What does mean?

Has your incoming goods / clearing account also degenerated into a garbage dump?

A good purchasing process in SAP uses a goods receipt / clearing account (GR / IR account) in order to always have an overview of what goods have already been received and for what an incoming invoice has already been received. In practice, unfortunately, I see forever open items on this account, that is, an "accounting dump". We explain why the WE / RE account is important and how you can find out whether you are also sitting on a WE / RE dump.


Why should the incoming goods / clearing account be "clean"?

The GR / IR account is used to note that the goods have already been received for an incoming invoice. From the accounting point of view, the GR / IR account is an open item account, because you want to clear every incoming goods against the appropriate invoice. Open items from the GR / IR account then mean that

• there are invoices for which goods receipt is still pending or

• There are goods receipts that have not yet been invoiced.

So if goods receipts on the WE / RE account are forever open, this can mean that the associated invoices have not been cleared against the goods receipt on the WE / RE account. In terms of a proper internal control system (ICS), this is initially an indicator of an inadequate audit process. In such cases, the auditor should drill deeper.


How can I check at a glance whether the GR / IR account is not maintained?

In order to have an indication of whether your GR / IR account is a problem in SAP, it is advisable to check whether open items on the GR / IR account are open "forever". The following statement shows you how long and how many items are open. Use the "DBACOCKPIT" transaction in SAP for this query and navigate to the SQL editor (tested with SAP HANA) via diagnostics:


To explain the SQL query, we break it down again into its individual components:

As usual, the query begins with a read-only query (SELECT). The necessary fields for the analysis are then defined: Client (MANDT), company code (BUKRS), fiscal year (GJAHR), debit / credit indicator (SHKZG), general ledger account (HKONT), the age of the open item (AGE) and the number of open GR / IR items (COUNT (*) FROM BSEG):


The posting date (BUDAT) is unfortunately not in the table of the document segment (BSEG), but in the document headers (BKPF). A join is therefore required using the primary key on table BKPF:


In order to evaluate the correct WE / IR account, the result must still be limited to the corresponding WE / IR account. The number marked in red represents the account number of the WE / IR account, which must be adjusted in each case. In addition, only those items that have not been cleared are of interest (AUGBL = ''):


Finally, the same lines of the result set are grouped and sorted in descending order:


An example result looks like this:



Items that are open for more than a month (> = 30 days) and even more items that are more than several months old are certainly interesting.


How can I clean up my WE / RE account?

If the GR / IR account contains many open obsolete items, it is time-consuming to clean up the account. You would actually have to compare all invoices and the associated goods receipts and then make a clearing for each. That would be a clean approach. In practice, one sometimes proceeds in such a way that all open items are offset against each other and then a large offset is posted. Any differences between debit and credit are then settled in a large amount. Although this does not correspond to the purpose of open item accounting, it at least leads to closed items at the time of clearing. It would be important that the process then runs smoothly after the cleanup, otherwise the neglect will start all over again.


How the indicator "No clearing of the GR / IR account" came about

In one of the last blog articles, the new process visualization including compliance violations was presented. During a workshop, when using process visualization, it became apparent that there are processes that either end after the goods have been received or begin with an invoice. It looks like this as an example:



The figure clearly shows that there is neither an order nor a goods receipt in the process. In the same breath, however, this does not mean that this does not exist, but that the reference from the gross invoice receipt to the order is missing.

"Why is that critical?"

... one or the other might ask. Let's take a look at the function of the WE / RE account using a specific example:

Assuming we order 10 screws at a unit price of one euro each, but Peter Dübel only supplies 8 screws, then there is effectively a difference of 2 screws. On the invoice, however, there are again the 10 screws and the invoice is only compared against the order due to the missing reference to the incoming goods, then the unit price is correct, but the delivered quantity is not:


Order: 10 screws

Incoming goods: 8 screws

Calculation: 10 screws


What do you think, which unit of measure will be paid for without reference to the incoming goods?

Based on this knowledge, I have developed the indicator "No clearing of the WE / RE account", which is currently in test mode / beta status.

If all of this is too technical for you, you can have the whole thing analyzed automatically with a corresponding setting in zap Audit. Please do not hesitate to contact us: