Q&A: Demystifying the GR/IR Process

Q: What tips do you have for clearing the GR/IR account when we have been forced to activate document summarization on the Invoice side due to monthly self-billing?

A: I would suggest temporarily changing some settings, for example to allow manual posting to the GR/IR at the end of the month which is not ideal, in order to do manual clearing.

Q: If you'd like to recognize the liability once goods are shipped (FOB Shipping) how can that be done, prior to the goods being received into the system?

A: If the reason is to obtain early payment discounts there is a prepayment process available. I don't know of any standard process (although much is possible with bespoke programming) . I'd need to know more about whether you wanted to then reverse out the accrual to post the real goods receipt or how you wanted to post any adjustments.

Q: What is the impact of clearing the GRIR thru MR11 when archiving purchase orders?

A: Until the quantity receipted and the quantity invoiced match exactly standard SAP should not allow the PO to be archived.

Q: In transaction MIRO (post invoice) should I use a credit memo or a subsequent credit to post a credit note from the vendor?

A: In the MIRO invoice posting transaction, the credit memo option posts similar to an invoice (but in reverse), and updates quantities as well as values, so would normally be used when an item is returned or too many items have been invoiced. However a subsequent credit (or debit) only affects the values, and would usually be used for a price adjustment

If you receive, for example, five items and are invoiced for five items but at a higher price and then receive a credit note from the vendor for the price difference, you must use the subsequent credit, otherwise there will not only be a balance on the GR/IR account, but your stocks may be affected.

Q: What is “Goods Receipt Based Invoice Verification” and when should I use it?

A: This is particularly useful, if you have vendors with large Purchase Orders with various quantities of different products, receipted in a number of different deliveries of mixed products.  If the vendor normally sends one invoice each time he makes a delivery, you may find it easier to match the invoices based on the deliveries rather than the PO line items, by switching on“goods receipt based invoice verification”. The goods receipt has to exist in order to post the invoice, so be careful if the invoices arrive by interface as they will error

Even if the GR Based Invoice verification is not switched on, you can still match the items by purchase order line.

The switch can be set by vendor in the purchasing screen of the vendor master data or you can override the setting in the purchase order.

Q: What is the best way to post a “receipt” for a service?

A: SAP has a slightly more complex process for services using service entry sheets and service masters. However rather than having two different receipt processes, many companies use the goods receipt process for services as well, which is fine if you can manage the service quantities in a similar way, for example using hours.

However sometimes a charge e.g. for repairs may include an unspecified amount of parts or other items rather than an exact hourly rate. If the purchase order was for USD1000 but the work costs USD957.23 it will be difficult to process both the goods receipt and the invoice correctly unless for example the PO is amended first.

Another option is to process the PO with USD as quantity. So instead of a service being one item of USD1000 you enter a quantity of 1000 and a unit of 1USD which seems acceptable to most vendors as long as it is clear what is being ordered. Then you can enter 957.23 as a quantity to post the correct amounts in the goods receipt and invoice.

Q: What is the best practice to reconcile GRIR g/l account?  Our users were instructed to compare MB5S to FBL3N.  This causes issues on a regular basis because as you know, MB5S only shows material based differences and won't pick up any $ difference.

A: You can also use transaction MR11 to see GR/IR differences. 

Q: Is there a report that shows the aging of GR/IR?

A: I believe there is one in S/4 HANA but I think otherwise there is only FAGLL03 in the main SAP (i.e. without specifically written BW or BI reports)

Q: Is there anyway to write off GR/IR when the PO line item is locked.  Currently this does not show up on mr11.

A: It depends on the reason the item is locked and whether you can unlock it to run MR11 (and possibly lock again afterwards if required)

Q: Have you ever seen duplicate payments when folks use ERS?

A: I have not - do you mean a duplicate document has been posted to trigger the payment?

Q: Why does my GR/IR account have a balance on it for a particular purchase order when the amount of the related invoices seems to be correct?

A: If the goods receipt is posted with a value of, for example USD100, but the invoice arrives with a different value, as long as the quantity in the goods receipt matches the quantity posted on the invoice, the system will post the amount of the goods receipt to the GR/IR and the difference to the original expense account or stock/price variance account

If quantities do not match you will get an outstanding balance on your GR/IR (Goods Received versus Invoices Received) account, even if the overall total value is the same. E.g. an invoice of quantity 4*USD5 = 20 will not clear a PO of quantity 5*USD4 = 20. There will not only be a balance on the GR/IR account but the invoice cannot be paid because the price is higher on the invoice than the PO

Q: When should I use Transactions MRBR to release an invoice and MR11 to write off a balance?

A: MRBR releases an invoice for payment by taking off the payment block. In automatic mode, it will clear items that were initially blocked, but which have since been corrected (e.g. by an additional goods receipt or credit from the vendor).In manual mode, ideally it should only be used for price not quantity differences, and you should ensure that proper controls are in place to approve the higher amount.  Some companies prefer to correct the purchase order so that amendment will go through the original approval process. If you do use MRBR for quantity differences, the difference will still remain on the GR/IR account, and if due to an incorrect goods receipt, your stock and moving average price may not get corrected

MR11 writes off the amount on the GR/IR account, (when no more invoices or goods receipts are expected) without adjusting current stock quantities.

Q: Do you have some tips and tricks that make the GR/IR process easier?

A: Make sure post auto is on in the Gl account master, and use sort key to make sure you can see the PO and line item in the line item display. make sure you have the duplicate invoice check on in vendor master. analyse on a regular basis and don't leave to the year end. there are quite a few more I might be able to add later

Q: I am a new manager using the SAP platform. What is the best approach to start the GR/IR recon process?

A: There are two main transactions that you can use to manage the GR/IR:

(1) Transaction F.13 - this automatically clears any goods receipt and invoice receipt lines that match with each other (using the PO number and line item as a reference). It is goos to run this transaction every day or by using a batch job;

(2) Transaction MR11 - this clears off any Goods Receipts that do not have a corresponding Invoice receipt, or Invoice Receipt that does not have a corresponding Goods receipt.

The idea is to have the GR/IR account managed on a consistent basis, otherwise it will be difficult to determine which items are outstanding and need to be addressed.

Q: Can you provide a great definition of GR/IR?

A: Goods receipt invoice receipt account. When a GR is posted it updates the GR/IR acc (acts as an accrual until the invoice comes in) then when the invoice is posted, if the quantities agree it clears the GR/IR account to zero for that item.

Q: What are some standard SAP reports for GR/IR?

A: I use FAGLL03 and MB5S and also I run MRBR in display mode.

Q: How is price variance (PP) calcuated for invoices posted in a different currecny than the company code currency - is the price variance calculated fitst in the forein currecny and then translated to company code currency based on the exchange rate in?

A: there are settings in customising whether you want a fixed exchange rate or not, which might affect it. I would have to check and get back to you on the order.

Q: How do we clear a GR that has no IR?

A: You can use MR11 which writes off the amount on the GR/IR account, (when no more invoices or goods receipts are expected) without adjusting current stock quantities,  so would typically be used where the wrong quantity has been receipted, but you do not want to adjust the stock now, because it has already been adjusted by a stock-take, or you are now in a different period or year.

Q: Best way of attaching and storing vendor invoice document in SAP against a Purchase Order?

A: there is a button top right to attach items in e.g. PO and invoice transactions - but its manual for each item (icon looks like a little text box). There are more automated ways of storing and linking if for example you are scanning in invoices.

Q: What is the standard practice of handling Vendor Returns once the Invoice has been posted against PO and Paid?

A: Create a "returns PO"  and post goods receipt return delivery against it.

Q: I have seen discussion around a GR/IR cockpit, or a Fiori app for GR/IR balancing.  Are these standard with S4/HANA?

A: I know they are available with S/4 HANA but not sure if available without S/4 HANA.

Q: Is there a good standard report to help with reconciling GRIR?

A: I use FAGLL03 and MB5S and also I run MRBR in display mode.

Q: What position handles reviewing and correcting GR/IR. Accounts Payable, Buyers, Accounting personnel?

A: it's generally in finance but I would say it varies form company to company

Q: How do we clear a GR that was received into Inventory in error, and cannot be reversed because there are no goods in stock?

A: Transaction MR11

Q: Is there a way to automate the mr11 writeoff process?

A: you could schedule it to clear small differences . it depends how much clearing you have to do - if only rarely on older largeritems it might be easier to run manually as required.

Q: Under the summarization question;the challenge is still then how to identify which GR's go with which IR's. Since the XREF3 field on the IR no longer carries the material document and item of the GR.

A: Hard to say without seeing the system. Are you able to see any of this information in another report for example by PO document in MB5S (click on detail list in the first layout. You can also drill down to the PO history) or MR11

Q: Is it best practice to use only one GR/IR account for all purchasing activity or can we use one for Direct Procurement and another for Indirect?

A: t is possible to have more than one GR/IR account based I think on material types.

Q: MR11 can affect the unit cost on a material.  Any recommendations on how to prevent an inaccurate unit cost or a recommendation on how to easily review the impact of the MR11?

A: I assume stock is valued at moving average price. Try transactionS_P00_07000139 or if you have access to tables find the value in the field KALNR for the material in table MBEW and then use that value in the selection field in the table CKM1 - that should show how the MAP changes

Q: What date do you use to age the GR/IR iitems? the PO date,?he delivery date? the posting date?

A: I think it depends on the company and purpose. If you are tidying the GR/IR then the posting date of the line items should indicate if something might be old enough to investigate if there is a problem.  However I have seen people querying how to age by PO date so that is obviously a requirement for some companies.   

Q: Do you suggest setting up a daily job to execute F.13 in the background to clear the GRIR account? If so, do you have any hints on selecton parameters and what field to match and clear on?

A: I know companies that do automate this - generally use sort key to show PO nr and line item in the assignment field.

Q: What is the best means for analyzing the GR/IR balance, that is, identifying the POs with balances and aging the balances.

A: You can see the posting date in FAGLL03 (or FBL3N if not on new GL) but unless you are on S/4 HANA I don't think there are any standard reports. MR11 contains the PO date but only refers t quantity differences

Q: Is it correct to say the MR11 items when run wide open with both GR and I surpluses selected should balance to the GRIR Account balance?

A: It depends whether there are any manual postings anywhere but in theory yes.

Q: Why would you run MRBR when looking at standard reports?

A: Because it shows what invoices are blocked to further investigate , plus in auto mode clears automatically any items that are no longer blocked because e.g. additional GR or credit has been received.

Q: When do you use the MR11?

A: MR11 is used for a couple of purposes:

(1) If a goods receipt is made but there is no invoice receipt to match it, MR11 can clear this amount (by debiting the GR/IR and crediting the expense or inventory account); This also works if there is an Invoice Receipt but no Goods receipt.

(2) If there is a quantity mismatch between the goods receipt and invoice receipt, then MR11 can clear off the difference.

Q: If you have a GR and you write off the amount using MR11 then a few months later an Invoice comes in. How do you handle that?

A: You can reverse the MR11 document - you just have to be careful about what will be affected e.g. if you have the right stock coverage when using moving average prices.

Q: How do we clear a GR when the PO has not been rolled to the subsequent year, and or the PO has been fully received with zero balance remaining on the PO - leaving an open GR in the system?

A: MR11 should write off without affecting the stock quantities.

Q: Is there a specific TCode for the GR/IR cockpit?  What is your experience with the cockpit?

A: Here is the SAP link which may help:

https://help.sap.com/saphelp_hba/helpdata/en/be/14fc2e2ff343dea6859c91d6ccd971/content.htm?current_toc=/en/7f/8ab7c9e46d4a2d92a54df3ce77f29f/plain.htm&show_children=true

Q: We have not yet implemented SAP, but our implementation plans could have inventory (GR),  Purchasing (P.O.s), and A/P in different SAP instances.  Do you have recommendations on how to proceed in a manner that will support reconciliation?

A: This is a little difficult to answer in a forum such as this one. Basically, you will need to have a way of interfacing the data (using ALE or some other method) so that you can match the PO to the Goods Receipt to the Invoice. This is known as the 3-way match. In the A/P instance, you should have the requisite information from the Goods Receipt and PO in order to ensure that you only pay invoices that have been received. Normally, the PO number is stored in the assignment field of the invoice.

Q: In order to have an accurate baseline date what is the appropriate config for Payment Terms?

A: The normal baseline date is the Document date, which is set up in transaction OBB8. 

Q: Are there any tolerances or controls to help minimize GR/IR balances?

A: You can use mr11 to pick up small difference to write off. you can also set tolerances on the invoice

Q: Is there a report that shows open items or balances on GR/IR for specific cost centers?

A: I was going to say FBL3N or FAGll03 but that doesn't always show cost centres - although on S/4 HANA you should have more visibility.

Q: What are posting keys and how they are tied to G/L accounts.

A: posting keys are equivalent of debit or credits to a specific type of account e.g. 40 is a debit to a gl and 50 a credit, whereas you have different numbers for debit s or credits to e.g. a vendor or customer and you can also have different numbers to differentiate between payments and corrections for example.

Q: Can I configure Payment Terms to have baseline date equal to GR date?

A: It cannot be run at a specific date.

Q: Can MB5S be run at a specific date i.e. Dec 31 or is it just to the time the report is run?

A: It should figure it out based on material type.

Q: If you had two GR/IR accounts how would mr11 know which account to write off?

A: I would normally avoid it - maybe to correct something exceptional or where there were difficulties in summarization.

Q: In what situations would you make a manual entry into the GRIR account? This seems like it could cause reconciliation issues.

A: not as standard - depending how you configure the freight, it may be possible to set it up

Q: Is there a similar concept of GR/IR for freight, like a FR/IR account?  If so,does it use the same GR/IR t-codes and reports for reconciliation?

A: Not as standard - depending how you configure the freight, it may be possible to set it up

Q: How often do you monitor the GR-IR?

A: It depends on the company and quantity of items, definitely at least monthly if not more often - possibly daily if there is a lot of postings.

Q: When most of the inventory on the PO has already shipped, and an MR11 posts, the inventory cost can be affected incorrectly.  What suggestions do you have to identify the incorrectly valued inventory?

A: I assume stock is valued at moving average price. Try transactionS_P00_07000139and MR11_SHOW if you know the specific document or if you have access to tables find the value in the field KALNR for the material in table MBEW and then use that value in the selection field in the table CKM1 - that should show how the MAP changes.

Q: Is there configuration that allows mr11 to generate separate docs per PO line item?

A: I am not aware of any standard configuration for this.

Q: You mentioned a GR/IR cockpit earlier.  What is that and how does it work?

A: there is one with S/4 HANA/ Fiori - you can see for example for one PO what invoices and GR's have been received and where the differences are.

Q: Does multiple account assignment make GR/IR balancing more difficult?

A: It should not  - other than having more line items, in principle it should still work in the same way.

Q: Do you have an amount and time threshold for PO that should be written off? is there a standard?

A: totally depends on the materiality threshold of the company - smaller companies would have lower limits - may also depend on e.g. whether intercompany or external supplies and perhaps on the type of purchase.

Q: When do you use a subsequent credit/debit and credit memo?

A: In the MIRO invoice posting transaction, the credit memo option posts similar to an invoice (but in reverse), and updates quantities as well as values, so would normally be used when an item is returned or too many items have been invoiced. However a subsequent credit (or debit) only affects the values, and would usually be used for a price adjustment

If you receive, for example, five items and are invoiced for five items but at a higher price and then receive a credit note from the vendor for the price difference, you must use the subsequent credit, otherwise there will not only be a balance on the GR/IR account, but your stocks may be affected.

Q: Any way to restrict MB5S on a company code level if your purchase organization is cross-company?

A: I have done it e.g.  by first selecting all the PO numbers for a company code in another report and then entering them in the selection criteria or using the multiple selection option - the arrow to the right of the purchasing doc in the selection screen of MB5S.

Q: You have described how to systematically match or clear differences.  Will you describe the process one would go through to identify the differences?  Once the report is run, how to manipulate the data to get a balance by PO/Vendor and determine the age?

A: See my blog/article for tips: http://www.erpfixers.com/blog/2016/10/3/mr11-maintaining-the-grir-clearing-account.

Q: Is there a way to automate to clear aged balances over a set period of time?

A: In MR11 there is a "last movement before key date" field that you could use and then schedule the transaction to run automatically, but be careful to get the selection criteria correct.

COMMENT:  Our GR/IR auto clears on Assign. (PO/Line Item) and Ref Key 3 (XREF3).  Ref.Key3 = Year, material doc#, and PO line #.  The mat doc # is always from the GR, which helps match GR to IR. XREF3 also useful in FI report analysis.

Q: What are the typical issues encountered during GR/IR clearing?

A: one recurring theme is mixing credit notes and subsequent memos - if you use the wrong one you get a balance on the GR/IR. important to keep on top of things and make sure you have the best settings e.g. don't allow manual postings. if left too late - sometimes difficult to reverse things without affecting stock or moving average prices.

Q: How do you measure your progress on the GR-IR? Is there a standard dashboard?

A: Only in S/4 Hana the GR/IR cockpit. In SAP, it is generally the size and age of the GR/IR account line items that signifies if the account is up to date.

Q: GR/IR is a complicated topic and difficult to reconcile.  What suggestions do you have for the process, that is not just reports, but an example of how to download the data and work with it?

A: I am afraid that is too complex to answer in this forum, but if you have any specific questions regarding downloading data and working with it, you can post a request on ERPfixers.

Q: If we over receive items so we have an outstanding liability in GRIR that will never match to an invoice, what is the best way to clear out the liability and also reduce the units?

A: Transaction MR11 Account Maintenance clears the GR/IR account.

Q: How do we clear the GR/R if the invoice is posted first followed by incomplete GR?

A: On the assumption that the remaining GR is not following or you are not getting a credit, you can write the balance off using MR11.

Q: We tried MR11 to clear a GR that was received into Inventory in error, and cannot be reversed or cleared because there are no available in stock item for the item that was in the corresponding GR.

A: it should have worked, normally it should not affect stock quantities and just update stock values or price differences - do you have standard cost or moving average price?

Q: Is there a way to restrict the MR11 to view onmly? I'm in A/P and for segregation of duties, I cannot clear items with MR11, so I cannot have the transaction.

A: I think it can be done by authorizations - at the very least they should be able to save a variant for you that does not allow you to tick the "auto clearance" button at the bottom.

Q: What is the impact of selecting the auto-clearance button?

A: In MR11 - if you don't select it , it prepares the list, if you do select it, it will post the difference - depending on the selection criteria you have selected.

Q: Could you confirm that there is no other transaction that can substitute MR11?

A: It depends what you want to do, for example F.13 can clear small price differences, MB5S also gives a list of GR/IR balances.

Q: Is the GR/IR cockpit only in Fiori or is it in S4/HANA?  If it is in S4 - what is the transaction code?

A: I think it is just Fiori/hana and am not aware of a transaction code in SAP.

Q: Is there any report to show DPO (Days Payable Outstanding)?

A: there is, but it's a standard formula and I know different companies use different formula - I don't recall the t-code but will try to find it.

Q: Is there a way to age the items on the GR-IR report?

A: Not sure which report you refer to. If using SAP (rather than e.g. BW/BI) the GR/IR account line item report gives the posting date by line item but not for example by original PO. I believe there is a way to age items in S/4 HANA.

Q: In transaction MIRO should I use a credit memo or a subsequent credit to post the crdit note from the vendor?

A: In the MIRO invoice posting transaction, the credit memo option posts similar to an invoice (but in reverse), and updates quantities as well as values, so would normally be used when an item is returned or too many items have been invoiced. However a subsequent credit (or debit) only affects the values, and would usually be used for a price adjustment

If you receive, for example, five items and are invoiced for five items but at a higher price and then receive a credit note from the vendor for the price difference, you must use the subsequent credit, otherwise there will not only be a balance on the GR/IR account, but your stocks may be affected. 

Q: What is the transaction code for the GR/IR aging in S4?

A: I think it is an app/Fiori but would have to check.

Q: We have HANA, would you know the specific name of the transaction? Do you need S/4 finance or just suite HANA?

A: I am only aware of the GR/IR cockpit powered by HANA. Here is the SAP link which may help: https://help.sap.com/saphelp_hba/helpdata/en/be/14fc2e2ff343dea6859c91d6ccd971/content.htm?current_toc=/en/7f/8ab7c9e46d4a2d92a54df3ce77f29f/plain.htm&show_children=true.

Q: Is FAGLL03 in New GL? we are on Classic GL so is there another T_code for a report which shows aging of GRIR?

A: FBL3N sorry.

Q: What are the automated ways of storing and linking scanned invoices against a purchase order or without a purchase order?

A: Too big of a question for this forum, depends on software used and existing setup.

Q: The FBL3N for GR/IR is not giving me the date of the PO,  how can I do the aging?

A: I am not aware of a standard SAP reportunless you are using S/4 HANA. Possibly use BW/BI if you have it or download the GR/IR into Excel and VLOOKUP the PO date from the PO Table EKKO.

Author: Oona Flanagan

OFLANAGAN

Oona Flanagan is an expert Fixer, a qualified accountant and an S/4 HANA consultant who has spent over 17 years as an SAP FICO Consultant for a number of multinational projects, mainly in Europe. She has covered all aspects of the implementations, support and training for many well-known companies such as SAP themselves, Unilever, Coca Cola, Burberry, Danone, Britvic, BNP Paribas, Deloitte, Uniphar, Bombardier, Moet Hennessy. Author of several SAP Press E-Bites on the GR/IR and the payment program and more recently: "Introducing New Asset Accounting in SAP S/4HANA".

Module(s): Controlling, Financial Accounting, Investment Management, Materials Management, Project Systems (PS), Sales and Distribution, Treasury.