Difference between Internal and External Number Range in SAP

Each master record has a unique number in SAP.SAP needs it to display or change the master record and to post to the vendor account.

Number ranges in SAP can be assigned with a internally or externally generated number by the user. While defining the range in SAP this option can be selected to let the system decide the number range to be selected while creating the master data;

Internal Number range in SAP

If you select this option then the document number will be generated by SAP automatically in serial order within the range that you have selected while defining the number range and will allot the next available progressive number to the next data created. This option is selected to reduce the manual involvement of the user. The number must be numerical.

External Number Range in SAP

While creating a master data you need to enter a number manually. With external number range option in SAP, system will not automatically insert a number to the document or master data. User can pick it randomly. It can be alphanumeric. Entering the document number manually for each SAP financial posting is time consuming and risky to book transactions.

A number range can either be created as year dependent or year independent. For year-dependent, a document number range has to be defined for each new accounting year as a year-end activity. You can define it as year independent by keying 9999 in the Year column.

Path: Financial Accounting > Account Receivable and Accounts Payable > Master Data > Preparations for creating master data > Create Number ranges for vendor accounts

T Code: XKN1

Editorial Staff at Yourfinancebook is a team of finance professionals. The team has more than a decade experience in taxation and personal finance.