Clearing Open Items


Open items reflect unfinished transactions. For example, a vendor invoice that has not been settled remains in the vendor account as an open item until it is paid.

The open items of an account can only be cleared once you post an identical offsetting amount to the account. In other words, the balance of the items assigned to each other must equal zero.

Example Example

End of the example.

During clearing, the system enters a clearing document number and the clearing date in these items. In this way, invoices in a vendor account are indicated as paid, and items in a bank clearing account are indicated as cleared.


The SAP System offers different ways to clear open items. In a single clearing transaction, you can process several accounts, different account types, (G/L, vendor, customer), accounts from different company codes, and special G/L transactions.


You can only clear open items that are posted to accounts that are managed on an open item basis. Open item management is automatically set for customer and vendor accounts. For G/L accounts, however, you have to set the open item management option in their master record yourself. Open item management would usually be set for the following G/L accounts:

  • Check clearing accounts (bank clearing accounts)

  • Goods receipt/invoice receipt

    See the Materials Management documentation in the SAP Library for more information on these accounts.

  • Payroll clearing accounts

    See the Personnel Administration and Payroll documentation in the SAP Library for more information on these accounts.


You generally use the payment program to clear invoices. Manual clearing of open items is therefore not usually necessary. However, you will sometimes have to clear items manually if, for example, you receive a refund from your vendor or you have set up a direct debit procedure.