end user performance and usage analysis
  • Application management — historical graphs and trends
  • User analytics — web usage by application/user with response time
  • Batch jobs — real-time processing and average run time metrics
  • Database — Oracle and SQL server activity
  • iSeries — IBM i Server system performance insights
  • Security — E1 overview and metrics
  • Log parser — Log monitoring and alerts

At ERP Suites, we use Clarity 24/7/365 to ensure customer success and want to help you achieve the same results. If you are a Clarity customer, look to our biweekly blog for valuable insight.

To learn more about ERP Suites Clarity, visit our YouTube channel or contact us at sales@erpsuites.com to see a demo.

By |October 10th, 2018|JD Edwards|0 Comments

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Oracle user groups — a platform for digital innovation

“You make it happen.”

With these four simple words, Oracle JD Edwards kicked off Collaborate 18, their technology and application forum, and set the tone for a year of digital discovery. Whether they inspired you, pushed you or sent you into a panic attack may depend on one critical component—support.

When “you” feels singular, there is pressure to know it all. And at the rapid pace of transformation that isn’t realistic. But when “you” becomes plural, challenges can be met. Conferences are one way to tap into the collective JD Edwards brain trust. Quest Oracle Community user groups are another.

This fall brings many opportunities to learn from and network with companies who are reaching transformation goals. Consider one of these user group events or find a user group in your region.


PackerLand User Group
Thursday, October 18, 2018

11:30 a.m.–5 p.m.
Holiday Inn Fond Du Lac
625 West Rolling Meadows Drive, Fond du Lac, WI 54937
Register

Tri-State (KY-OH-IN) Regional User Group
Friday, October 19, 2018

8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg
777 Hollywood Boulevard, Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
Register

Greater Lancaster (PA) Regional JD Edwards User Group
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
The Lancaster Barnstormers Clipper Stadium
650 North Prince Street, Lancaster, PA 17603
Register

New England Joint Oracle User Group
Thursday, November 8, 2018

7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Gillette Stadium
1 Patriot Place, Foxborough, MA 02035
Register


ERP Suites, a comprehensive ERP solutions company, earned three Distinguished Partner Awards at this year’s JD Edwards INFOCUS conference. Register for the Tri-State (KY-OH-IN) Regional User Group event to hear a reprise of their INFOCUS 18 presentation, “Smart Factory (IoT) and Warehouse Dashboards can be simplified using UX1, CAFE1 and Composer pages.” The demo features use cases from one of manufacturing’s leading global organizations.

Packerland and New England event attendees have the chance to hear “Realize: Orchestration.” This popular ERP Suites workshop launched in May to help leaders discover practical digital transformation solutions for business problems. It includes an overview of mobility, automation and IoT solutions.

By |October 9th, 2018|JD Edwards|0 Comments

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4Q Clutch Learning Opportunities

Oracle JD Edwards user group meetings

This fall brings many opportunities to learn from and network with companies who are reaching transformation goals. We are proud to bring our orchestration and digital transformation workshop to the PackerLand stage and Gillette Stadium. Hear case studies and see a JD Edwards orchestration demo.

Realize: Orchestration

November 8, 2018
New England Joint Oracle User Group Meeting: 7:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
Gillette Stadium
1 Patriot Place
Foxborough, MA 02035
Click to register

October 18, 2018
PackerLand User Group Meeting: 10:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Holiday Inn Fond du Lac
625 West Rolling Meadows Dr.
Fond du Lac, WI 54937
Click to register

 

ERP Suites consultants, Frank Jordan and Thomas Liptak, are honored to share their INFOCUS 18 presentation with Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Pennsylvania users. Discover how they used Orchestrator Studio, Café 1, Composed Pages and Personal Forms to help a leading manufacturer find efficiencies. Greater Lancaster User Group attendees will also have the opportunity to learn from Kathy Fenner’s time-saving Received Not Vouchered (RNV) solution.

Simplified Dashboards: A Smart Factory Demo

October 30, 2018
Greater Lancaster (PA) Regional JD Edwards User Group Meeting: 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m.
The Lancaster Barnstormers Clipper Stadium
650 North Prince Street
Lancaster, PA 17603
Click to register

October 19, 2018
Tri-State (KOI) Regional User Group Meeting: 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Hollywood Casino & Hotel Lawrenceburg
777 Hollywood Blvd.
Lawrenceburg, IN 47025
Click to register

 

By |October 9th, 2018|Events|0 Comments

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ERP Suites awarded for innovation with orchestration

ERP Suites, a comprehensive ERP solutions company, earned three Distinguished Partner Awards at this year’s JD Edwards INFOCUS conference. The unprecedented accomplishment recognizes the company’s role in adapting emerging technologies through orchestration to advance JD Edwards ERP.

Digital transformation targeting real business needs

Under the theme of digital innovation, ERP Suites’ award-winning entries highlighted work with STANLEY Engineered Fastening. Their robotic process automation (RPA) solution helped STANLEY improve data entry between two separate ERP systems. It demonstrated a keen understanding of JD Edwards Orchestrator Studio and the IBM Financial robot. The end result was improved accuracy and workforce efficiency.

Education helping business leaders realize orchestration

Oracle JD Edwards Distinguished Partners are held up for their customer focus as well as technical expertise. They “serve as consultants who understand the customer’s language and needs” as noted in the award qualifications. For proof of ERP Suites commitment to the needs of the ERP community, consider Realize: Orchestration.

In the spring of 2018, the company observed a growing trend among their customer base. “Business leaders were feeling pressure to make digital transformation happen,” explained ERP Suites’ Advisory Group member Eric Poff. “But they didn’t know where to start. They didn’t know exactly what it meant or how to translate it to their industry. The Realize: Orchestration workshop was designed to fill the gap.”

ERP Suites’ Realize: Orchestration positions JD Edwards at the core of a vibrant digital ecosystem. “Once properly architected, customers can access a growing number of digital transformation technologies. Orchestration is only the beginning,” said Poff. “The key is determining which innovation will have the greatest net effect.” This is where Realize: Orchestration differs from technical how-tos. Poff leads attendees through realistic case studies and introduces typically analytical minds to design thinking. Participants talk about identifying business needs and tying solutions to the objectives laid out by executive leadership.

“We exist to help customers evolve with IT change and its impact on business,” said Mike Moorman, ERP Suites founder and CEO. “Our services continue to evolve with them. We are proud to be recognized for both—digital innovation and customer engagement.”

Realize: Orchestration is coming to the Chicago area on October 2, 2018. Register now at erpsuites.com/realizeIT

To learn more about JD Edwards INFOCUS visit the Quest Oracle Community.

By |August 29th, 2018|News|0 Comments

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Remote Desktop “CredSSP encryption Oracle remediation” quick fix

You may see this authentication error when attempting to log in to a server using RDP (Remote Desktop). The issue generally impacts Windows Server 2012/2016. The new error message, added by Microsoft on May 8, 2018, indicates a specific patch issue.

A security update to address a remote code execution vulnerability was pushed to Server 2012/2016 in March 2018. In May, Microsoft pushed a patch to all workstation OS to enforce this server-side patch. It will refuse to connect to any server which does not have the patch. Though it looks like a server-side issue, the patch is actually on the client/workstation side.
The long-term fix is to patch all 2012/2016 servers with the patch released in March. In the short term, you can apply a registry fix on the WORKSTATION that cannot connect. Add the following registry key with a DWORD value of 2:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System\CredSSP\Parameters
Add a DWORD value of 2: “AllowEncryptionOracle”

The key can be pushed via GPO or done individually by hand on each workstation. This turns off the patch. Once the server side patching is done it will need to be removed or changed to a value of 0 (enforced). Updating the key is a temporary workaround until patching can be completed on your 2012/2016 servers.

By |May 15th, 2018|News|0 Comments

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ERP Suites Joins The ALLOut Partner Network

ERP Suites joins the JD Edwards services provider ALLOut partner network. ERP Suites has now added ALLOut to strengthen its portfolio of offerings to its consultancy and managed services customers. ERP Suites was awarded the Oracle JD Edwards Distinguished Partner Award for 2017. The recognition comes as ERP Suites continue to deliver innovative products and solutions that simplify the engagement with ERP systems while leveraging technologies that embrace the digital transformation era.

By |November 27th, 2017|News|0 Comments

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Invoices with 3-Way Match in SAP MM-LIV

One challenge often faced in accounts payable is how to handle variances in the three way match when posting invoices. SAP has a very robust process for ensuring that invoices are matched against the PO and GR. In this three part series, first, we’ll review the business process and how SAP enables it. Second, we’ll discuss handling variances through posted invoices in MIRO. Third, we’ll discuss handling variances through parking invoices and MIR6.

Three Way Match with Invoices

A three way match is an accounting control that ensures that the purchase order, inventory receipt, and invoice all match in terms of product, quality, quantity and price.

  1. The process starts when purchasing creates an order and sends it to a vendor. The purchase order includes important information such as the materials, quantity, price, the location to ship to, tax information, and so forth.
  2. The vendor ships the product to plant specified on the purchase order. The plant staff print out a receipt form for the order. The receipt contains the vendor and the expected materials, but not the quantities  The quantities are entered onto the form. Additionally, the product is checked for damage, spillage, quality, and so forth.
  3. The vendor sends an invoice to the accounts payable department for the company. The invoice specifies the purchase order, the quantities, price, and total price for the shipped product.
  4. Accounts payable must now verify that the quantities on the PO match those of the receipt and invoice. Additionally, the prices must be checked between the PO and the invoice. Any variance must be researched and dealt with as a collaboration between procurement, the warehouse, and AP.

The three way match is one of the most important accounting controls as inventory is often one of the biggest assets that a company will have on their balance sheet. The control also ensures that inventory and other assets are properly obtained with the correct process.

Invoice process with purchase order, goods receipt, invoice receipt, and variance resolution

 

How does SAP enable a 3-way match for posting invoices??

SAP enables a similar process through purchase order (PO), goods receipt (GR), and invoice receipt (IR). Purchasing and goods receipt configuration are not in the scope of the article, but we’ll touch on those processes. The key for the process is to consider the quantities and price on the PO, GR, and IR. SAP will be verifying the quantities of these throughout the process.

Process of matching GR/IR in SAP for Invoices

 

In the above flow, the purchase order is issued to the vendor for a quantity of eight at a price of $12.50. The PO does not make any entries in accounting. When the goods are received, they’re always received at the PO price for the quantity counted by the receiver. That posts inventory and puts a credit on the GR/IR account. The GR/IR account is a kind of super clearing account in SAP that ensures the three way match.

So now, let’s look at the SAP screens. First, we have a purchase order:

Simple Purchase Order created using ME21N

 

(1)Posted with ME21N, displayed with ME23N

Next, we have the goods receipt. The GR will debit inventory and credit the GR/IR account.

GR against a PO posted via MIGO

(2)Posted with MIGO, displayed with MB03

 

Accounting Entry of the GR

Next, we have the invoice receipt that is posted through MIRO. Notice that the AP vendor is credited and the GR/IR is zero’d out with a debit.

Logistics Invoice posted through MIRO(3)Posted with MIRO and displayed with MIR4

Accounting Entry for LIV

And there we have it. In the next posts, we’ll discuss the challenges of detecting and resolving variances withe MIRO.

 

 

 

 

References   [ + ]

1. Posted with ME21N, displayed with ME23N
2. Posted with MIGO, displayed with MB03
3. Posted with MIRO and displayed with MIR4

By |October 27th, 2017|AP|0 Comments

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Performing GL Conversions Correctly Part I

It amazes me that GL conversions go so wrong so often. The recipe is straightforward and if the legacy data is good enough, there is rarely an excuse to have trouble during GL conversions. Yet, I’ve seen quite a few go off track. So in this series of posts, I’d like to talk about the critical points to doing them correctly.

What we’re converting

In general, most GL conversions are done on a period by period basis to ensure that the trial balance, P&L, and balance sheet are correct for the periods in question. Usually line item detail is left behind in the legacy system. So at the end of the conversion process, I should have worksheets that tie out each new account balance drilled down to the relevant cost objects and profit center for each period.

Let’s suppose that we have a GL conversion from a legacy system to our SAP GL that is supposed to span three years of data – 2011, 2012, and 2013 (YTD). We cannot just start with 2011 though. The end balance sheet for 2010 must be loaded to ensure that the starting position is correct. The P&L for 2010 does not necessarily need to be loaded as long as retained earnings is loaded correctly.

The GL conversion process

GL Conversion Process (ETL)

The GL conversion process is usually done in three steps that follows the acronym ETL. First, the existing GL balances are extracted from the legacy system. The balances data is placed into a staging location. This location could be a simple as a flat text file on a file server or as complex as complete database system with a web front end.

Next, the data in the staging table is transformed from the legacy GL characteristics to the new SAP GL characteristics. This step is accomplished with mapping tables that take the legacy value onto the SAP value.  These mapping tables can become exceedingly complex if the logic is ugly.

Third, the transformed data is loaded into the new SAP system. This step is usually done with an LSMW that injects the standard GL posting program, but I’ve also seen other methods such as Idocs and recordings. At this point, all of the GL data should be loaded into the SAP system.

Key checks in a GL conversion

Throughout the GL conversion process, it’s important to ensure that each step succeeds. At the absolute bare minimum, when the data is loaded into the new SAP system, it’s critical to ensure that legacy balances match the new SAP balances per each costing object and period and in each relevant currency. It’s much better though to make checks throughout the process. Often times, a few heuristics will detect problems much earlier. A couple suggestions:

  1. Debits=Credits. If your trial balance doesn’t balance at each step, something is obviously wrong.
  2. P&L matches. The P&L should always match throughout the process. If it doesn’t, something went wrong.
  3. Assets, Liabilities, and Equities match. Each major class should
  4. All values mapped. Once the transformation step is complete, all accounts, company codes, cost objects, etc should be mapped. If any aren’t, the mapping table isn’t complete or there is a bug in the transform logic.

Finally, it’s incredibly important to ensure that the roll-up of the legacy accounts and cost objects matches that of the new SAP system. That means ensuring that an account that is mapped as an asset in the legacy system is still mapped as an asset in the new SAP system. Even more complicated, it means ensuring that a profit center in a management entity is mapped to the same management entity in the new SAP system. Usually the consolidations team will have a lot to say here.

Each mapping of GL accounts should preserve the account group

In our next installment of Performing GL Conversions Correctly, we’ll explore a standard journal entry flow and how to handle sub-ledger accounts.

By |September 29th, 2017|GL|0 Comments

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SAP GL Document Splitting Part I

As alluded to in my last post, the document splitter plays a crucial part in the derivation of profit center and consequently in the preparation of management financial statements. Now we’ll start to take a deep dive into document splitting.

There are two prerequisites for using the splitter. First, the NewGL must be active in the box. That should be the case of any recent implementation. Second, there should be an understanding of the desired coding block and the business interpretation of the coding block elements.

Document Splitting Characteristics

The first step to configuring document splitting in SAP is to determine which coding block elements that you will want to have as document splitting characteristics. A document splitting characteristic will be acted on by the splitter to derive more detailed postings.

Document Splitting Characteristics  (1) SPRO->Financial Accounting (New) -> General Ledger Accounting (New) -> Business Transactions -> Document Splitting -> Define Document Splitting Characteristics for General Ledger Accounting

The partner field is used for cross-characteristic postings. For instance, in a posting spanning two profit centers A and B, the debit balance on one profit center A has partner profit center B, and the credit balance on profit center B has partner profit center A. It’s very similar to trading partner for those familiar with that concept.

There are two more options for each characteristic. First, whether the field is mandatory – that is it must be populated on all GL line items. Second, whether the field is zero balanced – whether the sum of the postings must equal zero (debits=credits).

For instance (and most common), if the profit center is set as a mandatory zero balancing characteristic, each line item on a posting must have a profit center and the total (debits-credits) of each profit center must be zero.

Configuration Model

The second key to understanding how the splitter is configured is to understand the theoretical model of the configuration. Once these areas are understood, it becomes much easier to guess what the configuration is doing. In the tradition of help.sap.com, I’ve created the informative diagram below (Ha! Ha! Ha!) .

Configuration for the Splitter

The critical information to glean at this step is that each GL account is assigned to an Item Category and each Document Type is assigned to a Business Transaction Variant. Finally, in the Splitting Method, we establish rules for each Business Transaction Variant on how each item category will be derived. This information is confusing, but it’s key to understanding the nature of the splitter. Memorize it if you must.

Next, we’ll walk through different splitting scenarios.

Active Document Split

The pièce de résistance of the NewGL, the active document split is the standard example used by most FICO consultants. In this scenario, an AR item is offset by two revenue items. Each revenue line item has a different profit center. In the GL View, the splitter breaks the AR line item into two line items – one for each profit center. Furthermore, the amounts on each posting is based on the weighted average of the offset line items. Read that twice – it’s tricky.

When we get to the active document splitting configuration, the key to this example is that the AR item category is split by the revenue category.

Active Split

Inheritance 

Once you have active split down, inheritance is much easier. The key here is that if a posting has one blank line item and all other line items have the same profit center, then the blank line items will receive the same profit center. In the below example, we have a cash item without a profit center that has two expense items with PC 101. In the GL view, the cash item will receive the same profit center.

Inheritance in the SAP Document SplitterInheritance is turned on by default for all business transactions. You do have the option of turning it off at the rule level, but I’ve never seen a reason to do so.

Passive Split

The third type of splitting, is the passive split. The passive split is simple and it’s used whenever you reverse or clear a document. For reversing a document, the splitter will reverse the posting with the exact same profit center derivation as the document being reversed. This makes intuitive sense. The reversal should reverse out the original posting exactly, regardless of the configuration.

Second, for lines that are being cleared, the clearing line items will receive the same profit center split. This approach also makes intuitive sense. If we have an AR line item with $500 on profit center 101 and $300 on profit center 102, then we would expect the clearing document to wipe away $500 on 101 and $300 on 102.

In the next part of the series, we’ll start looking at the basic configuration.

References   [ + ]

1. SPRO->Financial Accounting (New) -> General Ledger Accounting (New) -> Business Transactions -> Document Splitting -> Define Document Splitting Characteristics for General Ledger Accounting

By |August 31st, 2017|SAP|0 Comments

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House Bank Accounts in SAP FICO

House Bank Accounts (HBAs) in SAP are often configured incorrectly during an implementation. This improper configuration causes problems later when additional sub modules such as Electronic Bank Statement (EBS), Cash Forecasting, and Check Reconciliation are brought into scope. In this article, we explore how House Bank Accounts connect to physical bank accounts, some key settings, and common pitfalls to avoid.

House Bank Account

A house bank account represents a bank account that the company has opened with a bank. There should not be a house bank account for customer, vendor, or competitor bank accounts. HBAs should only be setup for a company’s own bank accounts. Second, each HBA should represent one single bank account and one bank account should only be represented by one HBA. If there are multiple house bank accounts with the same account number, check clearing and EBS operations will be negatively affected.

It’s also important to note that when a bank account is opened, it is opened by a single legal entity. So if a company with fifty legal entities opens a bank account, the account is still owned by one entity inside that company. We see this relationship in SAP in that a single company code is assigned to the HBA.

House Banks

If a house bank account represents a company’s bank account, then the House Bank (HB) represents the bank that the account is maintained at. So suppose a company has account 523552 at Bank of America with routing number 52389593, then the house bank account will be tied to account 523552 and the house bank will be tied to routing number 52389593. Let’s suppose that you have multiple Bank of America accounts with different routing numbers. Should you have a different HB for each routing number? Yes – SAP only enables one routing number per house bank.

Naming House Bank Accounts

SAP gives us four characters to name each House Bank and each House Bank Account. That of course means that we must be pithy and smart about our naming convention. Most companies only have one or small number of banks that they have accounts with. At the same time, there may be a few routing numbers for the same bank. Thus, multiple house banks may be required for the same bank. With that information, a sensible naming scheme for house banks seems to be AAA# where AAA is an abbreviation for the bank name – such as BOA for Bank of America or FTB for Fifth Third Bank – and # is a sequential number for each routing number at that bank.

Similarly, we must be careful about naming house bank accounts. Best treasury practices suggest that accounts should be segregated to only have one type of activity. So disbursements should be executed out of one account and collections should be in a separate account. Thus, a reasonable practice would be to use an abbreviation for the type of activity  and a sequential number. I would do AA## with AA being the short hand for the activity type and ## being a sequential number.

GL Accounts for House Bank Accounts

Most flows in bank accounting revolve around recording a companies cash activity and then reconciling against how the bank recorded that activity. As part of a monthly close operation, bank statements and internal accounting records should be reconciled against one another.

The standard recipe in SAP for cash accounting flows is that say when a payment is issued, a clearing account tied to the house bank account is credited and the vendor account is debited. Then, when the payment shows up on the bank statement, the clearing account is debited and the G/L tied to the HBA is debited credited. That means that the account tied to the HBA should always represent the reconciled activity (and match the balance per the last statement date), while the clearing accounts represent unreconciled activity.

Usually, there are more than one clearing accounts used depending on how much activity is flowing through the account. If the HBA GL account is 444440, then clearing accounts should be numbered 444441,444442,…,444449. If the account has low volumes, then only a clearing account for incomings and another for outgoings may be required. If the account has high volumes, then a separate account should be used for each type of activity (lockbox, ACH payments, check disbursements, etc).

Configuring House Bank Accounts

First, the house bank must be setup as a bank in FI01. The bank really is just used so that SAP is aware that the bank’s routing number is valid and to have a consistent address for the bank. Often times, a file is prepared and mass loaded with all of the known banks in a country to avoid having do to this step every time.

  (1)FI01

Next, the house bank is setup in FI12. First, we’re prompted for the company code of the house bank. Next, a code is assigned to the house bank as previously detailed. The country should be denoted as well. If there is a need for additional payment settings, these can be entered under the DME section.

  (2)FI12

Once the house bank is created, the house bank account should be configured. Key information here is the Account id, the description, the account number, the GL account, and the currency.

  (3)FI12

Once all of this information is saved, then the house bank account is ready for use in other cash flows such as lockbox, EBS, cash forecasting, and so on.

References   [ + ]

1. FI01
2, 3. FI12

By |August 30th, 2017|Bank, SAP|1 Comment

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