» Why so many invoices get paid twice — and how to stop it from happening to you

Why so many invoices get paid twice — and how to stop it from happening to you

April 10, 2013 by Jim Giuliano
Posted in: Finance, Special Report

Some companies are wasting money in the worst way possible — paying invoices twice.

New research finds that companies typically pay about one in 1,000 invoices twice. And larger companies are even worse off. They’re often doubling up payments on about one in 200, says Britain’s Fiscal Technologies.

Those might not sound like huge numbers, but they can translate to enormous losses – losses that can be laid at the feet of your A/P department. The problems usually boil down to two key areas you can alert them to: typographical errors and master vendor files.

Typical snafus:

• confusing “5” and “S,” and “1” with lower-case “L”

• mistyping or dropping punctuation, and

• leaving out leading or trailing zeros.

Good A/P software can help but not eliminate the problem. Some companies resort to outside recovery specialists. The pros are good at what they do and have a lot of incentive to find duplicates, because their pay usually consists of a percentage of whatever they recover.

The first and best bet, however, is to make sure A/P cuts duplicate payments off at the source. There’s a good chance A/P can make a dramatic difference by:

• keeping master supplier files up-to-date and well organized

• doing statement reconciliations, and

• having clear policies for handling punctuation, leading and trailing zeros and invoices with no numbers.

Source: “Keeping Up to Date on Accounts Payable,” 1/16/13.


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  • 24 Hour Man

    No mention of having a competent PO system in place


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