SAP: Customer Master Account Groups and Partner Functions – Overview

SAP customer partner functions can be confusing, especially for us GL guys who deal mostly in journal entries and rarely see any sales order action. This stuff is old hat for SD and finance guys. These are some notes on this topic as I’m trying to get my arms around the customer master. Here are notes on how our company is using the account groups/partner functions:

  • VD01 is t-code for creating customers
  • SAP is favoring the term “business partner” over customer
  • First thing to understand, when talking about a Customer number in SAP, you are generally talking about a Business Partner record that has been assigned a particular account group which controls the information and functions that business partner can have. Business partners can be linked to other business partners through partner functions.
  • The 4 most basic partner functions are: Sold-to, Ship-to, Payer, and Bill-to
  • Depending upon the account group assigned to a business partner, it can function as one or all of those partner functions for itself or any other business partner in your system
  • Account groups determine which fields in the customer master record are required, optional, or suppressed. By turning off certain field in an account group, you limit which partner function it can perform
  • The 4 basic account groups and the partner functions they generally serve:
    • Sold-to (SP) account group – can function as following partner functions: Sold-to (SP), Ship-to (SH), Payer (PY), or Bill-to (BP)
    • Ship-to (SH) account group – can function as following partner functions: SH
    • Payer (PY) account group – can function as following partner functions: PY or BP
    • Bill-to (BP) account group – can function as following partner functions: BP or PY
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