3 way matching with Lightyear

How does 3 way matching work?

PO Bill Match

Congratulations! You’ve reached the final stage of the purchasing process. By now, you’ve received your goods so you can match your Purchase Order (PO) to your Goods Received Notice (GRN) and your Bill. Experience the world’s first, most intelligent 3 way matching to complete the process with Lightyear. This means getting insights on the status of your PO’s just got a whole lot easier. Sometimes you might receive a delivery of goods for a single PO across multiple batches. Therefore you’ll need to be able to reflect that detail and we’ll be able to let you match your PO at a line item level.

How does it work?

There are two different concepts to introduce in this feature. You'll see we refer to opening/closing at a document level and matching at a line item level. 

In short, you are required to close a document (highlighted in Panel 1) in order to progress it to the Completed tab. Matching on a PO at a line item level  (highlighted in Panel 2), works independently from the Closed document status . Therefore, you can marry up the PO lines to Bill lines so they become "Matched" and then "Close" off the document OR you can choose to bypass the line matching and simply opt to "Close" the document to complete the workflow.

To get started with this incredible feature, go to Company Settings to ensure it is activated and set your match requirements.  Once you’re set, head back to the Ordered Tab.

Closing a document

As mentioned above, the open/close status of the document is illustrated in Panel 1 with three possible results.  
    1. Open 
    2. Partial 
    3. Closed - You will only be able to move the bill into Completed under this Doc Status
The Closed status relates to the closed checkbox column in panel 2.   

At this point you can simply check the tickbox to close off the line or entire column to "Close" the document. Or you can continue to proceed with line item matching.

Line item matching

To match these line items off, click PO Bill Match (in panel 2)   you will then see a pop up appear as below.

you will then see a pop up appear as below.

Let’s take a moment to decipher the different areas of this pop up window.

Firstly, on the left we have the PO Data (pictured in Section 1) which lists all the lines of a Purchase Order with the details in columns listed below:
  1. refers to the line number on the selected PO.
  2. Product Code, Description, Qty, Unit Price and Amount all link to the line item details for that line number of the PO.
  3. Truck icons indicate that goods have been received. Green indicates the delivery of goods are completed, whilst Yellow indicates some items are yet to be received.
  4. Closed refers to the completion status of the line item matching between the PO and Bill.
Secondly, on the right we have the BIll Data  (pictured in Section 2) which similarly lists all the corresponding lines from a Bill to match the PO lines with the details in columns listed below:
  1. Bill # that the PO line matches against the bill line­­ from
  2. Line refers to the line number on the selected bill.
  3. Product Code, Description, Qty, Unit Price and Amount all link to the line item of that line number of the PO.
  4. Status to show where in the process the document is sitting
  5. $ +/- shows the variance in amount over what was order vs what was received
  6. QTY +/- shows the variance in quantity over what was order vs what was received
NOTE: To simplify your view, click on the 3 dot menu to add/remove the columns you want to see. 
You can also make changes to the PO data directly as the data in this window is editable.
You’ll note that some of the values are highlighted in a red background. We’re flagging these to let you know the values don’t match so you will need to validate/evaluate the data presented.

Finally you have Matched Statuses in the middle (pictured in Section 3) and corresponding Actions (pictured in Section 4). See below table for the statuses, definitions and the related actions.

Now that you've been introduced to the statuses, what they mean and what actions are available. Let's dive into:
  1. Finding your line item matches
  2. Closing off the line items
  3. Closing off the document

Finding Matching Bill Lines and Closing Line Items

When you select Find Match as the desired action, a new pop up window will present itself for you to search based on the desired parameters. 

Lightyear will work it's magic to search for full matches to the line. Therefore, the closest matches to your set criteria will be presented first, followed by partial matches. 

If you're looking for a specific criteria, you can enter the details into the relevant fields as below:

When you’re done here, you can select one of these options:
  1. Accept & Close - this will close out the line after you've accepted the selected matches (the line will be ticked off as closed in the PO Data section back on the PO Bill Match window)
  2. Accept & Find New - this will accept the selected matches but allow you to continue searching for others
  3. Cancel - exit out of this page

You'll be brought back to the main PO Bill Match window. You can Save/Cancel to leave the window and progress with the next document. 

NOTE: You can also close off the lines manually without matching them. Simply tick the checkbox along the grey row to close all lines or you can choose to select them one by one and this will update your line match status as Disregard (see below). 

This can also be done in Panel 2 on the View Doc screen as below:

Save your changes and all that's left from here is to close out the PO. Let's take a look at that next.

Closing of the PO

Now that you've closed all your lines on the line item level or ticked the checkbox of the lines, you'll see Doc Status change to Closed in Panel 1. 

This means you are now ready to Complete the PO in order to finalize this workflow stage.  Congratulations, you've successfully 3 way matched your PO to your Bills.

To review your PO documents (past or current), you can find these in the Archive. Search for "Purchase Orders" and set your search filters as desired.


If you need to un-match a Bill/PO line for any reason, you can do so from within the Match modal.

On any line that is currently matched and open, you can click the Unmatch button to the right-hand side to manually unmatch lines individually.

If you need to unmatch multiple lines at once, select the checkbox on the line(s) to be unmatched and you will see an additional button to Bulk UnMatch.

Warning: If you have lines that are closed, you will need to open these before you can unmatch.

Matching Criteria vs Suggestion Criteria

When you are setting up Matching Criteria, up to 6 rules can be used to match on. In the scenario where more than 1 rule is selected for matching, we will look for at least one of these to suggest a match. For example, if you select 5 of these rules, we will display suggested matches,  Multiples or Partial, based on at least one of these rules.

This is where Suggestion Criteria comes in. When a rule is selected for Matching Criteria, you then have the option to select it for Suggestion Criteria. As Suggestion Criteria, in the scenario where there are Multiples or Partial matches, we will only suggest matches based on the Suggestion Criteria. For example, if you have all 6 rules selected for Matching Criteria, but only 3 for Suggestion Criteria, Multiples or Partial matches will only be displayed based on your Suggestion Criteria.

See below example for suggested matches when 6 Matching Criteria is selected VS. 6 Matching Criteria with 3 Suggestion Criteria

To set up Matching and Suggestion Criteria, go to your Company Settings > Purchase Orders and scroll down to Line Matching Rules.

Tick the desired options under the Matching Criteria and Suggestion Criteria columns. Once you have selected the Matching Criteria, the equivalent option for Suggestion Criteria will become available.

Who can action 3 way matching? 

Now that you know how it all works, who has the permissions to perform these functions? You will need one of these roles/permissions in order to 3 way match your documents. 

To 3 way match your documents, you will require either Admin or PO - Complete permissions in order to mark POs as Closed and PO Bill Match so you can complete the cycle.

When Bill PO match is available, you will require one of the permission sets in order to action the 3 way match in reverse.
  1. Admin
  2. Standard Approver User
  3. Accounts Payable User

If you have any other questions or feedback to share, reach out on support@lightyearap.com  


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