Best Practices for Improving Recognition

These are our top recommendations for improving your recognition rates. We have compiled a separate list of guidelines for your suppliers that can also help improve recognition rates.


Ask suppliers to email invoices directly to Ascend

When suppliers email invoices directly to your Ascend-monitored inbox, Ascend’s recognition service can identify the supplier based on the sender's email address.

Invoices that include a Requester are the exception to this recommendation. The recognition service can also identify a Requester based on the sender's email address if the sender is also the Requester.

If Ascend receives invoices from an internal email address, the recognition service can’t establish or take advantage of these sender-supplier relationships.


Submit original PDFs

PDF files with selectable text are easier to recognize than scanned images, but scanned images are also supported.

If a PDF has multiple pages, the invoice should start on page one. Any attachments should come after the invoice on the first page.

Make sure that any document that you send to or receive from a supplier cannot be edited. Editable invoices are a security and audit risk.


Workday data and settings

'Ignore' and 'exclude' groups for intercompany suppliers

If you have any internal entities that are set up as suppliers in Workday, use Supplier Groups to categorize entities that are rarely or never applicable for Accounts Payable purposes. This limits the number of possible suppliers for Ascend's recognition services to choose from and helps improve overall recognition rates.

Supplier data

To add, edit, or improve supplier data in Workday, you'll need to create a Supplier Change in Workday. Learn how. Make sure that you:
  • Add to supplier records all unique identifiers that appear on invoices, especially:
    • Bank account
    • IBAN
    • ABN (Australia only)
    • VAT number
    • Tax ID
  • Add all known supplier email addresses, website URLs, and phone/fax numbers to the supplier contact information. Use the dedicated fields in Workday for each of these.
  • Provide your suppliers with their unique Supplier ID from your Workday tenant (i.e., "S-1234") and ask them to include it on their invoices.

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  • If a supplier includes your customer account number on invoices, add it to one of the dedicated fields in Workday. Learn more.
  • Supplier names and contact/remit-to information in Workday should be identical to what appears on invoices.
    • If the supplier includes their full 9-digit zip code (“zip+4”) on invoices, make sure the full 9-digit zip code is also entered in Workday.
    • If a supplier goes by multiple names, add Alternate Supplier Names in Workday. Apply the “Doing Business As” usage flag to the name that appears on invoices most often.


    • If the address includes a suite or floor number, be sure to include this in Address Line 2 in Workday.
    • Avoid any extra characters in supplier addresses remove any extra spaces.
    • Add all possible Remit To addresses to Workday, including P.O. boxes – anything that has appeared or may appear on an invoice.

Supplier status


Purchase orders

  • Purchase orders must have a unique PO number that exactly matches the PO number in Workday.
  • Establish a consistent format for PO numbers.
  • Avoid using letters in a PO number when possible.
  • Include a space, colon, or hyphen. For example, “PO 1234,” “PO: 1234,” or “PO-1234,” instead of “PO1234”.
  • As much as possible, limit the number of variations in PO number formats.
  • Ascend’s recognition service can learn to effectively manage different PO formats but may interpret leading zeros or typos (i.e., two hyphens instead of one, extra spaces, etc.) as deliberate formatting choices. Accuracy and careful typing are important when creating POs and assigning PO numbers.


Invoice IDs

Avoid modifying invoice IDs/invoice numbers. You should have an identical invoice ID in Workday, in Ascend, and on the invoice itself.


Scanning invoices

When scanning paper invoices:

  • Use originals, not photocopies or faxes.
  • Each invoice must be a separate file, though you can attach multiple files to the same email.
  • When scanning multiple invoices, use patch code sheets in between each one to automatically create separate files. (Note: Your settings must have patch code separation turned on in order to use patch code sheets.)
  • Alternatively, scan each invoice as a separate job.
  • Scan in color, even if the invoice is entirely black and white.
  • Image quality must be at least 300 DPI.
  • The file size must be no more than 30 MB, which is the maximum file size Workday will accept.
  • Avoid writing on or stamping invoices before scanning them. If your processes require writing or stamping on a paper invoice before scanning it, do not write or stamp over any pertinent text.
  • Files cannot be larger than 17 x 17 inches.

Ascend's recognition service is not designed to read handwritten invoices. If you have a high volume of handwritten invoices, ask your CSM about your options.


Company aliases

During the Discovery phase of Onboarding, you are asked to give us a list of aliases your companies (or Business Entities) may use. For example, your company Alpha Beta Company may sometimes be invoiced as "ABC, LLC", or "AB Co". If your team notices that some suppliers are now using a different alias to refer to your companies (e.g., "AlphaBeta Co."), ask your CSM about adding to the list of your companies' aliases. 

Note: Company Alias and Alternate Supplier Names are not the same. Company Alias refers to aliases your own companies may be invoiced as while Alternate Supplier Names are alternate names for the suppliers you work with.
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