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Invoice number gap

May 31, 2017 at 04:03 PM


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Hi Experts,

In Spain, Portugal, Germany, Italy, how would one handle invoice (billing document) gaps that have already occurred?


- reverse the number range (as I understand, this is not recommended)

- Document the issue well pulling information from RFVBER00 as has been discussed many times in other responses.

Does anyone have experience with whether documentation would be acceptable by the legal authorities (not that one would have a choice after the fact)?

Once one has resolved the reason for the GAP, which was related to update termination and have values in RFVBER00 but now one would have to deal with what has already occured.

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Thanks Madhu,

Really appreciate the answer. This confirms the approach to be taken if this situation arises and confirms that there is no other solution (at least for those who responded) in SAP.

Thanks again Madhu.

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4 Answers

Best Answer
MaDhU ReDdY Jun 02, 2017 at 08:42 PM


I remember, Law states to avoid - "unexplained gaps", i think providing actual explanation should be right approach. However Company Auditor or legal representative who deals with Tax is right person to advise. Tampering number ranges may not work, because there are also other legal conditions apart from number range gap. For eg - Italy has requirement for sequential numbering in sync with Posting date. This means, backdated postings are not possible and number range should increment inline with posting date, so changing number ranges may violate some other rule, and standard ODN functionality has inbuilt logic to prevent such postings based on table V_OFFNUM_IT which is automatically updated.

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Nikolaus Aigner Jun 02, 2017 at 06:25 PM

XBLNR_ALT is used for such requirements. See note 746162 - Using official document numbering for Italy

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Thank you for the response Nikolaus. I will surely keep that in mind for implementation in Italy.

As for issues that occur in SAP for number ranges, it is my understanding that update terminations happen often and when they do, the auditors and authorities expect thorough documentation about what took place in order to ensure system audit integrity.

Can you please comment on the type of information you had to provide if you have ever encountered an update termination issue and the number was consumed without successfully creating the billing document.

Thanks in advance


Dear Phatela,

you should monitor the update task management (SM13) at least on a daily basis, better with a alerting function. Then, you should solve the most cases.

In case of an inspection you might argue with technical issues. If the overall system status is ok, this might be accepted.

The tendency for tax reporting is anyhow to report documents on a daily basis à la SII Spain or Quartaly Data Reporting (DL 193) Italy.

Thanks and Best Regards,



Thanks for the response Nikolaus.

Jürgen L
Jun 02, 2017 at 08:03 PM

in Germany is no such law that requires gap free numbering.

Here is a Google translation of UStAE 14.5

Progressive number (invoice number) (10)

1 The consecutive number (invoice number) is intended to ensure that the information provided by Entrepreneur is unique.

2 When creating the invoice number, it is permissible to use one or multiple numbers or letters.

3 Also a combination of digits with Letters are possible.

4 A complete sequence of the issued invoice numbers is not compulsory.

5 It Is also allowed within a global billing system with different countries to use only one progressive number range .

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Thanks for the response Jurgen,

It seems that there is no consistent view on this topic in Germany. We have had some guidance that this was absolutely required and some conflicting guidance from others (consistent with your response) that this was not the case. With differing opinions about this, we eventually implemented OSS note: 595327

Now that we have a sequential number range only dedicated to a specific company code, we can still experience an update termination issue. When this happens, what is the process acceptable?

- Document which numbers were consumed (number gets generated before the termination), document the evidence in the logs for this and submit it for audit review or

- Reverse the number range? What have SAP users in Europe done when this situation came up?

I know my preference but would like some guidance on the experience with this situation.

Phatela Mosothoane

Never do acrobatic to hide errors, stay to your issues and explain them.

There is no one size fits all error explanation. You have to analyze the root cause for terminations to understand them and to prevent them in future.

Phatela Mosothoane Jun 07, 2017 at 09:41 PM

Thanks Jurgen.

It is import to understand what is acceptable in each local market. In general, your comment is correct. In SAP, it is important to ask the community if there is another way to handle things in SAP. Your answer is consistent with our approach (as identified above with the preference comment), however it is important to understand the experiences of others especially on this topic as many questions have been asked before about it. I will mark this thread as answered.

Thanks Jurgen

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