Business Partners(BP) are of varied types like a person, or an organization or a group. Typically BPs will be banks or a financial organization. But according to business needs we can create them.
The main purpose of BP are that, the funds required for any transaction will be moved or transported through them. A single BP can be configured in multiple roles. A role is nothing but the way the BP should act for a particular type of transaction.
For e.g the same BP can act as depository bank in the case of securities, or a counter party for some other transaction or a loan partner in the case of loans. For this we have to create the BP in those roles. We maintain the common info of the BP centrally and then we can add role specific informations.
The interesting features of BP are that, When we there is movement of funds in treasury, we can configure in the BP such that for each type of movement of fund i.e inward or outward, we can either clear it to a house bank account or to a customer account or to a vendor account. All these are made company code specific and thus, a single BP can be defined for multiple roles for various company codes. This shows versatality of the business partner. Most of all, these can be defined under a single central transaction BP as far as SAP ECC 6.0 version is considered.
We can define standing instructions for the BP in different role for different company codes as to how it should behave or react for a particular type of financial transaction automatically. The important aspect of treasury is that all financial postings made on behalf of treasury transactions, can be made automatic. Thus it prevents human error to a large extent and also maintains data integrity.