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Author's profile photo Lorraine Yao

You Asked, We Answered: Purchase Orders and Invoices

Purchase Orders and Invoices


This past spring, we hosted our Supplier Digital Summit for North American Suppliers. We were excited to have so many suppliers join us, and ask questions on various topics related to their Ariba Network membership.

We’ve started a blog series based on the most frequently asked questions, organized by theme. The fourth post for this series is on Purchase Orders and Invoices.

Q: How do we know when it’s time to send our customers an invoice?

  • Normally, suppliers can send an invoice at any time. However, there are occasions where the buyer would want to be invoiced only when goods are received and checked. To determine whether there are special arrangements needed, please talk to your buyer.
  • On Ariba Network, you are able to easily turn a purchase order to an invoice using the “PO to invoice” functionality. Non-PO invoices on the other hand have to be created by you.

Q: How can I delete or revise a submitted invoice?

  • If you need to correct any errors in an invoice you’ve sent, you could cancel it or tell your customer to reject the invoice so you could create a new one. Alternatively, you could send over a credit memo.
  • For more information about electronic invoicing over Ariba Network, check out this video.
  • Read more about canceling, editing, and resubmitting an invoice in this Help Centre article.

Q: How do I invoice a PO when it’s done partially or fully?

  • When you are creating an invoice, go to the “Line Items” section and indicate the quantity you have fulfilled.
  • Learn how to create an invoice in this video.

Q: How can I resubmit an invoice after it’s been rejected?

  • If your customer rejected your invoice due to errors, simply edit the invoice and resubmit it or create another invoice with the proper revisions.

Q: How do I bill customers in different currencies?

  • Ariba Network checks to see if invoice data uses a currency that differs from the currency of the Ship To address. In that case, a second currency for tax amounts and for the exchange rate can be stored in the cXML invoice. Only one exchange rate is stored per invoice and therefore the same Ship To country must be used on each single invoice. If Ship To details are provided at line item level, then as a best practice buyers and suppliers are advised to ensure that the country of the Ship To addresses and the Sold To address match on the purchase order or invoice. The cXML invoice supports a currency conversion rate field. For online invoice entry it defaults to the exchange rate from a daily Bloomberg feed (the rates are gathered by Bloomberg from multiple pricing sources). The exchange rate is used to calculate the tax amounts in the local Ship To currency and is stored as a second value in the cXML invoice. As some tax authorities require that the exchange rate is to be retrieved from locally published rates, users can update the defaulted exchange rate. Incoming invoice data (cXML, EDI or CSV) is validated if the tax information is specified in the currency of the Ship To information. If the tax information is specified at the invoice header level, and there are multiple Ship To countries at line item level, Ariba Network does not validate local tax currencies.
  • For more information on creating invoices, check out this guide.

Q: How can I check the payment status on an invoice once it’s been sent to customers?

  • You are able to stay updated with your invoice’s status in the supplier portal. Once the invoice status indicates “Approved”, this means that your customer has approved the invoice for payment. After your customer has paid, the invoice status would change to “Paid”.

Q: Is there anything to support low volume suppliers with invoicing customers?

  • On Ariba Network, there are two types of account: the Standard account and the Enterprise account. With the free Standard account, suppliers are able to do business with basic benefits and functionalities, which include sending invoices for purchase orders. Learn more about the Standard account in this short video.

Q: How can I offer discount on product bundles? For example, a discount kicks in when buyers purchase 4 boxes of the same item.

  • There are two ways you could go about this easily. First, you could make a separate SKU that includes the discounted price for the set quantity. Secondly, you could have pre-negotiated rates with your buyer in your catalog.

Q: If a customer ordered too much of a certain product in a PO, can vendors adjust the available amount in the PO?

  • Yes, adjustments can be made by the vendor in the order confirmation. Otherwise, the quantity could also be corrected when you submit an invoice with the proper amount.

Q: How can I ensure that my invoices will all get paid?

  • On Ariba Network, you are able to track the status of your invoices and see whether your buyer has paid for an invoice or not. However, the onus of making invoice payments is on the buyer. If payments are late, it is best for you to communicate directly with your buyer to see where possible delays are.

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      Author's profile photo Paul Hardy
      Paul Hardy

      Some years ago where I work we had an Ariba project and in the end gave up. We went too early, SAP had only just bought Ariba at that point.

      I believe we are going to be trying again next year. I think it is going to work out a lot better this time, the product had improved beyond all measure in the last six years.