Ap Automation Makes 3 Way Match Or 2 Way Match Simple
  • 3 juni 2022

what is 3 way matching in accounting

If the company is still stuck in traditional payment processes, a large number of transactions involving clients and suppliers can be challenging to handle. One effective way to improve payment processes is to adapt the three-way matching process.

what is 3 way matching in accounting

The buyer’s AP department will scrutinize these details and flag any discrepancies. Where discrepancies do occur, stakeholders are sought out for approval and, where necessary, updated or corrected documentation is requested from the supplier.


The agency’s accounting department then conducts an invoice approval process. During this process, the purchasing and accounting departments have to verify the items listed in the invoice if they match with the PO, including each line item and PO number. A three-way match is an accounting control that ensures that the purchase order, inventory receipt, and invoice all match in terms of product, quality, quantity and price.

  • Three-way match is the process of comparing the purchase order, invoice and goods receipt to make sure they match before approving the invoice for payment.
  • With DocuPhase, you can build custom workflows that automatically route invoices to the right approvers.
  • Of course, setting your tolerances correctly goes a long way here.
  • After the vendor sends the invoice and your accounts payable department approves and pays it, the vendor will then send a receipt.
  • However, this isn’t easy if you’re manually processing your invoices.
  • The printer, which gladly accepted this lucrative assignment, receives the hotel’s PO along with the digital files needed for printing the brochures.

Before we go into the working of the 3-way matching process, let us first understand the procure to pay process. The first step in the p2p process is placing the order with the supplier. The purchase order is the document containing complete information on the goods/services required along with pricing information. The terms of an order are memorialized in a purchase order to show crucial information such as quantities, contracted cost, and when payment is due.

Way Match Accounting

A three-way match is the process of comparing the purchase order; the goods receipt note and the supplier’s invoice before approving a supplier’s invoice for payment. A 3-way match helps in determining whether the invoice should be paid partly or in its entirety. Even in situations without formal Purchase Orders and without formal receiving processes three way matching can be automated. Most organizations still use manual means to automate the matching process, leaving a lot of room for improvement. Automatic three-way invoice matching has come a long way in recent years. If your business is still struggling through the process manually, it might be time to upgrade to an automated solution. Meet SourceDay’s AP Automation solution, which was tailor-made for manufacturers, distributors, and CPG companies.

Automating three way matching and other AP processes saves time, reduces labour costs, prevents fraud/errors, and provides vendor discounts in the long run. For example, if the vendor invoices the wrong product, accounts payable will need to request a corrected invoice to complete the match. Waiting to receive a corrected invoice from the vendor will delay invoice approval, payment and reduce overall productivity. A receipt is a physical or electronic document that reflects the actual receipt of goods/services. Receipts are verified by the company’s receiving department against the itemized vendor packing slip included with the delivered products. In order to simplify the three-way matching process, you might consider excluding smaller value invoices and recurring invoices from the three-way matching process. Recurring payments can be verified at setup, leaving zero room for fraud.

When discrepancies are discovered in three-way invoice matching, the payment will be withheld until the discrepancy is resolved. 3-way matching is an important part of the accounts payable process. In most instances, 3-way matching is preferred to ensure the organization does not pay invoices until everything matches.

What Is 3 Way Matching?

Let’s say that a buyer decides to purchase 10 semiconductors from a supplier. Once the payable team receives the PO, they create an invoice for $6,000 based on that PO. Additionally, the invoice is compared to the acceptance or inspection document, prepared by the receiving department once the order has been received by the business. The invoice is approved, and payment is released if all the details in the three documents match. Checking will be done to verify if the contents match the PO through an invoice approval process. Within SAP, you might have already become familiar with your procure to pay process tcodes.

3-way matching is a verification technique you can use to manage your business’ AP to ensure to only pay for goods & services rendered legitimately. The process involves taking an invoice for the purchased goods/services and matching it with a purchase order and receiving information. It compares purchase orders, goods receipt notes, and the vendor’s invoice to eliminate fraud and save money. However, when done manually, the matching process is paper-based, which inevitably leads to human error and long delays. The perils of manual invoice matching are all the more apparent for accounts payable teams that have switched to working remotely. This is reflected in Levvel Research’s Payable Survey, with 31% of respondents naming manual invoice matching among the top AP pain points.

  • For instance, if the supplier’s invoice mistakenly indicated that 550 were delivered, yet only 500 were, Caffeinated wouldn’t pay for the mistake.
  • Two-way matching, a default verification process, reviews purchase information against final invoice.
  • Traditionally, an accountant in the accounts receivable department would have to gather all the relevant paper documents in a transaction in order to satisfy their matching procedures.
  • 3-way matching adds the receiving report or the receipt of the goods as a further verification method.
  • If all the details in the three documents match, the invoice is approved, and payment is released.
  • He started using Order and within a day he was up and running on the platform.

An automated 3-way matching system works on digital verification of documents. Digital data verification is much faster and accurate compared to manual matching. Let us understand the 3-way matching process with the following example. A vendor invoice for 5000 INR for 1000 integrated circuit boards is received by the buyer. The first step is to cross-check whether the PO was approved before fulfilling the invoice. The second step is matching invoices to purchase orders in terms of price and quantity. In this case, the purchase order for 1000 circuit boards at 5 INR each was raised, which totals to 5000 INR.

Benefits Of Ap Automation For Direct Spend

A held invoice operates as a sort of fail-safe that prevents the payment of an unmatched and unverified order. Three-way matching involves multiple time verification and collection of various documents; hence the process is lengthy and time-consuming. If an invoice matches all the three steps of verification, then only the payment is to be authorized, and the bill is encashed.

They ship 302 seats early and include that line item on an invoice with a dozen other items. Software has the ability to compare those bike seats to the purchase order line—even though the numbers don’t match exactly and the other items didn’t ship yet. By adding the third level of verification with the order receipt, you can ensure that you are billing for what your customers actually received, not just what order they placed. This keeps everything compliant and helps companies ensure they’ve successfully delivered everything that a customer ordered. Since our founding in 2001, BlackLine has become a leading provider of cloud software that automates and controls critical accounting processes. Our solutions complement SAP software as part of an end-to-end offering for Finance & Accounting. BlackLine solutions address the traditional manual processes that are performed by accountants outside the ERP, often in spreadsheets.

While these methods can certainly work, they’re not very efficient. DocuPhase delivers process automation, document management, and capture tools designed to help your enterprise stay organized and meet evolving technology and business needs.

  • Finance workflows like 3-way matching in accounting, invoice approvals, and expense reimbursements can be effectively automated with Cflow.
  • In some cases, the ERP can quickly pull PO numbers, receiving reports, and invoice numbers so the accounting team can compare the documents side-by-side.
  • Gathering the required documents and manually checking invoices against them just isn’t practical in the long run.
  • By automating your three-way matching process, your company will need less manpower to maintain the process, freeing up your team to work on more complex tasks.
  • With a digitized papertrail, finance teams have every document and receipt on file, immediately accessible when needed.

To understand the three-way match in accounting better, let us first understand what invoices, purchase orders, and goods receipt notes are. The purchase order is an official confirmation receipt of the order sent by the buyer to the vendor. The purchase order authorizes the purchase and includes information like PO number, payment information, and description of goods and their quantity. Three-way matching is a great business practice, but truth be told, it is labor-intensive and time consuming. Thumbing through stacks of paperwork to find these three documents is difficult enough. Layer on top of that the need to scan each document carefully to ensure the numbers are aligned.

Automated Three

Streamline and automate activities in SAP with task scheduling and execution, activity monitoring, and outcome verification. The reason for hold must be resolved or a manual release of the hold must be processed. Jocelyn Ho is the founder of Newlance Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy in Paris. She’s also a regular contributor to Spendesk as a part-time member of the marketing team. A budget manager approves the purchase order request from the employee.

Matching the PO to the PO invoice and the packing slip or receipt is called 3 way matching. After the hard work of multivariate association is done, three-way matching is a breeze. You’ve found the right line items on your invoice and purchase orders. Now, as long as they match within your pre-set tolerances, you can voucher the payment. An automated AP solution will compare the total invoice amount to the total purchase order amount. If they match, it will allow the accounting department to voucher and pay the invoice without any manual work.

Any wrong information and duplication can lead to fraudulent vendor’s invoices and overpaid transactions. With the three-way match, overpaying and other potential payment problems are immediately flagged down even before delivery. For any business that regularly engages in large numbers of purchase transactions, an effective accounts payable department is not optional—it’s a minimum requirement. Manual processing requires hours of human labor, delaying invoice payments and financial reports.

what is 3 way matching in accounting

It should be done only when strict compliance or verification is needed. To enhance the three-way match processing, a payment service, like Tipalti, with end-to-end optimization, from order placement to payment release, is a must for a standardized procedure. If you are looking to fully automate three way matching, two way matching, and hybrid processes, give Aestiva a call. When matching is complete, a simple button click is all it takes for AP to voucher an invoice to the ERP. They can even set auto-vouchering rules for certain invoices and skip that button-click altogether. For most AP teams, this is the most time-consuming step in the process.

The invoice is then sent to the buyer, and the supplier then checks that invoice and PO against the packing slip. If the three documents match and the order is verified, the invoice is released and payment is accepted. Invoice matching is a complicated but important process in business accounting because it supports accuracy in purchasing. Invoice matching ensures that the business, as a customer, what is 3 way matching in accounting provides accurate payment to its vendors and that those payments are accurately recorded in the internal accounting process. Three-way matching is a classic method accounting teams use to reduce financial losses by creating a more secure invoice payment process. This work can be done manually, which is often a tedious and laborious process, or streamlined using automation software.

It commits a buyer to pay a seller for a specific product or service that will be delivered in the future. But 2 way match in accounts payable is ‘good enough’ for many accounting departments. As companies work with more suppliers, the increase in transactions and documentation can bring about higher risk of mishandling or accounting errors. As businesses expand their operations over time, they also need to upgrade their processes for scalable growth. Every aspect and expense of running a business – from hiring and training to purchasing and legal compliance – can heavily influence the financial standing of the company.

3-way matching frees AP teams from menial tasks and allows them to focus more on important things, ultimately improving employee satisfaction. Manual 3-way matching is often time-consuming and repetitive, putting a significant burden on AP teams. This could increase the risk of losing talented staff to competitors that invest in AP automation tools. The Goods Received Note is then submitted to the accounts department for cross-verification and recording. These three documents allow executives in the AP department to verify each invoice before payment is issued. The purchase order is simply a request made by an individual, or a department of an organization, highlighting their requirements, the quantity, and the details of what they need and why. The procurement department verifies the purchase order and sends it to the supplier.

If an invoice does not match, users can quickly double-check the imported data against the original image or look deeper for the discrepancy. In some cases, an order is completed over multiple deliveries done at different dates. For orders having multiple delivery dates, it is not possible to match the goods received against the invoice. The automated matching system needs to be configured such that goods received are rechecked on an ongoing basis until the entire order is complete. Verification of the goods received against the goods ordered and billed should be done at the end of the order.

Data is entered and saved into the Oracle receiving form including quantity received. A query is performed in the purchasing module, receiving form to find the appropriate purchase order. No holds are placed on the invoice and the invoice is approved for payment. The manual PO match process is massively inefficient and prone to error. 2 way match only compares two of the documents, typically the PO to the PO invoice. Ready to gain greater control and visibility over your company’s finances?

The inventory department then will contact the authorized person of ABC & Co. for issuance of the revised bill. After receipt of the revised bill, the same is to be given to the accounts department for making corrections. Check out the latest blog articles, webinars, insights, and other resources on Machine Learning, Deep Learning, RPA and document automation on Nanonets blog..

Without double-checking that everything is in order, your business could over- or underpay or miss a payment deadline. Manual processing causes delays and backlogs due to misplaced or missing information. Process bottlenecks result in delayed payments to suppliers, which in turn tarnishes the reputation of the company and weakens supplier relationships. Using the three-way match as a procedure to post procurement transactions enables the team to maintain a verified record of suppliers. It provides clear insights into supplies from vendors and money paid to suppliers. If any issues are found – inaccurate quantities, wrong prices, damaged goods, or more, payment is not sent until the issue is rectified.

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