Any business that has been around a while will be familiar with the issue of duplicate payments, or any one of the number of different ways that transactions can be made in error, resulting in unnecessary costs for the organisation. In some cases, youâll be aware of what has happened â either because a clear-thinking accountant recognises it in your books, or perhaps because the recipient is good enough to alert you to the overpayment. But what if no one spots it? Or what if the recipient isnât honest â in fact, what if they have intentionally submitted an invoice again, knowing that thereâs a good chance you wonât realise it? This happens all the time, both by accident and on purpose. If youâre used to seeing the same invoice, month in, month out, from the same supplier for the same services, itâs easy enough to let a duplicate slip by. Thatâs where an accounts payable audit and recovery audit software come in.
The accounts payable package will crawl through your accounts, matching up income and outgoings, invoices and payments, and tell you if everything is as it should be. There is a good chance it wonât be. Research shows that around 0.1 percent of payments are made inaccurately or unnecessarily. That means for every 1,000 payments, one will be incorrect. If you are a major business, or one that relies on a lot of very small transactions, that soon starts to add up.
The good news is that recovery audit software allows you to claw back those overpayments. As things stand, you can demand transfers back for up to six years after they were made. For a medium-sized business, that could easily come to tens of thousands of pounds, and possibly more. If there are monthly duplicate payments that have gone unnoticed for years, an accounts payable audit could turn up a six-figure sum. However, this is not something you can be relaxed about. If the payments were made more than six years ago then you have no legal come-back. Additionally, if the organisation you made them to has gone out of business, or the individual supplier has died, then once again there is no come-back. The answer is just to move quickly. Although we are now strongly into recovery, few businesses can afford to turn their backs on a gift like that.
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