Does Your PO Software Let You Match Invoices to Construction Sites?

This could be one of the reasons why you can’t match invoices to construction sites:

  • 1. Because your company still uses paper-based systems.
  • 2. Or,  because your company uses a complex software that is too intimidating to your employees. And, who would blame them for being reluctant to use it?

We all know that the construction sector has been a tad slow in adopting technologies, which shouldn’t be the case. According to a study done by BCG Perspectives (a researching firm), technology helps construction to:

  • Save between $0.7 trillion to $1.2 trillion (13% to 21%) per year, and
  •  Rake in between $0.3 trillion to $0.5 trillion (10% to 17%)per year.

Essentially reaping the above benefits would largely depend on the user-friendliness of your software as using paper-based systems limits chances of raking in the trillions mentioned above.

First, let’s look at your job. What does it entail?

Tweet this: Matching invoices to sites is a critical accounting practice every construction company must observe.

Your job

Unfortunately,  you don’t have one of the easiest jobs in the world. This is what your normal day looks like:

  • Setting up a budget,
  • Negotiating cost estimates,
  • Arranging the work timetables,
  • Choosing the most efficient construction strategies,
  • Keeping in touch with the clients,
  • Discussing technical details with employees,
  • Keeping an eye on all construction sites, etc.

As you can see from the above, your job requires that you juggle both operational and accounting duties. That’s something you can’t easily accomplish without the aid of an efficient software.


This is a construction company that has multiple construction projects, far flung across the country. Currently, Rob, the Construction Manager, has about ten projects to manage. His first challenge is giving 100% attention to all projects. He tries spending at least 2 hours at each site, but his tight schedule doesn’t allow this.

There are days when Rob finds himself spending hours trying to match invoices to construction sites. But as his company still uses paper-based systems, this is time-consuming. He has to spend hours going through a clutter of invoices and Excel spreadsheets. He would pick up one error after the other along with a few discrepancies, here and there.

Besides matching invoices to sites, he still has to check budgets, set up estimates and so on. So, there are days when Rob spends the whole day focusing on just one site. This is because locating purchase order reports manually takes time.

This has badly affected his private life. Occasionally, Rob arrives home late with the same silly reason, “My accountant and I got to matching an invoice to a construction site till late.” This is unfathomable to his wife because she expects matching an invoice to take seconds.

The importance of matching invoices

Matching invoices to sites is a critical accounting practice every construction company must observe. It enables construction managers, CFOs and CEOs alike to monitor expenses. They would see on which date purchase orders were processed, by whom and for how much.

The matching exercise is done by observing the principle of garbage in garbage out. In other words, an incorrect input of figures results in producing faulty financial statements. Show me any lender who would approve your loan without audited financial statements.

The other importance of matching invoices is that you’d be able to evaluate costs associated with using certain machinery.

Three practices of matching invoices:

Invoice quantity matching

This practice involves only using the quantity of the invoice to match against the physical goods. In such cases, the vendor would deliver goods with an attached invoice. For example, if you’ve ordered 500 bags of cement the invoice should also reflect that quantity. Any discrepancy arising from the matching process is quickly escalated to the supplier.


  • It involves only one document.


  • Checking quantity alone doesn’t allow you to confirm if the price on the invoice is accurate.
  • Unable to see when your supplier overcharges you.
  • Can’t confirm if the supplier has given you a discount.
  • Won’t see if the purchase order number on the invoice is accurate.

Two-way matching

This practice involves using only a purchase order and an invoice. A typical example of using a two-way matching is when you check the quantity on the invoice against the quantity on the purchase order.


  • It involves only two documents.


  • Two-way matching doesn’t allow you to pick up discrepancies between purchase order, packing slip and invoice. For example, when an invoice reflects a wrong PO number, tracking POs becomes difficult.

Three-way matching

Three-way matching is the most effective practice. It involves matching purchase orders, invoices and packing slips. Essentially, you’d be able to match both quantity and price. And should there be any discrepancies, you can correct them immediately.


  • You’d pick up discrepancies on all three documents.
  • Check if a purchase order number appearing on the invoice, packing slip and purchase order are the same.
  • You’d be able to know if the vendor hasn’t kept his promise of granting you a discount.


  • It’s a time-consuming practice particularly if your company uses paper-based purchase orders.
  • It tends to be ineffective if you only use Excel spreadsheets as errors creep in easily.

Since business cycles are becoming increasingly rapid, finishing construction projects quicker is essential. Without a software that lets you match invoices with ease, you risk being swallowed by competitors! has helped many construction managers to manage billions of dollars while they continue to generate millions along the way. What’s more interesting about is that you can now integrate it with accounting software such as Xero.

Also, if your company uses an easy to use purchase order software such as, matching invoices to sites would be a lot simpler. You can manage different projects rest assured that you have a software that helps you to monitor expenses effectively.

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