Tips for avoiding duplicate payments

Duplicate payments not only frustrate a business manager because they represent poor internal controls, but they can be very damaging to a company's bottom line. Avoiding duplicate payments is a critical part of business bookkeeping, yet many companies are still making all-too-common mistakes.

The easiest way to avoid doubling payments is to make sure there is one master file for every vendor in order to avoid payments based off of invoice copies. If multiple records are being created for the same account under one vendor, the likelihood of duplicate payments spikes. Additionally, all records should have a consistent naming and numbering pattern so that files remain clear and properly classified.

Companies should never let large vendors go long periods of time without receiving payment. The more timely and consistent payments are, the less of a chance there is to mistakenly double-up payments for older orders.

Lastly, companies should always remove expired accounts from active logs. Such records should not be deleted, but stored separately so accounts payable does not mistakenly view them as live accounts.

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