A 3-way matching is a very comfortable solution that guarantees transparency in the information flow between the company and its suppliers and improves control over the entire transaction.
A 3-way matching is a basic procedure used to verify invoices received by the company. It is particularly helpful for accountants who apply it for account payables. There are three documents that are fundamental for the control adjusted to the information and its integrity: a Purchase Order, a Receiving Report and an Invoice. The verification is focused primarily on the accuracy of information related to the object of the purchase order, the quantity, the price as well as the acceptance and payment terms. The aim of the entire process is to confirm if the data on the invoice received from a supplier actually match the order and if the received goods in 100% comply with the requirements. An invoice that has been verified in this way may further be entered into the books and processed for payment. Most of ERP systems available in the market today have the 3WM functionalities that automatically withhold payments and report invoices that do not match the compliance requirements.
How to ensure that the process is successful?
Companies that wish to automate the activities of invoice processing frequently focus solely on implementing new solutions for Account Payables. However, to enhance the process of handling payable documents, it is always required to cover the entire Purchase to Pay process. It is therefore not only the task for financial units but also for all other units that handle purchasing activities in a company.
What is essential in the entire 3-way matching is the level of quality and integrity of the data on the invoice, in the purchase order and the receiving report. A company may benefit from all the functionalities of an ERP system it has implemented if, apart from changes within the company, it will also engage its key suppliers in the P2P process through integration of the electronic exchange of purchase orders and invoices.
The best solution is a direct integration of an ERP system of a company with an ERP system of its contractor. However, the process is extremely time-consuming and requires setting up a project, adjusting IT tools and, additionally, engaging resources by both the company and its supplier. Every implementation also involves maintenance activities. Moreover, to operate integration projects with several suppliers at the same time is complicated; therefore it is advisable to consider solutions based on external electronic commerce trading (B2B).
Instead of numerous implementations under EDI processes with every supplier, a company only integrates with one B2B Platform of its choice. Following the integration, the suppliers may receive purchase orders from the company and transmit their e-invoices.
A supplier cloud, Marketplanet OnePlace, offers all those possibilities. It has all the information on the history of the order and on the contact made with the supplier. This allows the automatic confirmation of the correctness of invoices, orders and document receipt and transmission of invoices for payment. As a result, it eliminates the manual work and the risk of changes made by the supplier. At the same time suppliers are automatically notified of any errors that occur on the invoice.