When friend accidentally pay the same invoice twice, you’re of food tossing money away unnecessarily. This eats right into your margins and inhibits your company’s jae won progress. Who could ever stand for that?

In its 2014 annual report, the US government Accountability Office (GAO) disclosed the it was associated in preventing such improper payments of $124.7 billion within just 22 federal agencies. The report is government-specific, yet it speak the same story because that business.

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On average, about 0.05% that invoices paid room payments make in error. Together a an outcome of the vast losses connected with duplicate payments, it’s important that account payable teams be continuous on the lookout and take preventive procedures to keep invoices from being paid more than once. Avoiding duplicate payment provides far-reaching benefits in curbing losses, an increasing profits, and also helping providers to maintain far better cash flow.

So exactly how do you solve this difficulty once and also for all?

The complying with steps will assist you tighten controls bordering invoice processing so friend can eliminate duplicate payments for good.

1. Regularly review your seller master files to remove duplicated vendors.

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Your account payable system (or ERP system) must be designed come accommodate only one seller master record record because that each supplier. However, there space some activities that deserve to prompt the duplication that a seller master file.

For example, when a merchant invoice is gotten in into the accounts payable system automatically or manually, a duplicate seller master document will be produced if a different seller code is selected. This new file (and code) will certainly be attached come the same vendor with the very same (or probably different) financial institution details.

Another task that can prompt the duplication of a vendor master document is an external activity like closing or acquisitions. An account payable team might not have the ability to control some of these activities, but they have the right to from time to time review vendor master documents to remove duplicate vendor files and also as fine deactivate old sellers that room no more used.

The target is to eliminate outdated information, eliminate duplicate vendors, and also possibly send a letter to every your sellers asking castle to confirm their call information. 

2. Double check for miskeying and misreading.

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Misreading can occur in a number of different ways. For one, if a vendor sends in an invoice in messy handwriting, it may be challenging for the optical character acknowledgment (OCR) device you use to capture that invoice’s data.

While reading, the OCR tool may misread a character. The standard mistakes: it might misread the digit 5 as an “S,” the digit 1 together a lowercase “L”, and the number 0 together the letter “O.”

On the various other hand, if invoice data is manually keyed into the AP system, both intentional and unintentional miskeying errors may occur. These deserve to include:

Transposing numbers (misreading “59” as “95”) Leaving the end punctuation prefer hyphens and slashes Leaving out trailing zeroes adding a number or letter to the finish of an invoice number to gain past the system manage that rejects it.

This is even much more common if a big number of invoices are entered into the audit system. This type of misreading and also miskeying must be double-checked to avoid duplicate entries that eventually lead to duplicate payments.

3. Control rush inspect requests.

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Some vendors may request a rush check (often issued through a check-request form) prior to they even send in your invoice. Giving out a examine is no bad, but problems arise once there is no suitable backup for the rush check, or information indicating the the merchant has to be issued a check. And also when the vendor eventually sends in the initial invoice, a duplicate payment may occur.

To avoid this, ensure the there’s a solid backup and that payment info is gotten in into the system immediately upon issuing the check. Otherwise, be prepared to do duplicate payments every time a rush check is provided out.

4. Don’t pay from multiple source documents.

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If a seller sends 2 different source documents for a single payment, among the source documents is usually various from the other; it may be a statement or quotation. As soon as this occurs, over there is always a possibility of the payment being duplicated since of the duplicated source documents.

5. Have actually a fixed invoicing methodology.

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A duplicate payment can likewise occur as soon as the very same invoice is sent in various ways: postal mail, fax, email, and also so on.

For instance, a vendor may send an invoice via fax just to later send the very same invoice via email as a reminder the the invoice has not however been paid.

The best way to prevent this is to obtain your merchants to send invoices entirely one way. If your accounts payable department has actually one way of receiving invoices, it’ll it is in able to an ext easily track and also identify duplicate invoices.

6. Have all invoices sent out to a central location first.

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Beyond setting up a mechanism with just one invoicing methodology, your device should likewise be designed around the premise of every invoices being obtained at one central location prior to they room routed for approval.

Usually, the ar should be controlled by the account payable team. It can be a solitary email attend to like invoices