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SAP Customer Account Groups

vs
SAP Partner Functions

Introduction
In very broad terms:
Business partners are all the people or companies involved in a
transaction. They may be customers, vendors (such as carriers),
employees (such as CSRs or sales people), contact people,
When you create a new customer master, you have to select a
customer account group [master data]
Once the customer master is created, you assign them a partner
function that identifies their roles and responsibilities within the sales
transactions [transaction data]

2 | SAP Customer Account Group vs SAP Partner Function | O2C Process Board | Dec 2012 | Business Use Only

What is a Customer Account Group?


When you create a new customer master, on the initial
screen, you have to select a customer account group.

Typically, there are 4 major customer account groups


important in sales
0001 Sold-to Party
0002 Ship-to Party or Goods Recipient
0003 Payer
0004 Bill-to Party

There may be and are typically more account groups. For


example:
Sales Person, CSR, Affiliates,
3 | SAP Customer Account Group vs SAP Partner Function | O2C Process Board | Dec 2012 | Business Use Only

What is a Customer Account Group?


The customer account group determines a number of things:
What number range (NR) is assigned to it? For example: this means
that the Sold-to NR could be different from the Ship-to NR making
them easier to identify on the transaction level (useful trust me ;))
Is the customer number internally assigned or does the user need to
assign it? For example: Affiliate (Intercompany Customers) usually
have external NR assigned. Others are normally internally assigned.
What screens and fields are required, optional or hidden? For
example: a ship-to party will never pay bills, so no payment or billing
screens or fields need to be maintained. They can be hidden.

Which customer account groups exist, can and will vary in


each project. The examples here are the standard delivered
account groups.
4 | SAP Customer Account Group vs SAP Partner Function | O2C Process Board | Dec 2012 | Business Use Only

Show me some examples of Customer Account


Groups
SHAPE Sandoz SAP System

OPEX Ciba Vision SAP System

This illustrates how they can and will be different in 2 different


systems.
5 | SAP Customer Account Group vs SAP Partner Function | O2C Process Board | Dec 2012 | Business Use Only

What is a Partner Function?


A partner function refers to the rights, roles and responsibilities
a business partner can take on in a business transaction

Examples:
SP Sold-to party
BP Bill-to party
PY Payer
SH Ship-to party
ZB Sales Budget Owner
ZS Sales Rep

A customer account group is configured to take on one or


more partner functions
6 | SAP Customer Account Group vs SAP Partner Function | O2C Process Board | Dec 2012 | Business Use Only

Thats confusing, they appear to be the same. How


are they related?
An example may help:
A customer that is created as a Sold-to party (customer account group
0001) can play different roles in a transaction.
- They can act as the Sold-to [SP]
- They can also act as a Ship-to [SH]
- They can also act as a Payer [PY]
- They can also act as a Bill-to [BP]

Great, so what does that really mean?


It is important from a master data maintenance perspective.
Instead of having to maintain 4 customer masters records each with
their own customer account group (Sold-to, Ship-to, Payer, Bill-to), we
can create a Sold-to (customer account group = 0001) that acts as a
Sold-to (SP) Ship-to (SH), Payer (PY)& Bill-to (BP) in the transactions.
7 | Presentation Title | Presenter Name | Date | Subject | Business Use Only

Thats confusing, they appear to be the same. How


are they related?
Great, so what does that really mean (cont)?
So that means less customer master maintenance.
It also means that you can configure customer master account groups that
play different roles. Example: Patient Master
- When the contact lenses are shipped to the optometrist, the patient number can be
included as an information only partner function on an order line item
- When the contact lenses are shipped directly to the patient (DTP), the patient could
be the Ship-to party partner function

We can also limit the roles a partner function can take in a transaction. For
example: A customer created as a Ship-to (account group = 0002) location,
cannot be assigned a partner function of Sold-to, Payer or Bill-to.

Note: If you look at transactions (orders, deliveries, invoices) you will


only ever see partner functions, not customer account groups.

8 | Presentation Title | Presenter Name | Date | Subject | Business Use Only

What Partner Functions are required to complete a


Sales Transaction?
Sold-to Party
In SAP this is the master customer. It is typically on the Order,
Delivery and Billing document. A lot of data on the order defaults from
the sold-to party master. Only 1 sold-to can be on an order.

Ship-to Party / Goods recipient


In SAP this is the main partner for shipping (deliveries, return
deliveries, shipments, ). It determines where the goods will be
delivered. Only 1 Ship-to can be on a delivery.

Payer
In SAP this is the main partner for billing (invoices, credit memos,..). It
is also the party responsible for paying the bill. So they are important
from an AR and credit management perspective. Only 1 Payer can be
on an invoice.
9 | Presentation Title | Presenter Name | Date | Subject | Business Use Only

What Partner Functions are required to complete a


Sales Transaction?
Bill-to Party
In SAP, the Bill-to is the address that the invoice is sent to (physical
or electronic). So the bill-to is also a main partner for billing. It is
typical for the Bill-to to equal the Payer (but does not have to be).
For example: An Optomitrist has several stores. He may be
responsible for the bill (the Payer) but require the individual stores to
receive the invoices to verify them (the stores would be the bill-tos).
Only 1 Bill-to per invoice

10 | Presentation Title | Presenter Name | Date | Subject | Business Use Only