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What is a Three-Way Match?

Before agreeing to pay an invoice from a supplier, the purchase order, goods receipt note, and invoice from the supplier are compared. This standard practice is known as a "three-way match."

A three-way match can assist in deciding whether only a portion of the invoice should be paid or the whole amount should be paid. The invoices must fall within the matching limits for the verification to succeed. If they do not, the invoice will be put on hold, and payments will not be made until the hold is lifted or the issue is resolved. A retained invoice is a fail-safe that prohibits payment of an order that has not been matched with a customer and is not confirmed.

When someone operates a company, the last thing they want to do is pay an invoice that is either false or erroneous. The use of three-way matching can assist in protecting the accounts payable from being exposed to fraudulent or incorrectly submitted invoices. A growing number of corporate leaders and departments responsible for the company's finances are turning to three-way match processing to reduce risk and rein in expenditure at their organizations. Integrating automatic three-way verification into the accounts payable procedure is an excellent protective method from overpaying for products and services or making a payment on a fake invoice.

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