Three-way matching is a process used in accounting to verify the legitimacy of supplier invoices before they are paid. Interdepartmentally shared databases and advanced implementation of controls make it more important than ever to safeguard against errors in payments and accounting reports. Prices need to be verified against the original purchase order’s negotiated prices and quantities billed for must be confirmed against quantities actually received. The invoices need to be routed to the relevant parties for approvals. Vendors and suppliers submit invoices to Accounts Payable (AP) for processing and payment.
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The purchase order (PO) outlines the type of item or items, the quantity requested, and prices according to the terms agreed upon between the buyer and seller. Four-way matching goes even further by adding an inspection process after the delivery. With this system in place, goods and https://business-accounting.net/accounting-for-lawyers-what-to-look-for-in-a-legal/ services are only accepted after establishing that all the documents match. Also, suppliers and vendors might lose trust if the purchase orders and order receipts are often inaccurate. This payment verification technique validates the information across the trio of related documents.
Did you know that one in seven large corporations commits fraud every year? A three-way invoice match helps you avoid falling prey to fraudsters claiming they provided goods or services. It identifies illegitimate invoices and enables your accountants to prevent overpayment for purchases that were not authorized for the specified amount. Preventing fraud, detecting overpayment, and managing purchases is an important part of small, mid-size and large corporations that invoice matching can help solve. The truth is that accounts payable fraud is a risk that all businesses must contend with.
Three-Way Matching Explained
It’s that element, the electronic storage of the accounting and the supporting documentation which makes the automated system of accounting the best practice for accounting within an organization. The Requestor enters their department code into the system with their request. A Purchasing Agent manages vendor selection, pricing and payment terms. Fields will populate automatically for vendors, products, prices and account codes. Vendor defaults can be established when the vendor is initially set up in the electronic system. This reduces the work on the AP piece when they enter the invoice into the system for payment.
- Authorize accounts payable personnel to complete payments for invoices if the figures across the received invoice, purchase orders, and receiving report differ with a small margin of error.
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- This makes it easier to review each document and identify any discrepancies quickly.
- The buyer can then confirm that the purchase was accurately received with the goods received note (GRN).
- Once implemented, it's easy to see the redundancies in the tasks being completed in the procurement of goods.
- Investigating every invoice can be daunting, and unless systems are highly organized it can take hours to track down the correct documents.
In accounting, matching compares information from two documents to ensure they match or agree. Matching can be used to help ensure accuracy in the recording of data. Matching can be done in various ways, including 2-way, 3-way, and 4-way matching. While it’s always an important internal control, the disadvantages of 3-way matching come into play when it’s done manually, rather than automated. When done manually, it can be labor-intensive, time-consuming, and a considerable cost to your organization.
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- As a result, it will pay them faster, which often leads to better pricing and credit terms.
- The three-way match takes the information considered in a two-way match and adds the receiving report.
- The goal of this approval process is to ensure that each invoice is consistent with the products and amounts ordered, as listed on the purchase order.
- The supplier’s invoice is essentially a request to pay money owed to the supplier.
Without any human intervention, issues are brought to light early so you don’t slow down the payment process. You’ll significantly reduce processing costs and be able to spend more time on valuable work. A How to do accounting for your startup example is when someone in an organization orders goods, and issues a purchase order. Once the goods arrive the invoice is checked against the purchase order to ensure the agreed upon quantity and amounts are the same.
How does three-way invoice matching benefit your business?
Along with matching the PO, receiving reports and invoices, you must match an inspection report. Inspectors consider the quality and quantity of goods received and may reject damaged, incorrect or faulty items. A four-way match ensures that a business can hold invoices for payment when a vendor does not meet the business’ standards for product quality.
Ensure compliance – This process requires both the buyer and supplier to follow procedures and ultimately ensures that the vendor has complied with the terms of the purchase order. Yet, few steps can compare to the right automation solution for three-way matching. A business can form a strong bond with partners who always send accurate vendor invoices. As a result, it will pay them faster, which often leads to better pricing and credit terms.
Three-Way Matching Components
A good audit trail that tracks the flow of cash in and out of a business is indispensable whenever you’re faced with an audit. Whether it’s from the government, investors, or other vested parties, three-way matching creates a robust paper trail that’s useful for verifying how much legitimate expenses a business has made. Now, while both Google and Facebook managed to get their money back, invoice fraud is quite serious across the world, costing businesses billions of dollars every year.
By implementing these strategies, businesses quickly identify discrepancies and process payments faster. By utilizing software designed explicitly for three-way matching, businesses can eliminate the need for manual review and reduce errors. The receiving or inventory department must also ensure that all goods and services are received in good condition.