Duplicate Payments

Duplicate Supplier payments represent lost profit . . .  

. . . when was the last time you checked if you have made a duplicate payment to a Supplier?

Many organisations are not aware that they are making duplicate payments.

Many organisations assume wrongly that they can rely on accounting software, the use of Purchase Orders or Supplier Statement Reconciliations to highlight and prevent duplicate invoices being processed and therefore, duplicate payments being made. 

 

. . . the problems . . .  

 Accounting Software Detecting Duplicate Invoice Numbers:

  • Your accounting software detects duplicate invoice numbers. For example, if invoice number 12345 had already been processed on J Smith’s ledger account then the same (exact match) invoice could not be processed again on J Smith’s account. If the duplicate invoice was attempted to be processed again on J Smith’s account the software would highlight that this invoice number has already been processed on J Smith’s account and would not allow it to be processed again. You are not safe from duplicate payments using this as your only control. 

 Using Purchase Orders:

  • You have a fully automated environment where a Purchase Order is raised, delivery of goods or service is matched to the Purchase Order and the invoice automatically matched to the the delivery note and Purchase Order. You are still not safe from duplicate payments. 
Supplier Statement Reconciliations:
  • You perform Supplier Statement Reconciliations. This is an excellent control and one that I always recommend. However, you are still not safe from duplicate payments.

 

Why do duplicate invoices get processed?

  • Copy invoices processed on similar or duplicate Supplier accounts
  • Input errors on original invoices (allowing copy invoices to be processed on same Supplier account)
  • Order Acknowledgments processed as invoices (lots of them look like invoices)
  • Purchase Order Acknowledgments processed as invoices (lots of them look like invoices)
  • Delivery Notes processed as invoices (lots of them look invoices)
  • Pro-forma invoices processed and then the VAT invoices processed
  • Invoice scanning errors
  • Invoices paid via the nominal or general ledger and also processed and paid on Supplier ledger accounts 
  • Utility bills are often overpaid (brought forward balances are added to current balances when processed)
  • Fraud
If you do not have sufficient controls to prevent duplicate payments being made, then every day is another day you are risking your profit and your cash. Every day more and more businesses are closing down and you are risking the chance to recover your money. Every day more and more money is being lost forever.

Duplicate Payments can be prevented with the right controls. 

Stop wasting your precious time trying to recover duplicate payments – prevent them going out the door. 

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