Open items are incomplete transaction in SAP like invoices that have not yet been paid and such open items are needed to be cleared to get completed. The transaction is cleared when the resulting balance of a particular transaction is zero i.e. when the open item gets an equal opposite entry in SAP. An open item not cleared can not be archived and will stay in the system until that particular open item is cleared.
Example of open items;
- Invoice has been generated and posted for a credit sale but the payment has not yet been received.
- Invoice has been generated and posted for a credit sale but its partly paid by the customer
In the above case the transaction will not be cleared completely unless the customer has made 100% payment for it.
An open item can be cleared manually or automatically when payment for the credit entry has been done or a credit memo has been generated for the customer.
When you clear a transaction a clearing document is automatically generated.
In a manual open item clearing, the payment made against a transaction is to be selected manually while entering the payment transaction. When full payment for a particular transaction is made system clears the transaction against the payment transaction. If the amount paid does not tally with the transaction then differential amount get posted as an open item.
When you do an automatic payment most of the items balances become zero but the transactions are not cleared. By using the account clearing function in SAP you can choose those open items for which account balance are zero but not cleared. The account clearing function works for a sub ledger account and general ledger account. The account clearing function is used by using the automatic payment program in SAP.
Before automatic clearing the accounts must be set for automatic clearing. All noted items, statistical postings are not cleared.
When you run an automatic payment program in SAP the system groups items from an account together when it found same entries in the field of reconciliation account number, currency, special G/L indicators and five freely defined criteria from document header or line item.
When the balance of the items is zero, system automatically clear the transaction and a clearing document is created in SAP with the clearing document number and date.