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Function documentationString Search for Document Numbers  Locate the document in its SAP Library structure


When an electronic account statement is imported, the system identifies the transactions contained therein, (cash receipt for example), and determines how they are posted. The system uses the document number from the note to payee of the account statement to determine the critical information required for this.

In many cases the note to payee field is unstructured, (MultiCash account statement format, for example). This means that, in addition to the document number, the character string contains other text modules, (payment data, for example). The Interpretation Algorithms trigger the document number from the character string. Here, it is especially important that the reference information be transmitted unchanged. If figures or characters have been added or removed from the document number, the interpretation algorithms cannot find the document number in the system. These transactions then have to be postprocessed manually.


Examples of changed or incomplete document numbers:

The customer regularly receives invoices with the following type of document number: 18000XXXXX. These numbers always start with 18000, so the customer omits these digits given that they contain no important information.

Customers sometimes divide up long document numbers with periods or blank spaces when writing out the numbers by hand, so as to prevent errors. There have also been instances where document numbers have been changed during electronic processing of payments by the customer.

Original document number

Actual document number


540 6423

6067132, 6136194

60-67132, 61-36194


6 200 122




599 7137




The string search supplements the standard interpretation algorithms. It facilitates the automatic identification of document numbers even if they are incomplete or have been changed. You can call up all possible document numbers sent by your customer using the search strings without having to do any programming.


After you have defined search strings for document numbers, the system first carries out a search string before starting the interpretation algorithm.


You determine a search string through which document numbers are identified in the system.

The search string can contain all types of character or digit and you can make it as long as you wish. Likewise, the search string can contain the "Meta characters" listed below.

Characters with special meaning in the search string






a|b finds a or b



c(ac|b)d finds cacd or cbd


Repetition (as often as you like, must occur at least once)

(ab)+ finds ab or ababababab


Repetition (as often as you like, must occur at least once)

ab* finds a or b or abbbbbbb



a?b finds a Qb or a1b


Digits 0-9



Slash (searches for special characters)

\#\#\# finds ### and not 123, for example


Start of line



End of line



You can identify a grouping of characters within a character string using the search string. However, excess characters are still present. This is achieved with a mapping string. You determine a mapping string for each search string. You can assign each character of the search string to another character. (For example: Search string a, mapping string x: The character a is replaced with x; Search string #, mapping string 1: Each character is replaced with 1, the character string a45C1 is replaced with a11C1).




If you do not want to replace any characters in the character string, the search string and mapping string are identical. First of all, the system suggests the search string as a mapping string so that you only have to change the desired characters.

You can test a newly created search string/mapping string. The system displays the document number used to search for the document to post the business transaction.

You can simulate a set of search strings that you have defined. You can therefore check the importation of account statements before and after definition of search strings. You can hereby ensure that transactions that were not posted automatically prior to this are posted automatically after the search string has been defined.

You are able to define search strings and to make appropriate changes after simulation until the desired result is achieved.


To define and test search strings/mapping strings, carry out the activity Define Search String for Document Numbers in Customizing under Financial Accounting Bank Accounting Business Transactions Payment Transactions Electronic Bank Statement.

To simulate the string search, carry out the activity Simulate Document Number Search Using Strings in Customizing for Bank Accounting, under Business Transactions Payment Transactions Electronic Bank Statement.