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How to do (print) physical Checks with SAP S/4 HANA the new / right way !

How to do (print) physical Checks with SAP S/4 HANA the new / right way !

  • Posted by: Adrian
  • Category: Accounts Payables, Adobe Forms, Cheques, Payment Medium Workbench, PMW, S/4 HANA CHECKS, S4/ HANA Finance Banking, Vendor Payments

For many of us that have been around for a while in the SAP Finance world, designing Checks is a constant on every project. I lost count how many Checks I have designed and implemented over the last 11 years, but I can tell you, I know quite a bit about it and have done it many times. I have designed Checks for Small, Medium and Large companies in Canada and in the US too. (For you guys in Europe, Checks are something of the past since 2014 and the introduction of SEPA, lucky you !).

I am also writing this as I have been asked several times by different colleagues on how this should be done in S/4 HANA as not a lot of Consultants know this already and have upgraded their skills to S/4.
So … As many of you know by now (if not you should not be doing SAP anymore), things have changed in S/4 HANA (for the better) compared to the tools and ways of implementing Checks in ECC6.0 and before.
Developers have new tools to design FORMs like Adobe Forms with Adobe Lifecycle Designer that you should use instead of the old SAPScript. It is lot easier, faster, more user friendly and gives you a lot of flexibility to implement custom code.
So … now, How should you be doing checks in S/4 HANA the new and right way ?
There are a couple of things that you should consider now in S/4 HANA. By now, you should not be deploying anymore the old SAP GUI logon Pad. There are certain exceptions, but you should deliver the new UI which is SAP Fiori. With that it comes a lot of new Apps that have been built for Finance. Among those you will find “Manage Automatic Payments” that replaces to old Automatic Payment Program Tcode F110. 
The new “Manage Automatic Payments” App is more user friendly, more intuitive and have lost several of the technical non-sense things that an end-user needed to select in order to issue Payments in SAP. I never understood why they made it so complicated for the end user (well it’s SAP …). 
Now the Tab “Printout/data medium” is gone from the Fiori App, you do not have access anymore to that Tab. It just does not exist in Fiori such an option to select what variants you will be using for each program. Instead you should be using the new Standard delivered Payment Medium Workbench (PMW) CHECK.
You cannot use anymore the old and traditional program RFFOUS_C (or any similar variant of it). Also, you cannot use the traditional Funds Transfer / Electronic payment program RFFOUS_T and you should be using the PMW and build a DMEE for Electronic Funds Transfer instead.  This is “IF” you want to use the new Fiori App, if you don’t and you still want to use the old F110, then those programs will still work in S/4 HANA. But why would you want to keep on using it if you have a new one ? Would you keep driving your old car with no AC, no power windows and no power steering wheel ? Well, I don’t !!!
Not long ago, I went into a client who was running S/4 (greenfield implementation) and saw that they were using the traditional RFFOUS_C Print program. In fact, they took a copy of the program and they customized and put their own code inside it. This is something that we all used to do in the old ECC days, but we should not do this anymore. (See below what we should not do anymore).
Unless you have a compelling technical reason for using the old Print Program, then I see this as poor knowledge and lack of skills from the Consultant that implemented this solution. Which it wouldn’t be the first time I see someone that lacks the technical knowledge doing something like this …
 

As I mentioned before, YOU SHOULD STOP USING RFFOUS_C and start using the new SAP Standard delivered Payment Medium Workbench CHECK to be able to print Checks.
Another thing you should STOP doing is using SAPScript to design your Check Form layout. The new way in S/4 and new tool is Adobe Forms (not Smartforms). SAP Delivers a Standard form that you should take as a reference and design your own as per your business requirements. 
Adobe Lifecycle Designer will allow your Developer to meet 100% of your Business requirements Layout and add any type of custom code needed to retrieve any extra information that could be required to be printed in the form that is not yet available . No more copying the Standard program and modifying it so then the SAPScript form has access to new information. That is not needed anymore with this new technology. A good and up-to-date Abaper will know what I am talking about. (It is not the purpose of this post to explain that and I am not an Abaper either).
After you have configured the use of the Payment Medium Workbench CHECK and have developed your custom Adobe Form, you should add it in the configuration. After that your config should not have this setup anymore.
In the line “Form for the Payment Medium” you should select PDF and enter your PDF Form name there instead of SAPScript.
After that you need to configure your Variants in Transaction OBPM4.
There you will create a Variant which will allow you to select your Check Printer among some other things.
As you can see, it is not complicated, you just have to know how to do it and your SAP Finance Consultant should have up to date knowledge too.
I am putting as a reference 2 OSS Notes that explain part of this new setup and gives you a possibility of using the Old programs if you still want. But I would not recommend it, it is not the way to go these days and I suspect that eventually SAP could close that door in subsequent versions.
Note: The described procedure and screens belong to S/4 HANA On-premise.

If your Company and/or Project needs to implement this or any of the functionalities described in my Blog, do not hesitate to reach out to me and I will be happy to provide you my services.


Reference OSS Notes:

2794915 – No “Printout/data medium” tab in “Manage Automatic Payments”
https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2794915
2418837 – Manage Automatic Payments: Add Support for Classic Payment Medium Programs
https://launchpad.support.sap.com/#/notes/2418837
Author: Adrian

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9 Comments

  • Good update and well articulated

  • Hi

    Nice article. I am investigating how to print checks using the PMW but I believe that to use Adobe Forms and the Adobe Lifecycle Designer you need to install the Adobe Document Server (ADS) and thus, you need a JAVA stack version of S/4. I am also confused by commentary that says Adobe Lifecycle Designer has been end-of-lifed by Adobe so why is SAP continuing to use it?

  • Hi

    Nice article. I am investigating how to print checks using the PMW but I believe that to use Adobe Forms and the Adobe Lifecycle Designer you need to install the Adobe Document Server (ADS) and thus, you need a JAVA stack version of S/4. I am also confused by commentary that says Adobe Lifecycle Designer has been end-of-lifed by Adobe so why is SAP continuing to use it?

  • Yes, you need to have the ADS server on a Java Stack. In the past this was installed on a PI Server (that is a Java Stack). Now for your question about the end-of-life of the Designer, I was not aware of it. You might want to reach out to your Basis Consultant, he will know what is going on and how this should be handled. Look for OSS Notes on the subject, I am sure there is something.

  • Anonymous

    Hello, very nice article. How did you get the information for the new way of printing cheques. Asking as I had that question in the past and at that time PMW CHECK_OM was relevant only for S/4HANA Cloud. Thanks

  • Anonymous

    Hello, thank you for the nice article. I am wondering how did get the information that PMW should be used instead classical print program? Asking as I had the same question in the past, but according to RSD form CHECK_OM was available only on cloud and not on prem.

  • I got it through experience. As you can see the Fiori app does not have the opportunity select programs & variants. The only way it through what you have configured in the background. I am also referencing an OSS Note about the subject

  • I got it through experience. Try & error too as I have done it several times already. If you see my image I am not referencing CHECK_OM (that is Cloud with Output Management), I am referencing CHECK which applies to On-prem.

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