what is 3 way matching in accounting

In the accounting and bookkeeping area of accounts payable, the three-way match refers to a procedure used when processing an invoice received from a vendor or supplier. The purpose of the three-way match is to avoid paying an incorrect and perhaps fraudulent invoice. The three-way matching process happens automatically when you upgrade to an e-procurement system like PLANERGY – no human intervention required. Issues are brought to light early, so you don’t bottleneck https://www.bookstime.com/ or slow down the payment process. You will significantly reduce processing costs, and perhaps more importantly, be able to spend more time doing more valuable work. It’s important to mention that businesses may choose not to use three-way matches for small or recurring purchases. Nanonets has an optional API integration with robotic process automation software bots to conduct RPA-based automated invoice processing and three way matching with supporting documents.

  • When an invoice is received, it is matched against both the PO and GRN.
  • For customer support, Nanonets provides a searchable knowledge base in its online Help Center that includes a Getting Started Guide and documentation by topic for self-training.
  • For instance, if a third party is actually storing the goods ordered, you’ll need confirmation from them that they received the order.
  • Discover the products that 29,000+ customers depend on to fuel their growth.
  • Establish and improve solid relationships between buyers and vendors.

A Three-way match is the process of matching the purchase order , invoice, and goods receipt note to validate the supplier’s invoice before payment is made. A 3-way match in accounting helps determine if the invoice should be paid in full or part and reduces the risk by preventing reimbursement of unauthorized purchases. 2-way and 3-way matching of invoices are the most common matching methods in accounting. Comparing the invoice for the purchase of goods and services with the purchase order is a 2-way match in accounts payable. The accounts payable three-way match process involves processing an invoice by matching the data with a purchase order and with the goods received the note. Reliable OCR with AI data capture software and invoice automation handles three way matching of invoices to purchase orders and receipts. NetSuite Invoice Management simplifies the three-way matching process, and thereby improves a business’s cash flow, by automating the matching of POs, item receipts and vendor invoices.

Why Accounts Payable Should Use Three

Even huge, established companies like Google and Facebook can fall victim to invoice fraud. Comparing the invoice against the PO in the 3-way match process allows AP to more confidently identify and avoid fraudulent invoices. It probably goes without saying, but preventing the payment of those fraudulent purchases saves you money, time, and headache. The traditional three-way match is a tried-and-true, yet often arduous, method for accounts payable to reduce the risk of fraud from unauthorized payments. Automating this process lets finance teams quickly and accurately identify and flag suspicious transactions, as well as process and approve authorized payments–all in a fraction of the time it would take manually.

Suddenly, accountants don’t have to perform 3-way matching or manually enter data. They only need to intervene when there are exceptions or when higher-level thinking is required. If an accounting team using three-way match automation is unsure of whether an invoice is legitimate, they can immediately access the original purchase order, the recent receiving report, and related details digitally. Cross-referencing all three documents and their contents suddenly becomes an easier task that doesn’t take days to follow through to the end. The 3-way PO, invoices, and GRN matching save the accounting team time by simplifying the invoice validation process. Potential payment discrepancies are immediately flagged down so that the team can investigate the cause and rectify it immediately.


Discounts for early payments cannot be availed due to lengthy procedures involved. It is used where an organization is engaged in producing multiple products. Find out how you can streamline your accounting process with automation. How to capture early payment discounts and avoid late payment penalties. Audit software can seamlessly sync with an ERP system already integrated with AI-driven, OCR data capture. Nanonets offers monthly, per model SaaS pricing plans at different levels for each type of software Model, including Starter, Pro, and Enterprise. The free Starter plan has limited features and is offered as a try-out platform.

what is 3 way matching in accounting

It’s used as a money-saving measure to ensure companies don’t overpay for goods or pay fraudulent invoices. It has the added benefit of making bookkeeping and audits easier to deal with as well. Many businesses have instituted this practice what is 3 way matching in accounting to reduce the likelihood of fraudulent invoices, embezzlement, computer glitches, or human error resulting in an unauthorized payment of any kind. However, in practice, the process often used to implement it has some glaring flaws.

Invoice Compliance Best Practices And Checklist

If this three-way match reveals that the supplier invoice is in good order, then the accounts payable staff processes the invoice for payment. If not, the staff contacts the supplier regarding any issues it found, which may result in the issuance of a revised invoice or perhaps a credit memo by the supplier.

A vendor invoice is a document that bills the customer based on deliveries from a referenced purchase order number. The invoice is sent to the customer upon full or partial shipment of items from the supplier. A purchase order is a company’s standard, sequentially numbered form that becomes a contract when the PO is sent to and accepted by the vendor that intends to deliver the goods or services to the customer. The purchasing department generates a purchase order based on a signed and approved purchase requisition after vendor selection.

what is 3 way matching in accounting

And it can also enable you to be eligible for early pay discounts on invoice payments. And CoreIntegrator Enterprisefor enterprise-sized companies as well asA/P OneAP automation for small and medium sized companies provideautomated PO matching. Manual invoice matching is even more difficult when a PO remains open for months or even years.

How To Get Procurement & Finance To Collaborate Well

Through the three-way process, the information is to be verified; hence it becomes accurate information and can be used for future decisions. It is used where the responsibilities are given to newly appointed staff. 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 in the accounts department for making corrections. The Order Blog is the go-to resource for finance and operations professionals who want to grow their business.

Paper invoices and supporting documents may be lost somewhere in a black hole in the company, requiring that replacement documents be obtained before payment. Some fraudulent companies may bill the business for unordered office supplies or other products or services not delivered. Without supporting documents to match the transaction, an exception should occur to prevent payment.

Meanwhile, the 4-way match adds another layer in the process for inspection and verification purposes. If the three essential documents—PO, invoice, and receiving report—coincide with the actual delivery, then it is a three-way match.

Way Matching: What It Is, Its Benefits, And The Bottom Line

Such a system would obviously contain vendor information, so the AP team could easily see how many invoices they’ve processed from the same vendor, which can inform the vendor’s rating. It lists the types, quantities and prices of an order, as agreed to by the buyer and supplier. The PO has a unique number that is used for reference and tracking purposes. They protect your company or organization from over payments, under- delivery as well as outright fraud. 3 way match and 2 way match are critical aspects to the purchasing and invoice payment process. Matching the PO to the PO invoice and the packing slip or receipt is called3 way matching. The presence of many mistakes can be a sign of a business-wide issue or that a vendor’s business is not that important to you.

When you should be focused on your bottom line, nothing can take the wind out of your sails like manually matching printed POs with invoices and packing slips. Investigating every invoice can be daunting, and unless systems are highly organized it can take hours to track down the correct documents. Prior to being fulfilled, accounts payable scrutinizes the details of each of the three documents to verify that the product received matches what was ordered via the order receipt. As a business owner, the last thing you want to do is pay a fraudulent or inaccurate invoice. Three way matching can help safeguard your accounts payable against incorrect or fraudulently submitted invoices.

  • She’s also a regular contributor to Spendesk as a part-time member of the marketing team.
  • If you’re keeping good records and subsequently paying invoices correctly and on time, it helps build loyalty between parties.
  • Nanonets OCR for Three-Way MatchingBusinesses can capture unstructured data in requested fields and add new fields.
  • If it takes longer to train your model, consider upgrading your Nanonets software plan.
  • “Match” refers to the comparison or cross reference checks between these documents.
  • In the event that they do, you have a successful three way match, which can be carried forward to your accounts payable for fulfillment.

A PO is a document that confirms an order from procurement to a vendor. Typically this document will include the purchasing company’s name and address, date, product/service description and quantity, price, and PO number. Centralizing your company’s spend management into one platform not only guarantees a more secure payment process, it helps streamline your entire invoice management and accounting system. 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.

This goods receipt against the PO is then passed to the provider’s AP matching automation solution. Due to such labor-intensive processes, the cost of processing a single invoice can range anywhere between $15 to $30. Now assuming an organization process 300 invoices per month and the average cost of processing is $20, a staggering amount of $72000 is being spent annually to process those invoices. Such high processing cost drives an organization to look for process efficiencies. DocuPhase delivers process automation, document management, and capture tools designed to help your enterprise stay organized and meet evolving technology and business needs. A leader in Enterprise Automation software, DocuPhase delivers document management, workflow automation, and capture tools designed to help your enterprise stay organized and meet evolving technology and business needs. Workflow and process automation, accounting teams gain the tools to automate a large amount of this process and the visibility into where the work is at any stage in the flow.

Each department that wants to make a purchase should submit details to the purchasing department, even if that department consists only of you. Three-way matching is an AP invoice process that determines whether a supplier invoice should be paid. Doing this can help companies root out fake or unauthorized transactions, which can cost a company an estimated 5% of its annual revenue, according to the ACFE report. 57% of businesses still use manual matching processes to record financial transactions. Manual processing includes obtaining physical documents in the form of journals or ledgers.

The Definition Of “payment Requisition”

As an example, Deloitte is a Nanonets customer that regularly reports on the advantages of an automated invoice matching system that streamlines accounts payable workflows, reducing required labor time and costs. Two-way match is when vendor invoices are compared to company purchase orders. This variation omits the comparison of vendor invoices and purchase orders to company receiving reports because such receipts are not used or are not required. This may be applicable to service organizations that do not buy physical items, so there are no receiving reports. Manual processing requires hours of human labor, delaying invoice payments and financial reports. Plus, the AP team must perform endless tedious work, and mistakes are inevitable. Partial automation minimally improves efficiency and leaves room for human error.

Automating Invoice

With an automated process, you’ll be able to better store, search through, and pull up receiving reports, order receipts, and other documents from the match process. Being able to easily store and access information helps your team avoid human error and delayed payments, plus automated matching is less labor intensive. The 3-way matching process is critical for keeping business finances healthy. Not only do businesses need a consistent supply of goods/services to keep the business running, but also need mechanisms to protect against overpayment and financial fraud. For 3-way matching to be effective, the accounts payable team needs to spend a substantial amount of time and effort in matching and processing invoices. Automating the 3-way matching in accounts payable relieves the team from labor-intensive verification and matching tasks and improves the accountability and accuracy of matching.

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