Accounts payable audit may save a fortune

Accounts can be a complicated business, which in terms of the bottom line means they can be an expensive business. There aren’t many companies that don’t have some kind of discrepancy in their books at the end of the year. That can have various consequences, some of them serious. On the one hand, it might just mean the numbers don’t quite add up, little more than a frustration to a bean counter somewhere. On the other, it could spell a substantial loss of funds for your organisation, or a problem with the taxman. An accounts payable audit can help you iron out many of the kinks in your accounts, enabling you to locate problems such as duplicate payments and other forms of overpayment. This is all possible using specialist recovery audit software, which trawls your accounts and finds sources of mistakes. The results can be surprising, particularly for larger organisations, and can represent a significant saving. In fact, the software could easily pay for itself the first time you use it.

Audit software is versatile enough to check for not only problems that occur due to negligence or accident – simple human error – but also more malicious cases, such as fraud, when a client deliberately overcharges you or keeps money that you have paid by mistake. (In fact, the Inland Revenue uses this kind of software to check returns, using the information to identify possible cases of fraud.) That’s important, because if your client list is long or complicated, there may well be opportunities to exploit that, costing you even more money. Running the software will flag up suspicious entries, enabling you to recover funds that you never should have paid in the first place. That’s got to be a good thing in tough times, when every little extra could mean the difference between balancing the books and wondering about ‘efficiencies’ – usually meaning layoffs – or even worse.

If you’re in need of convincing, start with the (not unreasonable) assumption that errors could account for 1 percent of turnover, perhaps more. What does that equal in cash terms, and is it worth pursuing – apart from any wider concerns such as tax returns and catching fraudsters? For most companies, the answer will be an emphatic ‘yes’ – recovery audit software is inherently worthwhile. Duplicate payments and other overpayments can be hugely and unnecessarily expensive, so an accounts payable audit is often highly illuminating.

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