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Alma Acquisitions

Alma Acquisitions training guide.

Invoicing Overview

Roles for Viewing and Working with Invoices

To search for and view invoices, you must have one of the following roles:

  • Invoice Manager
  • Invoice Operator
  • Invoice Operator Extended
  • Purchasing Manager
  • Purchasing Operator

To create an invoice, you must have one of the following roles:

  • Invoice Manager
  • Invoice Operator
  • Invoice Operator Extended

To process receiving the material at the same time as creating the invoice manually, you must also have the role of:

  • Receiving Operator


Creating an Invoice

To create an invoice:

  1. Go to Acquisitions >> Create Invoice
  2. Choose how you want to create the invoice:
    1. Manually: you manually input all of the information
    2. From PO: you can create an invoice for all items on a purchase order (PO); Alma will use the information from the PO to automatically fill in many of the fields on the invoice, saving you time and prevent transcription errors.
    3. From File: these are EDI Invoice loads, and will be managed by systems librarians
  3. Handle Receiving: If you mark this box, Alma will seamlessly move on to the receiving process after the invoice is created.
  4. Complete the Invoice Details page
  5. Add Invoice Lines for each item on the invoice, for shipping and related costs, and any other line items on the invoice
  6. Make sure the invoice total on the Summary tab matches the total on the Invoice Lines tab; adjust as needed
  7. Save and submit your invoice for review


Invoice Statuses

Once an invoice has been created, it may have a number of different statuses:

  • In Review: The invoice was created but not yet reviewed
  • In Approval:- The invoice is waiting for manual approval
  • Ready to be Paid: The invoice was approved and is ready to be sent to the ERP
  • Waiting for Payment: The invoice was approved and sent to the ERP (or skipped the ERP if the institution does not use one)
  • Closed: The invoice is paid and closed

As the invoice moves through creation, review, and approval, Alma will automatically update the status as needed.


Viewing Invoices

To view existing invoices, use the search type Invoice and any available criteria. Note that if you use Invoice number, all invoices that share that exact invoice number will come up in the results, even from different vendors.

Column Sorting. The invoice results list is slightly different than other results list in Alma, because you can sort it by most of the headers at the top. If there’s just a down arrow, the column is sorted in descending order. An up arrow by itself would mean that it’s sorted in ascending order. If there’s both an up and a down arrow, that means that that column isn’t sorted at all.

To sort a column, click on the double arrows. To change the sort from ascending to descending or vice versa, click on the single arrow.  You can only sort by one column at a time.

Use the Facets on the left to limit the list, and Export to send the list to Excel for offline work.

Additional views and actions. From the results list, you can click on the invoice number to see the invoice record, the vendor to see the vendor record, and the number in the Order Lines column to see all orders on that invoice.

Under the row action item list, you can Edit the invoice, change the status, and Generate Export XML to send to the ERP (part of invoice data loads).


Creating an Invoice Manually

  1. Go to Acquisitions >> Create Invoice
  2. Click the button next to Manually, then click Next
  3. On the Invoice Details page, fields marked with a red asterisk are required by Alma; other fields may be required by your institution
    1. Many of the Alma required fields are autofilled by creating an invoice From PO
  4. A few critical changes you need to make:
    1. Owner: Confirm that the Invoice Owner is correct according to local practice
    2. Payment Method: Choose from the drop-down
      • Accounting Department: for regular invoices that will be sent to Finance for approval through the automated feed
      • Cash/Credit Card
      • Bank Transfers: often for international purchases
      • Deposit Account
  5. Click on Save and Create Invoice Lines.
    • If there’s only one item on the invoice, add that one item as an invoice line
    • If there are multiple items on the invoice, add them all
  6. For each invoice line:
    1. Choose the type:
      • Regular: the cost of each item
      • Shipment: shipping costs
      • Use the other types as needed
    2. If your item has a POL, use the PO line field to search by POL number, or click on the menu icon to search by vendor information
    3. Add additional information as needed, including Fund
    4. If you want to add another invoice line, click Add
    5. If this is the only invoice line on the invoice, click Add and close
  7. Return to the Summary tab and make sure that the total from the invoice lines matches the total you typed in for the invoice.
    1. If the totals match, click on Save and continue
    2. If the totals don’t match, adjust either the total on the Summary tab or check that you haven’t forgotten to add an invoice line on the Invoice Lines tab. Alma won’t let you save the invoice until these totals match, so you’ll need to fix one of them, then click Save and continue.
  8. If your invoice was successfully submitted, you’ll go to the Waiting for approval page; the invoice you just finished should be listed on the Unassigned tab; these invoices are awaiting approval.
  9. If your invoice was not successful because there were errors, you’ll go to the In Review Invoices page with your invoice at the top of the list. Correct these errors and resubmit by clicking on Save and continue.


Creating an Invoice from PO Line

The process for creating an invoice from a PO is the same as manual, except that you’ll skip the Invoice Details page and move straight to adding or editing Invoice lines.

Information from the POLs on that PO will be automatically added by Alma (including the correct Invoice Owner), but there are a few critical changes:

  • The default Invoice number will be the PO number. You will need to manually change that on the Summary tab to the actual vendor invoice number.
  • You may need to add Fund information for some invoice lines, if these weren’t identified during the ordering process.
  • You can leave the Discount, Insurance, and Overhead invoice lines at zero, unless you have information to add here.

When you’re finished updating the invoice, click on Save and continue.

Invoicing Serials/Continuous Orders

As with orders, invoicing Continuous orders is largely identical to invoicing One-Time orders. However, there are additional fields on Continuous Order Invoice lines:

  1. Check subscription date overlap: If you select this option, Alma checks to see if an overlapping subscription is detected on any other invoice on this PO. If so, an alert message appears when creating the invoice line.
    • Helps prevent you from paying for the same issue or subscription period more than once
    • NOTE: Alma can check only already-saved information using this feature. This already-saved information includes invoice lines in other invoices and previously added invoice lines from the current invoice. Invoice lines you are currently adding are not checked for overlap with other invoice lines you are currently adding. Use the list of invoices lines to check for overlaps before saving.
  2. PO Line Subscription dates range: Will auto-populate based on the value in the POL, including both the PO Line Subscription from date and the PO Line Subscription to date.
    • Suggested Best Practice: It is also useful to enter this information in the Invoice Line item Note so that it displays on the Invoice lines tab.
  3. Subscription dates range:
    • Required if Check subscription date overlap is selected
    • Indicates the subscription dates covered by this line item
    • Suggested best practice:
      • Only use this field for predictable, easily identifiable ranges
      • When in doubt, use the Additional information field instead
  4. Additional information:
    • This field is required if the Subscription dates range field is empty
    • Suggested best practice: Use this field to enter the piece-level information: i.e. issue 12 (March), or if you’re invoicing for the entire year
  5. Invoice Lines of Current PO Line: This list includes the last five regular invoice lines associated with this PO line and the dates associated with each invoice line. This would be another way to check for subscription date overlap, as mentioned earlier. In other words, if there had been any previous invoices for this title, they would be in here.
  6. Invoice Line Charges section:
    1. Update price, fund, etc. as needed
    2. Add any reporting codes
    3. In the invoice line Note field, add information about what subscription year this is paying for
  7. In the PO Line Related Information section, you are able to view PO line information and existing invoices for this PO line by clicking on the blue links.
  8. Click Save when you’re done.

Once you finish updating the information on the Invoice Lines tab, make sure to go back and check that it corresponds to the information on the Summary tab, and then proceed as you would for a manual invoice.


Invoice Review

If you review and confirm invoices with an In Review status, you can do this from one of two places:

  • Go to Acquisitions >> Invoices >> Review and review each tab: Assigned to Me, Unassigned, or Assigned to Others
  • Use the Task List on the Alma home page, either the Task List widget or the icon in the menu bar
    • Click on the section header for Invoices - Review – Without Assignment or Invoices – Review – Assigned to Me to open that tab
    • If you don’t have a Task List widget, click on the plus sign on the home page and then click on the box next to Task List to add it

On the Invoices in Review page:

  • Use the facets on the left to limit your list, especially the Alerts facet to limit by what’s wrong or missing from the invoice
  • Review the snapshot of information in the list, or click on Edit to review the entire POL
  • Edit the invoice to fix what’s wrong, then click Save and Continue to resubmit the invoice for approval


Invoices for Offline Payments