Central Payment allows you to make centralized payments and perform centralized clearing activities in the Central Finance system instead of each source system.
Journal entries are replicated from one or more source system(s) via the System Landscape Transformation Server (SLT) to the Central Finance system and the resulting customer/supplier open items are automatically technically cleared in the source system. This enables a centralized open item management in the Central Finance system.
When Central Payment is activated for a specific company code, open-item processing of all customer and supplier accounts for this company code is moved entirely to the Central Finance system.
All subsequent processes based on customer/vendor open items then have to take place in the Central Finance system.
The activation steps and the configuration of Central Payment is very well documented, if you are looking for general information, please visit the SAP Help portal.
In this blog post I would like to focus on some common problems and misunderstandings, that you might face during your implementation journey.
Central Payment Activation
The Central Payment was initially released with restrictions with S/4HANA 1709 and the activation could only be done with the help of SAP Product Support.
The SAP-Note 2346233 used to be a pilot note and customers were only added to it, if they explicitly accept the restrictions listed in SAP-Note 2827364.
Since mid-2021 Central Payment can be activated without interaction of SAP Product Support. The Central Payment is fully delivered, but still the SAP-Note 2827364 contains a lot of useful information about Central Payment in general.
It is highly recommended to get familiar with the points mentioned in the SAP-Note 2827364.
Clearing Transfer Activation
Before activation of the Central Payment and after activation of Clearing Transfer in the target system, the clearing status of the customer / vendor open items must be in sync between the source and target system. The activation of the Clearing Transfer in the target system makes it possible to centralize the AP/AR payment processes in the target system.
Depending on the timing of Clearing Transfer Activation and Initial Load, before activating the Central Payment, make sure that the clearing status is in sync between your source and target system.
If you activate the Clearing Transfer after the Initial Load Posting, you must re-open the technically cleared open items in the target system. The Initial Load Posting is setting all the open items technically cleared if the Clearing Transfer is not active in the target system at the time of the posting.
After the re-opening of the technically cleared open items, all the open items, that are open in the source system need to be open in the target system as well.
If you activated the Clearing Transfer in the target system before the Initial Load, you can skip the re-opening step.
If you want to check the Clearing Transfer activation status in your Central Finance system for specific source system, please check the table FINS_CFIN_CTRL.
The Clearing Transfer is active, if the specific source logical system has an entry with SETTING_KEY = DISABLE_TECH_CLEARING_OF_OPEN_ITEMS and VALUE = X in FINS_CFIN_CTRL.
After activation of the Central Payment, the clearing related fields on the source side will be populated with technical information. For example, the clearing document field will be set to “ALE-Extern” and the correct clearing status will only be visible in the target system.
Please refer to SAP Note 2292043 for activating clearing transfer.
Open item managed GL accounts
The open-item managed GL accounts will not be affected by the Central Payment activation. There is a separate activation process for the Central Management of Open Items in General Ledger. The newly posted open-item managed GL line items will not be technically cleared with ALE-Extern in the source system.
If you would like to activate this feature, you must use the transaction CFIN_CGL_SWITCH in the source system, set the relevant flag and maintain the necessary configuration. For further information, please check the SAP Help Portal.
Technical Clearing of Historical Open Items
After the Central Payment activation, all the newly posted customer & supplier line items will be cleared with ALE-Extern in the source system. They will remain open items in the target system as long as they are not cleared with for example an incoming or outgoing payment.
The historical open items, that were posted before the activation of Central Payment still needs to be technically cleared with ALE-Extern. This is not an automatic process; this needs to be triggered manually from the source or target system.
The transaction FIN_CFIN_TECH_CLR can be used for this purpose from the source system:
Even though this transaction is still available, it is marked as obsolete. There is a performance-optimized alternative option for the same purpose delivered with S/4CORE 2022.
The transaction FINS_CFIN_HISOI_CLR can be started from the target system to set the historical open items technically cleared.
The input options are restricted, but the overall performance is better.
The new functionality is using parallel processing like the Initial Load. The package keys will be created in dialog mode and the technical clearing is done in background processing on multiple threads at the same time.
There is no possibility to restrict the execution to company code, but only the company codes will be taken into consideration that are activated for Central Payment.
You can find these company codes in the corresponding configuration activity or in the table FINS_CFIN_CPCTL. Please make sure you check the company code with the right activation scope.
Tax Consistency Check – Transfer of source system tax configuration
As a rule of thumb, the tax configuration must be identical between the source and target system. It is even more critical, if you are activating the Central Payment scenario, as you will most probably need to do the tax reporting from the target system.
To ensure the tax consistency between the source and target system, the Configuration Consistency Check (T.code FINS_CFIN_CC) was enhanced to compare and validate the tax configuration.
In addition to the Configuration Consistency Check, there is a tax validation integrated into the posting process that does not allow to post the FI documents if there is a tax configuration inconsistency between the source and target system.
This feature is the so-called Tax Consistency Check.
The Tax Consistency Check can be activated independently from Central Payment, but Central Payment can only be activated together with Tax Consistency Check.
The Activation of Tax Consistency Check requires you to replicate the source system’s tax configuration to the target system. It ensures the fast comparison of source and target configurations during the posting.
The source tax configuration is stored in shadow tables on the target side. For example, the source T007A is replicated to the target FINS_CFIN_T007A table via SLT.
It is important to check, if you have the entries in the FINS_CFIN_T* tables before turning of the Tax Consistency Check. If the entries are missing from the shadow tables, the replication of FI documents will be blocked.
For the complete list of tables and further information, please check the SAP-Note 2494127.
Cross System Process Control – Token handling
The Cross System Process Control (CSPC) is a fundamental part of Central Payment. It ensures the consistency of data and processes between the source and target system.
Activation of CSPC is part of the Central Payment activation step, so it is mandatory to activate.
After the activation of Central Payment & CSPC, the newly posted customer / vendor line items must create a new entry in the CSPC_TOKEN table.
The corresponding token can be found with the field CTRLD_OBJ_KEY. This is a concatenation of company code + document number + fiscal year + line item.
For example: JUR118000000042014001 – JUR1 1800000004 2014 001
After the replication of the document, the token with the same CTRLD_OBJ_KEY will be created on the target side as well.
If the tokens are not getting created either in source or target, that is a problem already on the source system side.
If the tokens are not getting created in the target system, it is highly recommended to check the table TRWPR, whether the relevant functions FINS_CFIN_CNTRL* are maintained.
If the tokens are getting created correctly, but the reversal process is still not blocked for cleared documents, it is recommended to check the CFIN_CTRL table in the source system. For the correct operation, the CFIN_CTRL should have an entry with SETTING_KEY = LEADING_CENTRAL_PAYMENT_SYSTEM and the target system’s logical system in the VALUE field.
Deactivation of Central Payment
As generic rule, the Central Payment cannot be deactivated, but if you activate the Central Payment for a company code accidentally in the configuration, but you do not clear technically the historical open items and do not post new documents after the activation, the configuration step still can be revoked with the help of SAP Product Support.
Once the historical open items are technically cleared, or there are new postings in the system, the activation process cannot be revoked with any standard tools out of the box.
The content of the blog post was inspired by several years of work together with customers and implementation partners on the Central Payment implementation journey. I hope it will make your project easier.
If you feel to add some more points, feel free to share your own experience in the comment section.
Brought to you by the S/4HANA RIG
Senior Support Engineer
SAP Central Finance