Automated Purchase Order Matching


Audience: Accounting Manager 

Summary: This article reviews the auto-PO match feature, how to enable it, and how it works. Auto PO Matching is available for our Universal Connector, NetSuite, Sage Intacct, and Xero.

This article contains:

Overview of PO Matching

MineralTree's Automated Purchase Order Matching functionality significantly reduces the time required to process vendor invoices by algorithmically matching them to Purchase Orders (POs).  When this feature is enabled, every draft invoice created in MineralTree will be put through a linking process in which MineralTree automatically attempts to link each invoice line to a PO line.  Accounting Manager users can then review the results, and make any needed adjustments. 

For more information on manual PO matching in MineralTree, please see this article.

Setup and Configuration

The feature is disabled by default, and needs to be enabled by a MineralTree administrator by navigating to Settings > Manage Company Settings and clicking on the Invoice Approval tab.  Once the overarching PO Match feature is enabled, users can also enable Automated PO Matching, as well as set match tolerances and invoice approval preferences for PO-based invoices. Match tolerance is usually set to between 3-5% allowing for a 3-5% margin of error. 


The Linking Process

Once the feature is enabled, our linking engine runs continuously in the background to link invoice lines in MineralTree to PO lines in your accounting package.  Every time a new invoice is created in MineralTree, the engine will attempt to link each line-item and expense to a corresponding line-item and expense on an open PO for the same vendor.  The linking engine will also run every time an unrecognized vendor name is validated.  To obtain the best results, we consider all the PO lines and invoice lines for a given vendor when running the linking process.  The following values (marked with an "*") are considered when linking invoice and PO lines:

Invoice Line-Item PO Line-Item                Invoice Expense PO Expense
Item Item   GL Account GL Account
Quantity* Quantity*   Description* Description*
Cost Per* Cost Per*   Amount* Amount*
Amount Amount   Class Class
Description* Description*   Location Location
Class Class   Department Department
Location Location      
Department Department      

It is not necessary for the invoice to have a PO number in order for the linking engine to successfully link the invoice, but it does help ensure accuracy, especially if there are multiple open POs in MineralTree for a given vendor.  When a PO number(s) is specified on the invoice, the linking engine will give precedence to lines on this particular PO(s).  If the initial linking process fails to find the correct results, adding a PO number can help refine the results.

By considering multiple values simultaneously, MineralTree is able to link PO-Invoice lines even if there is some discrepancy between them.  For example, if a PO line-item has a cost per value of $100, but a vendor over charges at $105, the linking will still be successful as long as the description lines are similar.  If there is no PO association found for a particular invoice line, the invoice line will display as unlinked and the invoice will be marked as mismatched.  This can happen if there is no corresponding PO line in the system, or if there isn't enough data to find a good match.

After the linking process is complete, MineralTree will evaluate whether the invoice line matches the PO line, by comparing the quantity, cost per, and amount values.  

Once an invoice is posted back to the accounting system or the PO Match is approved (see below), the invoice-PO links will be finalized, and the lines will no longer be considered as part of the linking process.  

Handling Exceptions and Re-Linking Invoices

Once the linking process has run on an invoice, a dropdown will appear on the invoice details page, which gives users the ability to re-run the linking process as necessary.  Selecting "Re-link all" will cause all links to be removed, and re-run the linking process for the vendor.  Alternatively, users can "Re-link unlinked items only," which will maintain any existing links and re-run the linking process for the vendor.  In this way, users can re-link an invoice and receive new results after updating PO or invoice data.


To finalize all the invoice-PO line linkages on an invoice (preventing them from being changed by future iterations of the auto-linking process), users can either post an invoice, or check the "PO Match Approved" box and save the invoice.

To help users manage POs with large numbers of lines, a "Search PO" dialog has been added, which allows users to filter the PO lines by their quantity, cost per, amount, and description values as well as view only unlinked lines.

Additionally, users can check "Display exceptions only" to view only unlinked or mismatched invoice lines.



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