Authorizing, Recoding and Approving Supplier Invoices for Payment

This document explains how you, in compliance with your organization's internal control policies, manage your preliminary liabilities until proper sign-off is completed.

This includes authorizing and recoding (also called re-accounting) previously entered supplier invoices, as well as approving them for payment.


Supplier invoices are recoded, authorized, and approved for payment. A confirmation list of approved invoices and an accounting journal are printed.

Any disputed invoices that should not be paid are cancelled. The cancelled invoices are listed as approved, but with the invoice amount and outstanding amount as zero (0) in 'Accounts Payable. Display' (APS200). A supplier invoice journal and an accounting journal are printed.

Invoices are ready to be paid:

Invoices have status Approved on 'Accounts Payable. Display' (APS200/B).

The FPLLOG table is updated with log entries for authorization-related activities. The FPAPRW table is updated with data on invoices sent for review.

Accounts payable and the general ledger are updated. In the basic flow (see Outline 1 below), these account entries are created:

Account Description Debit Credit
AP10–200 Accounts payable   x
Expense account   x  

For information on account entries created when matching invoices to purchase orders or goods receipt transactions, see Matching Supplier Invoices to Purchase Orders.

Before you start


In M3 BE, the term authorized user (or authorizer) refers to someone with authorization to approve supplier invoices for payment. The authority itself consists of:

When cross authorize supplier invoices are enabled in (APS905), you can enable two users to approve the invoice before the invoice is set as approved for payment. Otherwise, the authorization and payment approval can be done in one step; that is, the authorized user authorizes a supplier's invoice to an accounting string and approves it for payment.

The invoice can also be approved separately by another authorized user after the invoice is authorized by the first authorized user. Reasons for such handling can be that the invoice amount exceeds the limits defined for the original authorized user, or that company policy prescribes a separate approval step to obtain better control.

The recoding can also be managed separately or as a part of the authorization/approval routine. Some companies let the person responsible for authorization do the recoding; others let another person do all the recoding before invoices are sent for authorization.

For each step in the workflow below, each person who is responsible can be notified automatically in the form of an application message. See Before you start.

Approval flow without invoice matching

  1. Authorize supplier invoice

    Depending on your company policy, supplier invoices are sent for authorization before or after invoice entry. The authorization can be done either manually by signing the invoice and specifying the account to debit, or by authorizing the invoice in 'Supplier Invoice. Recode' (APS110). In the latter case, the invoice can be approved for payment automatically, depending on the maximum allowed invoice amount for the authorized user.

    If the approval routine is configured to use cross authorization and a supplier invoice is approved for payment by the first user with an appropriate approval limit, the invoice is sent for cross authorization. The account entries in the general ledger are updated with the user who performed the approval and are then automatically routed to the authorized user’s next level. If no next level is specified, the invoice will be routed to the default cross authorizer. When the cross authorizer approves the invoice, the invoice is set to approved for payment. Note that if the same user tries to perform both the first approval and the cross authorization, an error message will be issued and the user will be prevented from performing the approval.

    You can configure the routine so that invoice accounting lines for specific accounting identities in the same invoice are distributed to different authorized users. Each user approves his or her own accounting lines. When all parts of the invoice are authorized, the entire invoice is authorized.

    If the approval routine is configured to use the delegation of authority framework, all accounting lines connected to an authorized user are validated against the approval limits stored in the delegation of authority group for the authorized user. When all accounting lines are approved, the supplier invoice is approved for payment, unless the cross authorization limit is exceeded. When cross authorization has been performed, the supplier invoice is approved for payment.

    Lists of non-authorized invoices to serve as reminders are printed in 'Supplier Invoice. Display Non-Authorized' (APS230).

    Note: Invoices matched to a purchase order (PO) or goods receipt transactions are automatically considered authorized. The approval can be done manually afterwards or automatically when ending the invoice matching. Since these invoices receive their accountings from the PO/goods receipt transactions, they are not recoded manually.
  2. Post supplier invoice to expense account (Recoding)

    If the invoice was booked on a clearing account as non-approved, the person responsible for recoding posts the authorized invoice to an expense account. This is done in 'Supplier Invoice. Recode' (APS110).

  3. Approve supplier invoice for payment

    The final approval for payment can be done directly during authorization or recoding, or as a separate activity in (APS110). As long as you do not exit the program, you can change the status of an approved invoice back to non-approved, if needed.

  4. Cancel supplier invoice

    In (APS110), you can also cancel disputed supplier invoices specified as non-approved.

    In exceptional cases, you can cancel invoices that are already approved for payment. Do this by specifying a credit note in 'Supplier Invoice. Record' (APS100) and then matching the credit note record to the original invoice record on 'Supplier Payment. Enter Manual' (APS120/F).

  5. Monitor payment approval status

    You can supervise the authorization and approval routine through several programs.

    • You can trigger a reminder routine in 'Settings – Accounts Payable' (APS905). A reminder message is sent out automatically through 'Application Message. Open' (CRS420) to each affected authorized user on a specified date before the due date or the cash discount date of the invoice. The user can then jump directly from the message to the invoice for authorization.
    • You can also print a list of all those invoices together with stopped invoices through the batch job program (APS998), which is scheduled by M3 Job Scheduler.
    • All activities related to authorization and approval are logged automatically, depending on your settings in (APS905). You can review the log entries per supplier and invoice number in 'Supplier Invoice. Display Log' (APS235).
    • In case the invoice has been split into several parts for separate authorization, you can review the authorization status for each part in 'Supplier Invoice. Recode' (APS115).
    • Additional monitoring activities include sending invoices for review to a user together with a comment or adding an explanatory text to an invoice in (APS110).
    • All invoices that have been stopped for payment are displayed online in 'Supplier Invoice. Display Payment Stopped' (APS240).

Invoice matching and approval

  1. Investigate reasons for incomplete invoice matching

    If the supplier invoice was matched to a PO or goods receipt transactions and the matching failed, it is automatically listed as non-approved in (APS110). Check the reasons for the incomplete matching and decide which action to take.

    If the invoice matching ended abnormally in 'Supplier Invoice. Match GR Line' (APS360), you can use 'Program Problem. Solve' (CRS418) to release allocated goods receipt transactions before proceeding. You can also use this program to release the invoice itself if the matching through (APS110) ended abnormally.

  2. Match invoice to Purchase Order (PO) or goods receipt

    If the supplier invoice was specified as non-approved without being matched (such as if the invoice was being disputed or the matching transactions cannot be identified), you can match the invoice directly from (APS110). Refer to the See also section of this document for document links.

  3. Adjust invoice lines

    Incorrect values in the invoice lines in (APS360) can result in failed invoice matching. After identifying the problem, start (APS360) again through (APS110) and adjust the invoice lines.

  4. Create debit note

    If there was a discrepancy between the received and invoiced quantities and prices, you can create a supplier debit note manually when performing the invoice matching from (APS110).

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