The following document describes the usage of SAP Customer master data to manage the intercompany relationships between the several players within the same group.

The different companies, belonging to different divisions within the same group, to trade between them create each other as customers and / or vendors. Naming conventions and actual settings are described with the goal of providing a possible approach for implementations / re-engineering of intercompany processes.

The following document reflects an implementation in the Pharma industry, but it’s easy replicable in other business industries.


The naming convention of the financial Customers is used for the following reasons:

1) To identify the intercompany nature of the customer;

2) To identify the country of the company;

3) To identify the division of the customer;

4) To report and consolidate the data for the division the customer belongs to.

There can be two cases:

1) The Customer belongs to the same division of the company where the vendor is created (subject A supplies subject B – A and B belong to the same division – A creates B as customer)

The customer C105_42 belongs to the country C (C= Switzerland or Colombia, BE = Belgium, etc.) and to the division “42”. The division is indicated by the code after the “_”. Both buyer and seller belong to division “42”.

2) The Customer belongs to a different division of the company where the vendor is created (subject A supplies subject B – A and B belongs to different divisions,  – A creates B as customer)

The Customer C028_11_15 (of country C=Switzerland) belongs to the division “11”, while the buyer, meaning the company where  the customer is created, belongs to the division “15”.


Depending on the role played in the business process (supplier or demander), the companies are created as Customers in the companies they deal with.

For the following reasons, the same company is created as Customer twice, once as “Logistic Customer” and once as “Financial Customer”:

1) All the logistic data are referred to the logistic customer so, in case of any change of the financial customer, it is not necessary to recreate them;

2) Maybe the trade route can change. using the business partner functions available at Sales Organization level, it is possible to replace one or more of the master data involved as “Bill-to-party”, “Ship-to-Party” or “Payer” without touching the logistic settings.

The same subject is so maybe created twice. It is advisable to use two different account groups, in order to be able to manage both the different  information needs (different layout of the master data, different mandatory / hidden fields to fill / display) and to clearly recognize and distinguish the role played.

Below an example:

1) Logistic customer

The code of the customer is CH105 – CH is the country of residence of the customer, while the rest of the digits is a progressive number:

The account group is Inter-Company Plant

2) Financial customer

The financial customer code is XXXX_42

The account group is Intercompany – Finance

To display the customer master data, run transaction XD03:

Fill “Customer” and “Company code” and click “Customer’s sales area”:

Select the Sales Organization by double-clicking it:

Press “Enter”:

The logistic customer (CH105 – Account group Intercompany Plant) plays the logistic role but the financial payer (PI) is played by customer C105_42 – Account group Intercompany Finance). This means when a Sales Order (shortly SO) is created against the logistic Customer CH105, automatically all the partner functions are populated within the partners tab of the SO itself with the settings available in the CH105 master data, as in the picture below:

All the logistic objects are created with reference to the vendor CH105.

Since Vendor C105_42 is used for the partner function PI – Payer, the invoice created for this SO will be directly addressed to this customer, meaning the financial document will use C105_42 as customer:

Since C105_42 is indicated in CH105 master data as “Payer”, will be defaulted as PI in the Sales Order partner function tab. It is however possible to replace it with another one that will work as financial customer for the specific SO case.

What indicated in the logistic master data as partner function is just a default for the Sales Order, so it can be updated directly there without touching the customer master data.

It is important to remember the reconciliation account of the intercompany customer must be appropriate:

In case of Vendor XXXX_DD (where DD is the division), the reconciliation account will be 220061 – Intercompany own sector, while in case of Vendor XXXX_DD_YY (where DD is a division different from YY), the reconciliation account will be 220100 – Intercompany other sector.

The Customer partner functions per Sales Order are available in the table VBPA, as shown below:

it is important to remember that the partner functions here have a different code from those displayed in the user transactions.

For example RS corresponds to PI (Invoice presented by), as shown below:

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