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Invoice Processing Explained


In Zahara, you can record two types of invoices Рstandalone and those that relate to a purchase order. There are several different ways of recording an invoice in Zahara and as well as the in-built Invoice Inbox. Once an invoice is recorded, it can be routed for approval either automatically in a rules-based system or in Ad Hoc mode, where you choose the approver. Ultimately, Zahara is designed to export the invoice into your accounts system and there are many options to choose from fully integrated, to just a CSV or Excel spreadsheet. 

Accruing for Invoices

Invoices should flow into your accounts system very quickly. Users can approve by email and can be reminded daily to do their approvals so there is no reason for big delays as Zahara is a paperless process. However, there will be a point at month-end where you will have invoices in Zahara that haven’t been exported into the accounts system yet. There are a number of ways to report on this. Our reporting section has an Order/Invoice difference report. You can also create invoice reports with the export date, showing those invoices not yet exported. Zahara users work in different ways so there should be something for everyone in Zahara. Ultimately you can use the invoices list view to filter down any invoices that have not yet been exported or approved.

Invoice Basics

The invoice list view is available from the documents menu РInvoices. The Invoice Inbox is the place to originate invoices emailed into Zahara.  

The first filter to work with is the time period you wish to display. This will be remembered and is personal to the user. You can also set this to show different types of invoices. You can search inside the results by using the search bar just above the list view. You can sort the columns and as stated above choose the fields you wish to display. Clicking the approval icon will show you the approval process. Ultimately you want to see green for approved, green for 100% match with order and green for exported. 

Recording Invoices

There are several ways to record an invoice: 

Invoice Inbox РOur preferred and suggested way. Generate your own email address and have the invoices emailed into Zahara. With our Built-in OCR, you can have the invoices automatically read, saving any keying in. This is the recommended way of getting invoices into Zahara as the PDF element is handled and most of your suppliers will be emailing you their invoices anyway. 

Record against an Order РIf you are using purchase orders, you can select an order and record an invoice against it. In the purchases list view, check the order and then click Batch Invoice 


From the invoices Page РThe invoices list view page also has two icons for recording an invoice. One is a standard invoice the other is for what we call a grouped invoice. The only difference is that with a grouped invoice you can have a different division per line item. If you have read up on structures, you will know divisions are significant. 

From the + menu item ¬†– You can also record an invoice by simply clicking + and ‘New Invoice’. This is usually the way to record a standalone invoice that perhaps you have scanned or that’s been emailed to you personally. You can either record it standalone or against an order. If you select an order, make sure you import the order lines so it matches.¬†

Invoice Approvals

There are two types of invoice approval – automated and ad hoc. The approvals help article needs to be read and understood to get the most out of approvals. If you get your invoice workflow right, invoices can hit Zahara and your workflow will determine whether the invoice needs to go for approval or whether it can export automatically into your accounts system (SmartSync, Xero & QuickBooks Online).

Make sure you have read up on approvals and workflows by reading this article:

Invoice Matching

We have a dedicated help article relating to Order & Invoice Matching. However these are the key points to explain. 

  • You can record multiple invoices against one order
  • An invoice can be recorded that relates to multiple Orders
  • Each order will show the overall Order / Invoice difference¬†
  • The line-items of the Order will show the balance per line after the invoice has been recorded
  • Zahara’s reporting can be used to calculate accrual figures

Please read this accompanying article on invoice matching 




One PO - Multiple Invoices

One of the really nice features of Zahara is that you can record an order and then record multiple invoices against it. For example, it could be a master PO and you expect 12 invoices over the next year. You can record those invoices and always see the order invoice balance. It’s entirely down to you how you create the master PO – whether it’s 12 separate lines or one master line.¬†¬†

One Invoice - Multiple Orders

If you send out lots of orders to the same suppliers, and they send in one invoice covering all of these orders then you can handle this in Zahara. The best way to do this is to head to the Orders page again and to search for the supplier in the list view. Then select the relevant order and click the Batch Invoice link. 

Invoice Inbox

If you want hands-free processing of invoices, then the invoice inbox is for you. There are two elements to this:

  • Getting the invoices emailed to Zahara
  • Getting them read accurately, including line items

Read the accompanying help article on the Zahara Invoice Inbox and find out about AutoPilot


Also ...

Importing from Xero 

If you are a Xero user and you also want to use Dext, Auto Entry or Dochub, you can import your invoices placed in Draft in Xero. Enable the feature in Business Settings Integrations. Read the dedicated article on this to find out more.

Invoice PDF’s

Always record an invoice in Zahara with a PDF. It will be stored in Zahara for at least 7 years. The PDF of the invoice can always be viewed together with the invoice record. The invoice PDF will be copied over to both Xero, MYOB  and QuickBooks Online and can also be downloaded onto your network or PC using our Zapier link.  For belt & braces PDF storage we would recommend you also consider FileDirector which is our go-to document management system. Invoices can be exported into FileDirector as part of a workflow. 

Invoice Notes & History 

You can add notes to an invoice at any time. Just click on the invoice and then see the history section at the bottom. Click the + icon to add a note or “Add Document” to upload a supporting document.¬†


Adding a Credit Note 

You can add a credit note – this is a negative invoice. Here is a help article specifically on this


Controlling who can export invoices 

There are controls on who can export an invoice. You will find this in Business Settings > Invoices. Here is the specific article on this 


Finding Invoices 

The global search facility in Zahara is a great way to find invoices. You can also use the Invoice list view to filter down on invoices in your results. 


Coding Approvals 

When an invoice is sent for approval, you can specify – both for Adhoc approvals and rules-based – whether the Approver can or must edit the coding. This can be useful if you receive an invoice and you don’t know how to code it. In this instance, the user cannot simply approve or reject, they have to adjust the coding on the item you specified – ie Project / Job code.¬†

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