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Coupa Success Portal

Drive Usability and Data Accuracy with Lookups

Love how Coupa works for your business and looking to get even more out of it? By configuring lookup type custom fields on existing objects you can set up integration of lookups (lists) for your users to use on requisitions, supplier records, purchase orders, invoices, and more!


So what are lookups and how do they work exactly?

A lookup is a list. It doesn’t have to be set up via an integration, but it can be. In Coupa, these lists are made up of two parts:

  • The lookup
  • The lookup values

The lookup refers to the list name or heading. This could be Project Code or any other type of list that you want to integrate. The lookup values are the actual list options that you can select from within the list. So, if your were setting up a list of project codes, you’d use this kind of setup:

  • Lookup: Project code
  • Lookup values:
    • 0001-2201 (Project code 1)
    • 0001-2202 (Project code 2)

Creating a Lookup

To create a new lookup, go to Setup > Company Setup > Lookups. You can deactivate current lookups, but you cannot delete them.


The Fixed Depth and Level # Name settings are for reference only. You can use them if you plan on setting up a lookup list that has a hierarchy and want a place to reference the different levels and their names. 

Now that you’ve created your lookup, it’s time to add lookup values. Just go to Setup > Company Setup > Lookup Values. You can add them one-by-one, if it’s a short list, otherwise Coupa recommends using the Load from file option. Check Coupa’s online help if you need more details on how to get this done.


  1. If you don’t have any lookup values set up yet, first create one manually through the user interface. Then try clicking Load from file > download the current list to see what kind of format Coupa requires for lookup values.
  2. External reference codes are used for setting up parent-child relationships. So you can ignore them if you’re creating a flat list, but you’ll need to create values for them for any values that will have child values.
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