Purchase Order Matching Workflow

Modified on Wed, 22 May 2024 at 06:39 AM


Centime takes the pain out of PO-based invoice processing, by automatically linking and comparing invoices with purchase orders and receipts, flagging any mismatches, and enabling AP managers to easily connect with other stakeholders to resolve these mismatches. This significantly reduces the time taken to process each PO-Invoice while enforcing proper controls and reducing risk.


- Manage Payables: upload, process, and code documents

- Manage Payables: PO-Invoices: Manage Mismatches


Identifying PO-based Invoices

PO invoices can be uploaded for capture, just like any other invoice. Centime will automatically recognize if it is a PO invoice and must follow the PO workflow. The invoice type (PO-Invoice vs Invoice) is designated in the type field on the invoice summary tab.

An invoice will be identified as a PO Invoice if there are any open POs for the selected supplier, but this can be overridden.

  • PO Invoice: The PO-Invoice creation flow will be followed (see below). The Line Matching tab & PO Number field appear when an Invoice is recognized as a “PO Invoice”. Invoice coding will copy over from the PO once lines are linked.
  • Invoice: Default invoice creation flow will be followed. See Invoice Capture, Creation, and Editing

Identifying the PO(s) associated with an invoice

The PO Number on the invoice document gets extracted and matched with a list of open POs from the general ledger (GL). It can be updated if needed.

  • The PO dropdown will have a summary of each PO, with the latest POs sorted to the top. 
  • PO Summary details include: PO number, PO status, Unbilled amount, PO created date.
  • Single PO or multiple POs can be linked to each invoice.

Full detail from both the PO record, as well as any associated receipts, are synced over from the GL to support the PO workflow in Centime.

Line Linking

Centime will attempt to link every invoice line with the corresponding line on the specified PO(s). This is triggered when a user clicks on the “Line Matching” tab, and can be re-triggered any time with the “re-run linking logic” invoice action.

Automated linking

  • Centime automatically links invoice lines to corresponding PO lines on the identified PO.
  • To do this, Centime considers the rate and quantity (for items) and amount (for expenses) as well as the line description and item code.

Manual linking

  • An AP user can manually link any lines that were missed by the automation and update any incorrect linkages.

Invoice line level coding is copied from the PO automatically once two lines are linked. So there is no need to separately code invoice lines.

Automatically flagging line mismatches

After a line is linked, Centime will compare the Invoice vs. PO vs. Receipt lines and evaluate whether the invoice line matches the PO line and any associated receipts (see details below). This will produce one of the following line statuses. The “re-run linking logic” invoice action can be used to relink all the invoice lines and recompute line statuses, but be aware, this will reset any previous user actions taken on a line.

Line Status Definitions:

  • Perfect Match: The rate and quantity match perfectly (line item). The expense amounts match perfectly (expense).
  • Rate Mismatch: The rates do not match (Line-items only)
  • Quantity Mismatch: The quantities do not match (Line-items only)*
    • 2-way: invoice quantity ≠ PO quantity
    • 3-way:. Invoice quantity ≠ Qty received - Quantity billed
  • Amount Mismatch: Expense amounts do not match (expense line only)
  • Rate Threshold: The difference in rates falls within the threshold defined in settings (see below)
  • Quantity Threshold: The difference in quantities falls within the threshold defined in settings
  • Amount Threshold: The difference in amounts falls within the threshold defined in settings 
  • Unlinked: No PO line has been matched to the invoice line.

*Centime supports both 2-way matching, where only the invoice and PO lines are considered and 3-way matching, where any associated receipts are also considered. The match type (2 vs 3-way) employed is determined by how the relevant item is configured in Netsuite: 

2-Way Match- Non-inventory Items
- Expense lines (received status is shown in Centime but receipt is not required)
3-Way Match- Inventory Items
- Non-inventory items marked as "fulfillable/receivable" 

To view more detail on a linked Invoice-PO-Receipt line, click the value in the status column:

Unit Of Measure (UOM)

The UOM is a useful tool while evaluating mismatches. This information is available in the Line matching tab accordions. 

Invoice UOM is extracted directly from the invoice and the PO UOM is pulled in from the PO in  Netsuite.


Resolving Mismatches

Both AP managers and Invoice approvers with the appropriate entitlements can resolve mismatches. If an AP manager has the authority and business context to resolve a mismatch, they can do so, and if not, they can easily route to the right stakeholder by sending the invoice to them for approval.

  • “Accept” designates that an invoice line will be accepted and paid as is.
  • “Await Receipt” designates that the line is pending receipt and the quantity mismatch will be reevaluated when the receipt is created in the GL.
  • “Dispute” and “Reject” designate that a mismatch will need to be resolved with the supplier before proceeding.
  • Once taken, an action can be reversed by clicking the status to open the accordion and clicking “Recall.”
  • Lines can be unlinked by clicking the green link icon.

Note, any desired changes to PO or Receipt lines must be made in your GL, whereupon they will sync and display in Centime. Any necessary edits to the invoice itself can be made in the invoice summary tab.

Line statuses and possible actions.

Line matching impact on Invoice Actions

  • The Approve and Mark approved actions are disabled If there are any mismatches / unresolved issues in the line matching tab. 
  • If a line has been marked "Rejected," "Await Receipt," or "Disputed," the only possible invoice actions are Delete, Recall, Hold, and & Re-run line linking logic.

Line Status

Line Actions

Impact on Invoice Actions

Rate mismatch & Amount mismatch


If a line has been rejected or Disputed, the only possible invoice actions are Delete, Recall, HOLD & Re-run line linking logic

Quantity mismatch

Await Receipt

If a line has been rejected, Await Receipt or disputed the only possible invoice actions are Delete, Recall, HOLD and & Re-run line linking logic



Needs review

Re-run line linking logic

Needs approvers

Mark approved (Mark Approved action is hidden until all lines are resolved)
Re-run line linking logic

Ready for approval

Send for approval
Mark approved (Mark Approved action is hidden until all lines are resolved)
Re-run line linking logic

Awaiting approval

Approve (Approve action is hidden until all lines are resolved)
Mark approved (Mark Approved action is hidden until all lines are resolved)
Re-run line linking logic

Ready to post



Send For Approval


Approve (Approve action is hidden until all lines are resolved)

Relevant Settings

Document Settings: Enable approvers to edit invoice details

This setting allows users to edit an invoice. For a PO-Invoice, this includes the ability to:

  • Re-run linking logic: 
    • Re-run linking logic is available in the invoice action dropdown. 
    • This action re-runs the automated line linking logic and recomputes the line statuses. 
  • Unlink lines
    • This functionality allows the user to unlink an invoice line that is linked to a PO line.

Policy Settings: PO Threshold Settings

PO matching thresholds allow users to adjust how their quantity, rate and amount mismatches are calculated when comparing invoice and PO lines. Mismatches that fall within the threshold set by the users are marked as threshold matches. These can be set up in the payables>policies page of the settings module. 

  • Quantity Threshold Options: Absolute & Percentage
  • Rate Threshold Options: Absolute & Percentage
  • Amount Threshold Options: Absolute & Percentage

PO entitlements 

New entitlements have been created to control who can resolve Invoice-PO-Receipt mismatches. These entitlements can be added to full access AP users. 

PO - Invoices: Manage Rate & Amount Mismatches

  • Includes the ability to take line actions on rate mismatches and expense lines. 
  • Recall actions taken on lines, threshold rate matches and threshold amount matches.

PO - Invoices: Manage Quantity Mismatches:

  • Includes the ability to take line actions on quantity mismatches.
  • Recall actions taken on lines and threshold quantity matches.

PO - Invoices: Manage NEW lines:

  • Add new lines, when the line is unlinked.
  • Recall the newly added line

PO Invoice approvers are a type of limited access user. This kind of user has the following fixed permissions:

  1. Approve, Reject or Hold documents.

  2. PO - Invoices: Manage Rate & Amount Mismatches:

  3. PO - Invoices: Manage Quantity Mismatches:

  4. PO - Invoices: Manage NEW lines:

Changing an Invoice Approver to a PO Invoice approver:

The invoice approver ID must be deleted in the user permissions and added as a PO Invoice Approver. 

Posting PO-Invoices

Once all line mismatches have been resolved and any invoice approval requirements satisfied, a PO-Invoice can be posted back to your GL like any other. To ensure proper accounting, Centime will:

  • Create all necessary linkages between the bill and its associated PO(s) so that line-level billed quantities display correctly on the PO record.
  • Update the status of the PO based on the billed quantity (ex. Updating that status from “Pending Billing” to “Fully Billed”)

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