Does the anxiety of paying an invoice wrongly get you every time?
Don’t worry! You are not the only one. Even global companies go through it.
After all, if there is anything worse than forgetting your sunscreen on a beach day, it has to be an invoice paid wrongly.
Hence, to make sure you never need to study the laws of mistaken payments, let’s understand how to verify an invoice.
Table of Content
Understanding Invoice Verification Process
Invoice verification is making sure whether the vendor is charging customers for what the customers availed. It is done by cross-checking the invoices received against the purchase order and delivery receipt. An invoice is paid only if the invoice details match the supporting documents.
Generally, companies have dedicated accounts payable managers who are authorized to verify and approve an invoice payment.
The main reason for invoice verification is to avoid any fraudulent payments.
The invoice approval process varies from company to company, depending on the company size, type, and workflow.
So, if you are wondering about which type of invoice verification you should practice, then let’s talk about all the significant types of invoice verification.
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Different Types of Invoice Verification
The invoice checking process depends on the nature of the trade. However, most businesses practice the following three common invoice checking methods.
Let’s have a look at the three of them.
- Invoices Based on Purchase Orders: In the purchase order (PO) based invoice verification, the invoice is matched with the PO placed. It is generally done by the authority who placed the order to avoid communication gaps. This method does not count the number or partial deliveries. It counts only the total quantity and the invoice amount.
- Invoices Based on Goods Receipt: Invoice verification based on goods receipt is considered an apt option when the goods delivery is done in parts. Therefore, individual goods are invoiced separately.
- Invoices Without an Order Reference: Sometimes, when PO is not available to refer to, companies verify the invoice directly to the accounts payable manager, marital accountant, or G/L accountant.
Now that you know the benefits of invoice approval, you must be eager to see the process. Aren’t you?
Alright then, let’s jump right in.
The Invoice Verification Process
The first step in invoice processing is to check the invoice number as soon as you receive the invoice. The invoice number has to be matched with the PO number or goods receipt number.
Now that the invoice number is correct, let’s begin the invoice verification process.
Check Invoice Accuracy
Checking invoice accuracy is the most vital step of invoice verification. Accuracy checking starts with making sure that the invoice to be processed is meant for your company or not. Many times, the vendor might send clients an invoice at the wrong address.
Moreover, this includes checking the rates of the services or products as per the agreement. You should also check if the calculation of applied sales tax, discounts, and invoice amount is correct.
Confirm the Invoice Date
Checking invoice dates is how to check if an invoice is valid. It has a massive significance in an invoice. It can make you lose or win legal battles about the transactions. Therefore, you should always check the date of the invoice. Other than that, it helps you avoid double payments. If the date is wrong, it would be much harder to find the invoice for auditing the transaction in the future.
Furthermore, you might get an error while calculating the tax just because of a wrongly dated invoice.
Confirm the Delivery with the Project Manager
Confirming the delivery with the project manager keeps you away from fraudulent payments. Ensuring that you have received the services/products you are paying for is one of the best practices.
Before greenlighting the delivery, the manager has to check the described quantity and quality of the line items in the invoice with those of the actual delivery.
Sometimes, if the delivery is not made on time, the customer can pay less to the vendor and save the company money. And this could only be possible by confirming the delivery with authority.
Check the Vendor Information
Checking vendor information is another easiest method to avoid fraudulent payments. You should cross-check the vendor details on the invoice with the past invoices in your accounts payable system.
Check the business name, logo, contact number, mailing address, and email ID. This cross-checking not only warns you about fraud but also helps you keep your system data updated. And if it is a new vendor, you must verify the contact details before proceeding.
Moreover, if you want to save your time and avoid payment failures, you should also check payment terms like account number, tax ID number, and preferred payment method mentioned on the invoice.
Mark Invoice Due Date
Making a note of the invoice due date helps you sort out the invoice payment priority and improve cash flow. Other than that, noting the payment deadline has economic benefits to your organization too. It saves you from paying late payment fees and helps you avail of the early bird discounts as mentioned in the payment terms.
Schedule the Payment
Once all the above checks are done, the payment must be scheduled and approved by the accounts payable manager at least a couple of days prior. This gives you a window to stop the payment if there are any issues with the payment.
As discussed, invoice verification is a crucial process, and it demands all of your attention. However, every step of the process has almost zero tolerance limits as it can cause financial accounting disasters.
Thus, a wise thing would be to run the approved invoices through a final checklist before submitting invoices to make the transaction.
So, here is a quick but essential invoice verification checklist for invoice reconciliation.
Invoice Verification Checklist
Make Sure the Invoice is Unpaid
Before you submit invoices making the payment, you should confirm that the invoice is unpaid. The most accurate way to find that out is to run an invoice number check in your “paid invoices” logs.
Verify the Invoice with Documentation
Once you know the invoice is yet unpaid. You should cross-verify it with all the supporting documents available relevant to the purchase. For example, it includes the PO, quotation, and delivery receipts.
Invoicing mistakes is not a rare phenomenon. And suppose you find any discrepancies in the invoice is verified. In that case, you should never neglect it and clarify it with the accounts payable & accounts receivable clerk, project manager, or the appropriate authority. Still, if you are facing any issues, you should contact the vendor to resolve them.
You are done! If you have followed the above steps, you have verified an invoice successfully.
How long did it take?
Did it take longer than you imagined?
Generally, the time taken to process an invoice for a small business with limited resources is roughly 17days on average.
So, if you want to hit top gear, download the InvoiceOwl app now!
What is the purpose of invoice verification?
The invoices are verified with the supporting documents, such as PO, order delivery receipt, and quotation. This verification is done to avoid fraudulent transactions and repayments.
How do I verify an invoice?
To verify an invoice, you need to match the invoice with the purchase order, delivery receipt, the standard sales tax, and the discounts agreed upon. This may take an hour, especially if the invoice has been stacked for a while. Therefore, the most efficient way to verify an invoice is by using invoice processing software.
What documents are required for invoice verification?
The following are the documents required for the invoice verification.
- Purchase Order
- Delivery Receipt
How to approve an invoice for payment?
The head accountant of the company has the authority to approve an invoice for payment.
Here are the steps to follow for approving an invoice.
- Verify the invoice against the purchase order
- Check the invoice for discrepancies
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Wasn’t that simple?
In this blog, we talked about the simplest steps to avoid making invoice payment mistakes. And the benefits of invoice verification must have encouraged you to practice it already.
But, if you want to avoid all the manual invoicing tasks, try InvoiceOwl now and eliminate the room for human errors from the entire invoicing process.
We hope this blog has cleared almost all your queries regarding the invoice verification process. To get innovative ideas, trends, and tips related to invoicing at one location, check out other blogs by us.