How 3-way invoice match improves AP efficiency

Accounts payable is a critical and often underutilized department within most companies. Utilizing a modern Intelligent Document Processing solution, AP can move from a necessary chore to a productive and valued aspect of your business. With the ability to 3-way invoice match, your AP department can improve productivity and time to focus on more value-added tasks.


AP efficiency

By using multiple documents to verify that your company isn’t being scammed, overpaying for goods or services, or accidentally paying for goods and services already rendered or don’t exist, automated AP processing systems use 3-way invoice match solutions. 

The most common method of verification in 3-way invoice match is by referencing supplier invoices, purchase orders, and delivery confirmations.

3-way invoice matching in Accounts Payable can protect companies against:

  • Accidental overpayment
  • Fraud and scams
  • Duplicate payments

Companies struggling to organize and process incoming document traffic often benefit from learning about the 3-way invoice match concept. When navigating invoicing, employees must remember that all digital invoicing and invoicing approvals will require some level of matching.

In the case of a three-way match, organizations match three documents together: the invoice, the purchase order, and the receiving report. Doing this ensures that payments are made and there are no errors within the transactional documents.

The 3-way matching process is essential to ensuring no errors within an invoice that could cause financial damage to the parties involved in the transaction. However, some companies struggle with determining the crucial differences between a 3-way invoice match and a 2-way match in SAP.

Instead of matching the invoice, order, and report together, the 2-way match invoice processing procedure only matches the invoice with the purchase order. 

Understanding PO matching, or purchase order matching, is an essential part of one’s ability to determine the main differences between 2 and 3-way matching. PO matching within a 2-way match involves matching the PO to the invoice for the PO. 

When practicing 3-way matching, businesses match the PO to the invoice for the PO while also including the receiving report or packing slip.

Organizations also benefit from maintaining 3-way match journal entries for accounts payable. The ability to track and access data regarding past 3-way matches is critical for companies seeking ways to manage an overwhelming workflow. 

By not keeping track of 3-way matches, businesses place themselves at risk of error and inaccurate reporting. If these errors continue to build up over some time, companies risk losing revenue to unverified and incomplete orders. 

For this reason, platforms like Rossum is beneficial for accurately tracking the 3-way match process in business transactions. Rossum allows organizations to automatically process data involved in 3-way matching by tracking incoming document traffic, including invoices, purchase orders, packing lists, and claims.

What are 2-way and 3-way matching in Accounts Payable?

The invoice matching process can be challenging to grasp because of all the factors in the matching system. If this concept is unfamiliar, you might ask: what are 2-way and 3-way matching in accounts payable?

To fully understand the differences between these two and why they are essential to the accounts payable process, you should separate this question into two separate queries. Begin by asking: what is 2-way matching in accounts payable? 

In 2-way matching, the purchase order, or PO, is matched against the invoice for a specific order. With 2-way matching, organizations compare an invoice received from the vendor with all the purchase order details to ensure no errors in the transaction.

Now, it is time to ask: what is 3-way matching in accounts payable? After learning about 2-way matching, 3-way matching becomes somewhat easier to grasp. In 3-way matching, all purchase order details are matched with the invoice and the receiving report/receipt. 3-way matching is essential in accounts payable. 

This is because it helps organizations ensure the accuracy of the details on all three documents. As you continue learning about the different forms of matching in accounts payable, you can apply similar questions specific to your organization’s apps. 

For example, once you have learned more about the matching concept, you might ask: what are 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way matching in Oracle apps?

Examples of 3-way matching

3-way matching in Accounts Payable requires three verification documents:

  • Purchase orders
  • Delivery confirmation
  • Supplier invoices

Looking at examples of 3-way matching is helpful for organizations that want to improve the accuracy of their invoicing process. What is 3-way matching in accounts payable? An example of this type of matching is the verification process from the three factors involved in a 3-way match: purchase orders, delivery confirmation, and supplier invoices. 

To clarify this concept, Rossum’s verification process involves automated human verification, PO matching verification, and vendor matching verification. Rossum is beneficial because it removes the more confusing aspects of 3-way matching and provides businesses with automation tools that eliminate the stress of a manual matching process.

Given that 2-way matching is another familiar concept in business, many people struggle to determine what is not true regarding the meaning of a 3-way match. While not always true, businesses typically don’t use 3-way matching for smaller transactions and purchases. 3-way matches are used to avoid incorrect or fraudulent charges that could damage an organization. 

3-way matches do not involve a comparison of orders that have already been received, as they occur before transactions go through to protect the financial well-being of an organization. A 4-way match slightly differs from a 3-way match because it also involves inspection information for a more thorough analysis of pending transactions.

What is 4-way match in Accounts Payable?

  • The 2-way match process is what most businesses use regularly, but this process is not as capable of detecting fraud as the 3-way match.
  • 3-way matching is a method of verification that companies use to validate invoices before making any payments. It uses three different documents to verify invoices.
  • In 4-way matching, the invoice is compared with the purchase order, then with the receipt of goods, and finally with a quality inspection document.

What is 4-way matching in accounts payable? 4-way invoice matching is similar to 3-way matching but includes an additional factor. In simple terms, 4-way matching involves the purchase order, shipping slip, inspection report, and invoices, all matched against each other. 

If the invoice does not match the purchase order, matching automation software can detect this discrepancy before it causes damage to an organization. Rossum’s various integrations can simplify the process of 4-way matching for organizations that commonly use this matching for transactions. 

So far, you have answered the following: what is 2-way matching in accounts payable, and what is 3-way matching in accounts payable? Now, it’s time to discuss the 4-way matching in Oracle R12. 

Because Rossum’s platform integrates with Oracle apps, organizations that use this integration must understand how 4-way matching operates within this platform. In Oracle, the match approval level option for 4-way matching includes the purchase order, receipt, accepted quantities from inspection, and invoice quantities. The corresponding invoice can only be paid once all of these elements match. 

When figuring out 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way matching in Oracle apps, you must understand the match approval level on Oracle for all matching quantities. Oracle’s match approval level ultimately determines what type of hold will be placed on a specific order.

What is 3-way match in SAP?

The next question regarding invoice matching is: what is 3-way matching in SAP? While you have determined the answer to 3-way matching in accounts payable, there are still more details necessary to ensure that your company’s matching process is organized and comprehensive. 

In SAP, 3-way match accounting entries begin as soon as an order is initially placed. 3-way matching software simplifies manually matching invoices through automation technology free of human error. 

Essentially, SAP invoice matching does not require a manual process on behalf of businesses. Often, SAP invoice matching is entirely automated, meaning invalid invoices and fraudulent charges are dealt with and blocked as soon as an inaccuracy is detected.

Many organizations benefit from software like SAP Ariba 3-way match. SAP Ariba creates connections between organizations and suppliers to improve business communication. With SAP Ariba, buyers can manage the entire purchasing process while suppliers can connect with profitable customers. 

Rossum is valuable for organizations looking to automate their workflow and 3-way matching process because the platform can integrate with SAP, providing everything that organizations need in a 3-way matching process in one simplified and structured platform.

3-way match for service-based businesses

A 3-way match for services is essential for any organization, particularly those most susceptible to fraudulent charges that could disrupt revenue. While 4-way matching in accounts payable consists of the purchase order, receipt, accepted quantities from inspection, and invoice quantities, 3-way matching does not include the inspection process. 

Though 3-way matching has been discussed, more detail is necessary to honestly answer the question regarding what 3-way matching is in accounts payable. In accounts payable, 3-way matching involves looking at different elements of a purchase order before verifying that the order is not fraudulent. 

For a comprehensive 3-way match, SAP services and integrations with Rossum are critical to organizations. Rossum’s numerous integration options ensure the accuracy of the 3-way matching process and take away the manual part of this concept. 

Rossum automates the 3-way match process, making it easy for organizations to detect any errors in their transactions that would cause financial damage. 

Identifying issues in 3-way matches requires a thorough analysis that many employees do not have enough time to conduct accurately. Because of this, automation software like Rossum is highly beneficial to organizations struggling with backlogged documents.

Automated 3-way invoice matching

The accounts payable matching process is complex, and while you may understand how the process operates, manually performing the matching process is time-consuming for even the most experienced employees. 

Many organizations struggle to determine how to accurately match purchase orders with invoices without any risk of error. No matter how skilled, manual invoice matching always comes with a certain level of risk. 

No matter how big or small a mistake, errors during the 3-way matching process could have detrimental effects on an organization, putting their revenue at risk of fraudulent charges. Matching purchase orders with invoices should not take up an organization’s time and resources. Therefore, software geared at 3-way invoice matching is an essential tool for businesses. 

Automated 3-way invoice matching services are essential to successfully running an organization. With platforms like Rossum and its various integration options, companies can navigate the 3-way invoice matching process quickly and without worry. Organizations that primarily use a 4-way match or 2-way system will also benefit from Rossum’s services. 

Rossum automatically organizes and processes all incoming business document traffic, securing transactional documents throughout the entire intelligent document processing cycle. With Rossum’s automated 3-way invoice matching, organizations can confidently maximize their revenue without the risk of natural human error.

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