SAP Business Partner is a person, organization, group of persons, or group of organizations that a company has a business interest in.
One would use this business object for a variety of business transactions. Most notably it is used in order processing. It is used to create both Sales and Purchase Orders.
For individuals who have worked in SAP ERP, the SAP Business Partner replaces the SAP Objects Customer and Vendor as well as all other partner objects except for the HR Personnel number.
SAP Business Partner is a part of what is referred to as Master Data. Master Data is data that is required to carry out the business of the organization. This contrasts with Transactional Data which refers to data created by carrying out transactions. Examples of transactional data are sales and purchase orders.
Master Data generally remains unchanged for a while and is often used to facilitate creating transactional data. Once the Business Partner is created it can be entered into a sales or purchase order. This supplies address and other information to the order.
Business Partners are created in Categories. Categories determine the fields available for general data entry. There are 3 different categories of Business Partners:
The Business Partner Serves as a database of every person, group, or organization that is involved in a business. SAP Business Partners can serve different functions within a company. These are referred to as Roles.
For example, if a partner is a Customer and a Vendor, both these roles can be supported by this Object. This prevents the system from having to store redundant data for multiple objects. Rather than storing multiple objects, a Business Partner has roles added to account for additional data the Partner needs to cover an additional role they play in your business.
Business Partners can be created in as many roles as needed:
All Business Partners must be created in the General Role. General data includes address information, technical and other forms of identification, tax, and general payment information.
In order to process Sales Orders, Business Partner’s must be created in the Customer Role. Separate data must be created for each sales area the Customer does business in. For example, if a company has a Chicago sales as well as a New York sales area, separate data will be required for each.
In order to process a Sales Invoices, Business Partner’s must be created in the Customer (Fin Accounting) Role. Separate data must be created for each Company Code the Customer does business in. For example, if a company has a US Company Code as well as a German Company Code, separate data will be required for each.
In order to process Purchase Orders, Business Partner’s must be created in the Supplier Role. Separate data must be created for each sales area the Supplier does business in. For example, if a company has a Chicago Sales Area as well as a New York Sales Area, separate data will be required for each.
In order to process a Invoices in purchasing, Business Partner’s must be created in the Supplier (Fin Accounting) Role. Separate data must be created for each Company Code the Supplier does business in. For example, if a company has a US Company Code as well as a German Company Code, separate data will be required for each.
Customers and Suppliers are the most common Business Partner roles. there are however other roles a Partner can be created in. Among the most common are two roles used in the Financial Supply Chain Management Module, these are the Credit Partner and the Collections Partner.
The first is used to check the creditworthiness of a Customer, the second is used to maintain data on how collections activity should be carried out should the customer become past due.
The Employee Business Partner is generally attached to the Employee Personnel Number from the SAP HR module. This is generally used for HR purposes. The Employee Responsible can also be attached to a sales order to indicate which employee should be contacted if problems arise with an Order. These Partners are created in the Category Person.
The Contact Partner is another role that is created in the Category Person. This role is someone from outside the company. They often are people at companies that are Suppliers or Customers. They can be attached to a sales order to indicate a person at the company the order is for or from that should be contacted if problems arise with an order. Contact people can also be any individual your business has a relationship with.
In addition to these, there are several Industry-specific roles such as the Financial Services Business Partner which is used in the Banking Module to show all of the accounts a customer has at a Financial Institution.
In S/4HANA, SAP Business Partner will replace the SAP Customer, Vendor, and all other types of Partners except for the SAP Personnel Number. Experienced users will need to make the transition to this object once they upgrade to S/4HANA. For any user new to SAP who will be working in HANA, Business Partner is a foundational concept you will need to learn on your way to becoming an SAP expert.
This Introduction to Business Partner course will introduce you to the basic concepts underlying Business Partner and take you through creating a Business Partner for use as both a customer and a vendor.
The class includes a tutorial on how to create a business partner as well as exercises you can print out and use to create a basic Business Partner in your own system. The class includes quizzes and a certification test to aid in your learning process.
The class is a beginning class and will not include configuration. It is appropriate for most audiences, however, individuals who are completely new to SAP may benefit by taking a few Basic SAP Skill courses before taking this one.