Concept Of A Vendor Master
The vendor master stores all the data pertaining to a particular vendor in SAP. This data is made available to other transactions and modules as and when required by SAP via the inter-module integration. The vendor master contains the following data sets:
- GENERAL DATA: The general data consists of the vendor address, country, contact person, bank account, etc.
- COMPANY CODE DATA: The company code data contains the data specific to a company code like the payment terms, payment methods, dunning procedures, tax details, etc.
- PURCHASING ORGANIZATION DATA: The purchasing organization data contains information like the sales purchasing organization, partner functions, pricing, etc.
The vendor master is extremely important for the materials management, logistics as well as the Financial Accounting module. The details of the vendor such as the payment terms, address, purchasing organization, purchasing group, payment methods, etc. are picked up from the vendor master and provided to the other modules as and when necessary.
The total data for a vendor master is stored in multiple tables. The General data pertaining to a vendor is stored in the LFA1 table while the company code data is stored in the LFB1 table. The purchasing organization data for a vendor is stored in the LFM1 table. All these tables are accessed for information about the vendor by the FI and the MM module.
Concept Of A Vendor Account Group
A vendor account group is used to group together vendors by some criteria. E.G. a business may have different account groups for international, domestic and one-time vendors. Similar settings can then be defined once and used for all the vendors in the same vendor account group.
The vendor account groups define the following features for every vendor assigned to them:
- The vendor number ranges are assigned to the vendor account groups. A unique number is assigned to a vendor master record for its identification. The vendor account number may be assigned manually by the end user or Incrementing numbers may automatically be assigned by SAP. This setting for manual or automatic assignment of vendor numbers is defined in the vendor account group. Besides, the vendor account group also defines the range of numbers that can be assigned to a vendor assigned to that account group.
- SAP provides a lot of fields into which data can be entered for every vendor. Depending on the business requirements and other configurations some of the fields may be needed to be made mandatory while some fields may not be required at all. The field status is assigned to the vendor account group. All the vendor masters assigned to a particular vendor account group follow the field status settings that are assigned to the vendor account group. SAP allows any field in SAP to have four statuses as follows:
- REQUIRED: A field which is set as required in SAP must be entered by the user while creating the vendor master. All important fields in the vendor master record for a business should be set as required so that they are not missed while creating a new vendor master.
- OPTIONAL: A field which is set as optional in the vendor master can hold data or it can be left blank by the user.
- SUPPRESS: A field which is set as suppress is not displayed while creating the vendor master. All fields which are unnecessary and are certainly never going to be used by a business should be set as suppress. However, due care should be taken before setting the field status of a field as suppress to ensure that it will not be used later. If there is a doubt about whether a field might be used later, then it is better to leave the status as optional to be on the safe side.
- DISPLAY: A field set to display status is only displayed and cannot be edited by the end user.
- The account group also determines whether a particular vendor is a one-time vendor or not. This helps in differentiating one-time vendors from regular vendors. All these settings can be seen in the figure shown below.
STEP 2: Select the account group on the create vendor master screen as shown below. Enter the other details for creating the vendor master as shown in the screenshot below. Leave the vendor number blank if the vendor account group is set to internal assignment i.e. automatic incremental numbering will be done for vendors. Click the check button at the bottom of the dialog box to start entering further data in the vendor master record.
STEP 3: The first tab i.e. the address tab is displayed as shown below. Enter the data into the various fields on these tabs as shown below. Once the address data has been entered click on the next tab button at the top of the screen to display the control data tab.
STEP 4: Enter the data into the various fields on the control tab and click on the next tab button at the top of the screen to display the payment transactions tab.
STEP 5: Enter the data into the various fields on the payment transactions tab as shown below and click on the next tab button to display the accounting information tab of the vendor master.
STEP 6: Enter the data into the various fields on the accounting information accounting tab as shown below and click on the next tab button to display the payment transactions accounting tab of the vendor master.
STEP 7: Enter the data into the various fields on the payment transactions accounting tab as shown below and click on the next tab button to display the correspondence accounting tab of the vendor master.
STEP 8: Enter the data into the various fields on the correspondence accounting tab as shown below and click on the next tab button to display the purchase data tab of the vendor master.
STEP 9: Enter the data into the various fields on the purchasing data tab as shown below and click on the save button.
STEP 10: A success message stating that the new vendor has been created is displayed. SAP assigns the account number to the new vendor automatically because internal assignment was activated for the specified vendor account group.