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Function documentationClarification Processing (Payment Lot)


Clarification cases arise where you post a payment lot but either some or all payments could not be posted to a contract account. This could have resulted from payment details or Customizing settings being incomplete or incorrect, or when you entered a payment you marked it as “to be clarified” immediately. When you post a payment lot, the clarification cases are posted to a clarification account and included in a clarification worklist instead of being posted to a contract account. You perform transfers from a clarification account to a contract account in the clarification worklist. You can carry out postprocessing for a single payment lot or for all clarification cases (for more than one payment lot).


You have payments that you cannot assign and you wish to transfer them to contract accounts. Customizing settings for processing clarification worklists are provided by SAP (see Customizing for Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable under Start of the navigation path Technical Settings Next navigation step Prepare Processing of Clarification Worklists End of the navigation path). Check, overwrite, and add to the default values as needed. At this point, you can choose selection fields for clarification case processing. If clarification cases have arisen due to erroneous or incomplete Customizing, you should first check and amend these settings (see also Customizing for Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable under Start of the navigation path Business Transactions Next navigation step Payments Next navigation step Processing Incoming/Outgoing Payments End of the navigation path).


In Customizing, you can use a role definition (similar to SAP workflow) to assign an agent to individual clarification cases in the clarification worklist. This agent then receives only those clarification cases in his or her clarification worklist for which he or she is responsible within the organizational structure linked to the role. The system evaluates the units of your organizational structure to determine the clarification cases needing processing. For more information about role definition in SAP Workflow, see Role Definition. This assignment is optional. Clerks can limit the number of clarification cases for processing with selection criteria. For example, they can specify a company code after calling the function for clarification processing. You define the fields that are displayed on the selection screen in Customizing. Clarification cases can be processed by several agents in parallel. You can reserve clarification items in the clarification worklist for a particular agent, thereby preventing them from being processed by other agents. An agent can choose to cancel this reservation. You can also impose a time limit on these locks in Customizing. After the lock has expired, the clarification cases can be accessed by all agents (see Customizing for Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable under Start of the navigation path Technical Settings Next navigation step Prepare Processing of Clarification Worklist End of the navigation path). To refresh the clarification worklist you can either:

  • Refresh the status information.

    This only updates the status of the individual clarification cases in the list. You can now see which clarification cases were locked or clarified by other agents since the previous update.

  • Reselect the list.

    The system reselects items based on the selection criteria you entered on the selection screen when you first called up the list. If you choose reselection, those items that have been clarified or locked by other users no longer appear in the list.

For each clarification case you can display a detailed overview with the attributes. If you activated use of notes for clarification cases in Customizing, the system now displays notes for the clarification case. If the clarification case was locked by a user, you can add your own notes. You can clarify a payment lot item as follows:

  • Correct the payment item (for example, selection specifications) and post items with no further dialog (see Postprocessing Clarification Cases).

  • Manual posting and clearing (see Posting Clarification Items in Dialog)

  • Create a repayment request if you cannot assign the payment amount received. In that case, the system makes a transfer from the clarification account to a clearing account for repayments (see Postprocessing Clarification Cases).

  • Transfer to a clearing account by entering a appropriate short account assignment.

  • When transferring payments to clearing accounts, you can automatically inform the clerk in the corresponding department. This information can either be sent by mail or by a workflow triggered by an event module. The number of the clarification document or the number of the repayment request is recorded in the appropriate line item in the payment lot.

Clarifying Partial Amounts

If you already know on the clarification screen the partial amount you can clarify, choose the Partial Clarification pushbutton. A field appears in which you can enter the partial amount. All further activities are the same as if you were clarifying the total amount. After the partial clarification, you do not automatically return to the clarification list; you remain on the detail screen for the partially clarified payment.

If you want to post the clarification amount online, and do not realize that you can only assign a partial amount until after you have selected the open items, proceed as follows:

  • First, assign all open items.

  • Choose Start of the navigation path Goto Next navigation step Enter general ledger items End of the navigation path to obtain an overview of the general ledger items. Here you can see the line item created automatically for the clarification account. Change the amount here so that it matches the total of the items selected for clearing. If you post the document now, a partial clarification takes place.

All partial clarifications are recorded and you can display them on the Partial Clarifications tab when you perform subsequent clarifications or display the payment lot item. In a partial clarification, you can also clarify amounts that have exceeded the payment amount or have a different +/- sign to the payment amount.

Example Example

A customer pays 98 EUR, which is composed of 118 EUR residual payment for a loan minus 20 EUR credit memo for negotiating a new insurance contract. For the 118 EUR you have to carry out a transfer; you have to clear the credit memo for 20 EUR. You therefore have to post two partial clarifications for 118 EUR and -20 EUR.

End of the example.

Tools for Clarification

When you call up a clarification case, the system automatically offers you a clarification proposal. You can determine the scope of the clarification proposal in your personal settings. For the business partners proposed, you can also display their last payments and any due items, search for similar numbers (for example, document and account number), and switch the clarification processing screen to distribute the payment amount to several partners, contract accounts, or contracts. For more information, see the program documentation. Choose Information for Clarification Processing (Information for Clarification Processing) in the toolbar of the processing screen Clarify Item: Details and Selections.

The system derives the clarification proposal from previous clarifications, among other things. The system determines all business partners/contract accounts/contracts, to which amounts were assigned for previous payments from the same bank account of the payer. For certain bank accounts (for example, social welfare office account), the payments may affect a number of different accounts. This means that the selection proposed is very extensive and not easily manageable. Therefore, if there are more than three results from previous clarifications, the system also checks the usage text to see whether the values determined for the business partner, contract account, or contract are specified there. The search tolerates certain errors in that it permits different ways of writing the same words (for example, with separators or blank spaces) and also accepts a maximum of one incorrect character. If, among the previous clarification cases, there are some where the note to payee details correspond to the selection criteria as described above, only these entries are proposed.

Queries for Clarification

You can create queries to the house bank or other addressees regarding a clarification case using the Correspondence for Clarification (Correspondence for Clarification) pushbutton. If you define the corresponding values in Customizing, the system automatically proposes a business partner and an application form for the correspondence:

  • Enter the number of the business partner to be proposed (business partner that represents the house bank or a contact person at the house bank) in Customizing for Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable under Start of the navigation path Business Transactions Next navigation step Payments Next navigation step Processing Incoming/Outgoing Payments Next navigation step Define Bank Clearing Accounts for Payment Lot End of the navigation path in the Correspondence Recipient field. Maintain also the house bank and account ID, since the system uses these to determine the account numbers at the house bank that are to be specified on the correspondence (if necessary).

  • You define the key of the application form to be proposed in Customizing for Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable under Start of the navigation path Basic Functions Next navigation step Correspondence Next navigation step Define Application Forms for Correspondence End of the navigation path under Correspondence Type 0035. As an example you can use the form FI_CA_BANK_CORR_SAMPLE_SF (Smart Form).

Resetting Payment Assignments

If a payment has been assigned to different partners, contract accounts, and contracts, and some of these assignments are incorrect, you must return the amounts concerned to the clarification account. If open items were cleared by the payment, you can return the amounts to the clarification account by means of a reset or partial reset of the clearing with the Post Back to Clarification Account function. If the payment or a partial amount was posted on account, you can return the amount to the clarification account in the SAP menu under Start of the navigation path Account Next navigation step Post Payment on Account Back to Clarification End of the navigation path.

Special Considerations

If several days pass before the clarification of a payment, it might be the case that the posting date specified in the payment lot is no longer allowed because the related posting period is already closed. In such cases, the system determines a new posting date automatically. The system then determines the first posting period that is still open following the originally planned posting date. If today's date is in this period, the system uses today's date as the new posting date. Otherwise it uses the last day of the period.

Example Example

The planned posting date is 03/28/2014. The period 03/2014 is already closed. The posting periods correspond to the calendar months. Today's date is 05/02/2014.

If the period 04/2014 is still open, the system chooses 04/30/2014 as the posting date, because today's date is no longer in the period.

If the period 04/2014 is already closed and the period 05/2014 is open, the system chooses today's date of 05/02/2014 as the new posting date.

End of the example.

Instead of having the system automatically determine the new posting date, you can explicitly enter a different date during clarification processing. On the Clarification tab, choose the Other Posting Date (Other Posting Date) pushbutton. You enter the posting date in the screen that follows. You can assign a new date, even if the planned date is still allowed.

In addition, you can specify a posting date if clarification postings are necessary in different company codes and the system cannot automatically determine an alternative posting date.

Additional Functions

If you only want to display clarification cases that need processing immediately, you can use the function Only Urgent Clarification Cases on the selection screen of the incoming payment clarification. You can enter the specifications for the urgency of a clarification case in the system settings (see Customizing for Contract Accounts Receivable and Payable under Start of the navigation path Technical Settings Next navigation step Prepare Processing of Clarification Worklist End of the navigation path).

You can transfer bank details of business partners that you received during clarification processing to the business partner master records using the report Transfer Bank Data from Clarification Cases (SAP Easy Access screen: Start of the navigation path Master Data Next navigation step Business Partner End of the navigation path). For more information, see the report documentation.

A Minicamp is available in the Workplace for displaying urgent clarification cases. This means that when you log on to the system, you immediately get an overview of the urgent clarification cases. You can then use this MiniApp to go directly to the clarification worklist for the urgent clarification cases.