Document Splitting in SAP New GL #5 The semantics of SAP new GL Document Splitting process

Document Splitting in SAP New GL #5 The semantics of SAP new GL Document Splitting process

The semantics in the document splitting process


Image Credit: by premsagar on flickr


In this blog, I will discuss the various terms used in Document Splitting. With each term, I will document the purpose and use of each term. Many of the terms are either the same as what are used in other SAP modules (e.g. Item Category is used in Logistics as well) or are synonymous to terms used in other modules (e.g. Business Transaction in newGL sounds similar to Transaction in SAP-MM).


Blogs on Document Splitting

In my series of blogs on document splitting, I intend to explain and elaborate the concepts behind Document Splitting and highlight using examples how document splitting can be achieved for various complex business processes. I use Profit Centre as a “scenario” to explain the functionalities; however all processes that apply to Profit Centre also apply to the other scenarios (Segment, Business Area).

To identify the series of blog, I have categorised the blogs under SAP > Document Splitting. If you have questions/ comments/ suggestions, please send me your comments in the form below. Sharing your questions and experience using comment box below will help other readers to gain additional knowledge involved in this functionality.

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The semantics

The Document Splitting process in newGL in SAP uses a conundrum of terms that sound synonymous to terms already used in other tables in SAP. It is important to understand these terms and what they mean within the overall context of document splitting.

Item category

Item category classifies the G/L accounts for Document Splitting. In the configuration of Document Splitting, each G/L account or a group of G/L accounts are assigned to an Item Category. With this assignment, SAP derives the Item Category for each financial posting.

The following is a list of pre-defined item categories – you cannot define custom item categories.

Item Category Description
01000 Balance Sheet Account
01001 Zero balance posting (free balancing units)
01100 Company code clearing
01300 Cash discount clearing
02000 Customer
02100 Customer special general ledger transaction
03000 Vendor
03100 Vendor special general ledger transaction
04000 Cash
05100 Tax on sales and purchases
05200 Withholding tax
06000 Material
07000 Fixed Assets
20000 Expense
30000 Revenue
40100 Cash discount (expenses/revenue/loss)
40200 Exchange Rate Difference
80000 Customer-specific item category

You must assign the following accounts in Customizing to the item categories:

  • Balance sheet accounts — item category Balance Sheet Account (01000)
  • Bank accounts (cash fund) — item category Cash Account (04000)
  • Expense accounts — item category Expense (20000)
  • Revenue accounts — item category Expense (30000)

The assignment of all other accounts is predefined by the system in table Allocation: Internal Key – Item Category (SAP) (T8G16). You can override the assignment of these accounts (for example, to assign the special G/L accounts for customers or vendors to the detailed item categories 02100 or 03100). To do this, use the Override Internal Item Category Derivation indicator.

Business Transaction

A Business Transaction describes the structure of a business process for each document type. A Business Transaction groups similar business processes. In conjunction with Business Transaction Variant, it will determine the splitting rule for that business process.

SAP delivers 10 Business Transactions. You are not allowed to create your own Business Transaction. Below is an extract from SAP documentation.

Business Transaction Description Business Process
0200 Customer Invoice
  • Invoice
  • Credit Memo
  • Integrated Asset Retirement
  • Down Payment Clearing from Sales and Distribution
0300 Vendor Invoice
  • Invoice, including cash discount clearing for invoices posted net
  • Credit Memo
  • Integrated Asset Acquisition (posted gross/net)
  • Invoice Reductions from Logistics Invoice Verification
  • Retention Amounts from Logistics Invoice Verification
0400 Bank Account Statement
  • Account maintenance on the bank subaccounts (only in document splitting rule for business transaction variant 0001)
  • Transfer of electronic account statements (only in document splitting rule for business transaction variant 0002)
0500 Advance tax return (regular tax burden)
  • Advance return for tax on sales/purchases, meaning credit tax account and transfer to tax payable account. See SAP Note 889404.
  • The tax on sales and purchases is assigned within the program; the item category to be processed, tax on sales and purchases (05100), has only been defined for reasons of downwards compatibility.
0600 Goods receipt for purchase orders
  • Dedicated business transactions for which cross-company code projections are to be carried out (which requires the leading item to be defined in the document splitting rule); compare the business transaction Unspecified Posting
1000 Payment
  • Vendor/customer payment (with cash discount)
  • Down payment
  • Payment on account
  • Cross-company code payment (with cash discount), for example, for a centrally paying company code
1010 Clearing transactions (account maintenance)
  • Write Off Differences
  • Transfer Posting
0000 Unspecified Posting
  • All business processes that have complete account assignments and that therefore do not need to be split (for example, postings from Controlling (CO) or Materials Management (MM)). Company code clearing is the only exception, provided this is created in the posting interface (for example, travel expense reports that already contain the clearing lines)
0100 Transfer Posting from P&L Account to B/S Account
  • Accruals postings for closings

Business Transaction Variant

SAP Financial postings derive Item Category for each individual line item. Business Transaction Variant in conjunction with Business Transaction restricts the item categories that can be posted in a business process. The system performs a check against Item Category to see if posting against the Item Category is permitted by the splitting rules defined by Business Transaction and Business Transaction Variant. If it is not permitted, then the system will fail that posting.

An example of SAP delivered Business Transaction variant rules for Vendor Posting (Business Transaction 0300) is as below. In the cells where the entry is blank, SAP allows you to forbid or require or single use the item category in this business transaction. If you decide to change the SAP delivered rules, you should copy ALL SAP delivered rules and then modify the rules to suit your business requirements.

Item Category Item Category Description Forbidden to use in this Bus Tran Required in this Bus Tran Only one use in this Bus Tran
01000 Balance Sheet Account Cannot forbid
01100 Company Code Clearing Cannot forbid
01300 Cash Discount Clearing Cannot forbid
03000 Vendor Cannot forbid Yes
03100 Vendor: Special GL Transaction
05100 Taxes in Sales/ Purchases Cannot forbid
05200 Withholding Tax Cannot forbid
06000 Material Cannot forbid
07000 Asset Cannot forbid
20000 Expense Cannot forbid
30000 Revenue Cannot forbid
40200 Exchange Rate Difference
80000 Customer-specific Item Category

Document Splitting Method

Document Splitting Method is assigned to the client-level activation of Document Splitting. In conjunction with Business Transaction and Business Transaction Variant, it determines the Document Splitting rule.

Document Splitting Method, by itself, does not contain any rules or assignments. Standard SAP Document Splitting Method is 0000000012. If you want to customise the SAP delivered pre-configured rules, it is suggested you copy the SAP delivered method to a custom Method (example Z000000012 as shown below).

Document Splitting Rule

Document Splitting Rule defines which item categories the system splits and from which item categories the system derives the account assignments (base categories) for the Document Splitting. Document Splitting rules are defined as a combination of Document Splitting Method, Business Transaction and Business Transaction Variant. Hence, different rules can be defined for each combination.

SAP help documentation states:

“The system processes the document splitting rules as follows:

  • The list of item categories to be processed from bottom to top
  • The list of basis item categories for the current item category to be processed from bottom to top

As soon as the system can determine the account assignments for an item category to be processed from one of the basis item categories, it continues with the next item category to be processed until all of the item categories to be processed have been processed.”

Let us see how the Vendor Invoice Document Splitting rule is defined in SAP delivered configuration.

The Splitting Rule is defined as a combination of:

  • Splitting Method Z000000012 that was activated for the client
  • SAP delivered Business Transaction 0300 and
  • Business Transaction Variant 0001 which defined the item categories that can be posted against this combination

Document Splitting Rule









In the next step on the navigation, you can define the Item Categories to be edited:

Document Splitting Rule - Categories










All postings to Item Category 03000 Vendor can be split using certain pre-defined base item categories. SAP delivered rules of Base Item Categories for Vendor Item Category are as shown below.

Document Splitting Rule - Base Categories












In summary:

For a combination of Splitting Method Z000000012, Business Transaction 0300 (Vendor Invoice Transaction) and Business Transaction Variant 0001, all Vendor line items (Item Category 03000) should be split by the offsetting Revenue line items (Item category 30000). If there is no line item posting for Item Category 30000, then the system will use Item Category 20000 (Expense) as the base to split the Vendor line, and so on from bottom to top.

Zero-balancing or Self-balancing

We have looked at this in a previous blog. We will understand self balancing with the below illustrated example. Without the clearing posting lines, the Profit Centre would have a balance at the end of the posting. With the clearing line, the document is now balanced by Profit Centre. I have activated population of partner Profit Centre as well. Hence, Profit Centre Manager for Profit Centre 1200 also knows that he/ she owes Profit Centre 1000 $600. Similarly, Profit Centre Manager for Profit Centre 1000 knows that he is owed $600 by Profit Centre 1200 and $400 by Profit Centre 1300.


Though the Document Splitting processes uses many terms that are synonymous, it is important to understand what each term means and its importance in driving the process of splitting the financial document.


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I hope this blog has helped you understand the configuration behind document splitting. Please do leave your comments below whether this article was helpful; and whether you have any suggestions/ comments; or if you would like to share your experience with document splitting.

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View my presentation on Slideshare

Document splitting in New GL in SAP

Index of my blogs on Document Splitting in new GL in SAP ECC

#1  Overview of new GL Document Splitting Process

#2  Architecture of SAP new GL

#3  The Design driving the new GL Document Splitting process

#4  SAP delivered pre-configuration for document splitting in SAP new GL

#5  The semantics of SAP new GL document splitting process

#6 Set up Zero-balancing for SAP new GL

#7 Customise Document Splitting rules

#8 Use Constants for Nonassigned Processes in SAP new GL

#9 Customise cross company code postings for document splitting

#10  Document Splitting in Cross company code vendor payment



Rajesh has implemented new GL and Document Splitting for several customers. Rajesh has 12 years experience implementing SAP / IT / BPM Finance solutions for several customers globally; he also has 7 years experience working in the business in Finance and Accounting functions. His business process knowledge combined with his IT expertise enables him to provide his customers with best-of-breed advice on business process / IT implementations.

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  1. Excellent information covered in the various blogs.

    I’m still struggling with how to deal with balanced balance sheets by profit centre and partner profit centre where invoices are recorded in one company and then paid from a different company as I can’t figure out how to pick up the partner profit centre information

  2. Thanks for the valuable information.

    I am struggling with the FAGL_SPL_INFO table which are used for document splitting.

    Is there any scenario where identical records can be created in FAGL_SPL_INFO table. This table size has grown in our database. I am using FAGL_SPLINFO_COMPRESS. I checked and this program deletes identical records.

    But I need to know how identical records are created and this will not have any impact on our reporting.

    Please help.

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