How to Verify an Invoice? A Step-by-Step Guide

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Does the anxiety of getting paid wrongly haunt you every time?

If so, you are not alone. Incorrect invoices cannot only cause unnecessary payment delays but significant financial disruptions if not validated correctly.

A compelling testament to efficient invoice verification suggested that 61% of the payment delays occur due to incorrect invoices.

Along with this, the real-life incident that took place with ‘Shark Tank’ investor Barbara Corcoran, caused a financial devastation of around $400,000.

But hey, savvy entrepreneurs, fear not!

We are here with this comprehensive guide on how to verify an invoice. This guide will serve you the foolproof invoice verification tactics, transforming you from a payment delay victim to a fraud-fighting champion. 

So, buckle up to scrutinize invoices like a pro, ensuring smooth payments and financial peace of mind.

What is the Invoice Verification Process?

Invoice verification is making sure that the payment process is accurately been carried out. It also ensures that the vendor accurately bills the customers for the specific services or products they have utilized. 

The invoice validation process is carried out by cross-checking the incoming invoices received against the purchase order and delivery receipt. An invoice is paid only if the invoice details match the supporting documents.

Invoice verification process

In case any essential invoice details are missing or if the invoice has any discrepancies, it is rejected and the vendor is asked to generate the revised invoice.

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 their 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.

 

Accuracy Should Not Be Compromised, Especially When You Are Getting Paid!

Try InvoiceOwl and ensure smooth payment processing by creating editing, and sending customized invoices in no time.

How Does Invoice Verification  Procedure Work?

To verify an invoice, businesses must carefully review the document to ensure accuracy and prevent making payments on erroneous charges. Key information contained in invoices like quantities, prices, and payment terms must match data from other sources such as purchase orders and delivery receipts.

Invoice verification process
  1. Check invoice accuracy

    Checking invoices accurately is the most vital step of invoice verification. Here is what you need to do to make sure that the invoice check process gets accurately conducted:

    • Check if the invoice you received is meant for your company or not. Sometimes a vendor may mistakenly send an invoice to the wrong client.
    • Verify the rates of services/products to see whether they match the construction agreement.
    • Check whether the applied tax, discount, and final amount are correct.
  2. Confirm the invoice date

    Checking the invoice dates has a massive significance in invoicing because it has many benefits, such as:

    • It can make you lose or win legal battles about the transactions.
    • It helps you avoid double payments.
    • You can find invoices much easier if you want them later for auditing.
    • You can calculate taxes more accurately with correctly dated invoices.
  3. 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 invoicing 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. This could only be possible by confirming the delivery with authority.

  4. 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 process. Check:

    • Business name
    • Logo
    • Contact number
    • Mailing address
    • Email ID
    • Bank details

      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 time and avoid payment failures, you should also check invoice payment terms like:

    • Account number
    • Tax ID number
    • Preferred payment method mentioned on the invoice
  5. 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 for 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.

  6. Schedule the payment

    Once all the above essential invoice data are checked, the payment must be approved and scheduled by the accounting 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.

Moving ahead, in case 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.

Alright then, let’s jump right in.

Different Types of Invoice Verification

The invoice checking process depends on the nature of the trade. Also, the company size, company structure, and the process being followed affect the invoice validation process. 

However, widely adopted business practices involve these three common invoice checking methods mentioned here.

Let’s have a look at the three of them.

Types of invoice verification
  • Invoice verification based on purchase orders:
    In the purchase order (PO) based invoice verification, the invoice is matched with the purchase order placed. It is generally done by the client’s accounting department or the authority who placed the order to avoid communication gaps. This method does not count the number of partial deliveries. It counts only the vital invoice details like total quantity and the invoice amount.
  • Invoice verification 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.
  • Invoice validation process without an order reference:
    Sometimes, when the purchase order number is not available to refer to, companies verify the invoice directly to the accounts paying authority, 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.

Invoice Verification Checklist

As discussed above, invoice verification is a crucial process, and it demands all of your attention. 

Thus, a wise thing would be to run the approved invoices through a final invoice verification 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.

  • Clarify discrepancies

    Invoicing mishaps are 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. Ensure that you are also clarifying the early payment discounts or the late payment penalties if any.

  • Verify the invoice with documentation

    Once you know the invoice is yet unpaid. You should cross-verify it with all the supporting documents and invoice data available relevant to the purchase. For example, it includes the PO, quotation, and delivery receipts.

Now that you have gone through the invoice verification checklist, its time to talk about the documentation. Do you know what documents you need to verify an invoice?

Don’t worry; we have listed all the documents here. Just have a look.

Essential Documents You Need to Verify Invoice Details

  • Valid trade license number mentioned on the invoice
  • Quoted estimate for the same service/product
  • Purchase Order Issued
  • Duly signature delivery note with specifications
  • Payment receipt for all the reimbursable expenses claimed

Quick Tip:

Credit memos are the best solution to retrieve a mistaken payment.

Voila!

You are done! If you have followed the above steps, you have verified an invoice successfully.

Now,

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 17 days on average.

So, if you want to hit top gear, download the InvoiceOwl app now!

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the purpose of invoice verification?

    The invoice verification process work includes checking the supporting documents, such as PO, order delivery receipt, and quotation. This verification is done to avoid fraudulent transactions and repayments.


  2. 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 invoicing software.


  3. 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 to approve an invoice:

    • Verify the invoice against the purchase order
    • Check the invoice for discrepancies

Conclusion

Alright!

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, generate an invoice now and eliminate the room for human errors from the entire invoicing process.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel
Founder

Jeel Patel is the founder of InvoiceOwl, a top-rated estimating and invoicing software that simplifies the invoicing and estimating processes for contractor businesses. Jeel holds a degree in Business Administration and Management from the University of Toronto, which has provided him with a strong foundation in business principles and practices. With understanding of the challenges faced by contractors, he conducted extensive research and developed a tool to streamline the invoicing and estimating processes for contractors. Read More

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