Duplicate Payments can disappear inside an Accounts Payable system

Accounts payable audit are necessary for any corporation which suspects it may be at risk of making duplicate payments, invoice payment mistakes or other financial hiccups – which can have a far-reaching and long-lasting effect on a company with a extensive accounts payable department. If a business is paying many different contractors and service providers, in can be easy to lose track of just how accurate its payments are. In the case of a company operating with out-of-date or ineffective systems, these payments can spiral until they represent significant losses.

That’s why most accounts payable departments commonly use a recovery audit, to see just where they’re misplacing money. However, recovery audits can be costly in themselves, and cumbersome, if the appropriate technologies are not in place. Increasingly, accounts payable audit are at their most effective when paired with recovery audit software that automatically sees flaws in accounting and invoicing systems. This includes the identification of inaccurate or duplicate payments, overpayments, missed discounts, currency conversion errors, unclaimed cheques, incorrect tax adjustments and even attempted fraud.

Due to the expense and complexity of good-quality recovery audit software, most firms use services that provide them with built-in tools. Because these tools are the main function of an accounts payable software company, rather than a sideline, the company can invest a lot more in keeping them up to date and at maximum productivity – basically, hundreds of clients will share the cost of one software system, and have the hassle taken off their backs.

Generally, recovery audit software is accessed online, with clients able to check in on the process and see results in an accessible format whenever they want to. No more waiting for office staff to come up with reports or worrying about what they might have mistaken – the software is kept backed up and up to date by the company supplying and operating the software. Much of this software includes prevention tools that make recovery audit a constant process, rather than a regular labourious task: and make sure that mistakes, frauds and overpayments are stopped at once. For some large companies, this represents a saving of millions of dollars, even before they factor in the staff time and office resources that have been freed up by relying on a software system. Many systems will even automate historical claims to debtors or contractors, so that the lost revenue is back in the company’s account as speedily as possible.

In the realm of accounts payable audit, this software can be an indispensable tool. Human error is all but eliminated, and employees can breathe easily, knowing that they’re not throwing away money through mistakes that get lost in the net.

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Accounts Payable Audit Systems – Provide A Preventative Solution To Expensive Recovery Audit

If you’re concerned that your business is losing money through fraudulence and error, then turn to accounts payable audit systems to ensure that you are protected from these unnecessary overpayments. Hazardous duplicate payments can add to up to costly amounts for many medium and large businesses. Recovery audit software can provide a cost-effective solution to avoid duplicate payments and are an affordable alternative to expensive recovery auditing.

Implementing recovery audit software has many business benefits, and is cheaper and easier than you may think. First of all, recovery auditing software chiefly and crucially saves you money because it prevents unnecessary payments. This is no small benefit. Recovery auditing software acts quickly to recover duplicate payments, which is vital as the possibility of retrieval diminishes every month as your suppliers go out of business, merge or get bought. The older your invoices are, the more they’ll cost to recover, so it’s advisable to get on top of them as soon as you can. Accounts payable audit systems enable you to act fast.

Secondly, recovery auditing software is low-cost compared to calling in recovery auditors to identify and recover duplicate payments. The software is capable of dealing with invoicing errors, compliance issues and supplier fraud, as well as duplicate payments. There is a significant risk that medium and large organisations pay their supplier invoices twice. These are the most common and expensive overpayments in the accounts payable process, amounting to a non-trivial percentage of your organisation’s annual spend during the process from purchase to payment.

Thirdly, recovery auditing software requires no costly training, contrary to what you may think.  It is easy to use and free online training is often offered by the provider. This software empowers your own Accounts Payable teams with the right tools to eradicates overpayment, so expensive auditor fees are cut and internal processes are improved. Auditing software aids your Accounts Payable team in their efforts to control and improve processes. With these tools at hand, you can respond your business’s specific needs, reducing fraud and risk and increasing productivity. Once installed, the software prevents duplicates before a payment run and therefore avoids the high expense of recovering money externally or internally.

It’s simple to health-check your business first to verify whether overpayment is an issue for you. Most providers offer an AP health check for free if your organisation qualifies. The evidence produced forms a sound business case for implementing the software. To make a substantial difference to the cost-efficiency of your AP systems, consider recovery audit software. All past payment data is processed by accounts payable audit systems, so that not only are your previous duplicate payments accounted for, but you can look forward to compliant and accountable payments in the future. Protect your valuable working capital – at such a low cost of ownership, it makes excellent business sense.

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Do you need Recovery Audit software?

Accounts payable is the outstanding sums of money owed to and by your organisation. In the course of doing business you will provide products and services to various parties, who will pay you for them. However, payment is not straight away; usually an accepted period of time will pass before the invoices are fulfilled. This may be 30 days, though in some instances it can be two months or more. In other cases just a fortnight is considered acceptable. An accounts payable audit explores what money is due to your company. recovery audit software can be used to investigate the different invoices that are outstanding and find out whether they should be paid (by you), or should already have been paid by clients. One of the most relevant types of overpayment for businesses is duplicate payments, which can arise either accidentally or intentionally through fraud (a company that receives a large number of invoices may not know if a duplicate comes in, and will pay it without checking). Whichever one, you will want to avoid these and other forms of unnecessary overpayment, whilst ensuring that those who owe you money pay it when they should.

Most companies underestimate the financial impact that accounting mistakes cause. If your accounts are in order, you will be paying suppliers on time. However, others may not be treating you with similar courtesy. There will be parties who pay late – perhaps consistently late, or perhaps some have never paid you for certain jobs. Then there are suppliers who have incorrectly invoiced you, or instances where reasonable error has resulted in inaccuracies on an invoice or a copy; invoices typically have many fields of data on them, so this can be a common occurrence.

Studies suggest that perhaps one in a thousand transactions is an overpayment, with duplicate payments being one of the most frequent errors. If your business entails a large volume of transactions, you could be losing substantial sums of money in this way. An accounts payable audit will find out exactly how much account errors are costing you every year. recovery audit software will enable you to get this back, but this is something you should pursue quickly: the more time passes, the lower the chance of reclaiming the money. Additionally, where the errors are a result of fraud, you may need to take legal action – and, at the very least, put in place measures that stop it occurring again.

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Bacs software: speeding up direct debit payments

In the UK, direct debit is the most common method of paying bills, rent, subscriptions or charitable donations. People prefer to use faster, easier methods of payment, and Bacs payments allow the peace of mind which is necessary when it comes to making and receiving payments automatically.

Bacs software automates the processing of direct debit and credit payments. This is not only a benefit for individual members of the public, but also for public service providers such as those handling benefits payments including child benefits, job-seekers and disability benefits. Charities also need to process a large number of incoming direct debit payments from donations, which can be processed most securely using Bacs.PLC companies that need to deal with incoming direct debits have a legal responsibility to enable the use of Bacs software, as it is a reliable, secure and streamlined method of receiving payment. Bacs as a term refers to Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services, owned by a group of UK institutions, including all of the major high street banks, which is in control of the payment system.

Some smaller companies can manage handling payments manually, but human error can make the payments unreliable and vulnerable to fraud. Accounts payable staff always welcome the help of automated systems to make their jobs easier and simpler. Bigger companies particularly can have a big amount of direct debit payments to process at any time, and so automated Bacs software can be necessary to ensure the smooth and secure running of the accounts payable department.

Businesses have a need for using Bacs payments not only for incoming payments, but also for direct debits of staff salaries and setting up their own direct debit payments to service providers. These service providers can range from basic, everyday needs of any business operating within a building, such as electricity companies, heating and water suppliers, to regular suppliers of products or services, such as outside catering, maintenance or repair companies, which are paid using direct debit and are vital to ensure the smooth running of a business.

Safety is the most important aspect of making and receiving payments, whether you are an individual, charity, government organization or public company. Using automated Bacs payments is safe and secure, especially when taken care of by outside software solution providers, who are experts in the field of processing direct debit payments, especially across countries or territories.

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Bacs software saves time and cash

bacs is a catch-all term that describes a number of different types of electronic payment. Bacs payments will generally be a direct debit or credit. In the past bacs software was also used for payments over the internet via online banking and over the phone. However, since 2007 the Faster Payments Service (FPS) has overtaken these, since it is nearly instantaneous (whereas bacs takes three working days).

Bacs is generally still the default for many kinds of regular payments, such as pay cheques and utility bills. The process is extremely secure, with many different means of security built into it. Additionally, there is the peace of mind that you will be given a full refund in the unlikely case that you are a victim of fraud.

For companies there are multiple benefits to using bacs, instead of working with more ‘traditional’ methods of paying employees and suppliers – such as cash and cheque. Security is obviously one of these. It is no longer necessary to keep large quantities of money on the premises, thereby reducing risk as well as the insurance payments you would have to keep up to protect you from theft. Reliability is another; bacs payments leave your account on the specified date and arrive in the payee’s account three working days later. (Should you need a faster transfer there are other options, such as FPS or CHAPS, which incurs a fee.)

This also streamlines accounting processes, since it makes for very predictable outgoings. You know exactly when and how much money will be leaving your account – and, if you are paid by bacs, you will have a fair idea of when money will come in. Bacs can also be integrated with many accounts packages, helping you to spend less time on your finances and get on with what really matters for your work.

Bacs software is supplied by different companies, each of which will need to meet rigorous criteria. As well as providing the required hardware and enabling you to make bacs payments, most should offer some form of training to help you make the most of your new bacs capabilities – thus saving you time and money as well as decreasing the risk of fraud to your business. As fewer and fewer businesses still use cash and cheques for their major transactions, there are more and more benefits to be enjoyed by moving to a system of electronic payments.

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Bacs software to optimise safety and efficiency

Whether your company operates in the private, not for profit or the public sector, the chances are its payments systems need streamlining. Indeed, where such different areas of work come together is in the simple fact of their need to make and receive payments. As of 1961, when Dennis Gladwell invented the Inter-Bank Computer Bureau, the way in which the payments process is undertaken has been nigh-on revolutionised. More efficient than any previous method of administrating incoming and outgoing sums, Gladwell’s invention later became known as bacs, (an abbreviation of ‘Bankers’ Automated Clearing Services’ that has now evolved into ‘Bacs Payment Schemes Limited’). It goes without saying, the speed with which BACs payments can be processed is impressive and has undoubtedly helped us see the death of the cheque: direct debits and credits that use BACs take only three working days to clear. We may recently have come into an era in which instant transfers can be set up for moving money from one online account to another but because this way of operating is impractical and costly for businesses to take up BACs payments and BACs software still represent the working scheme of choice.

BACs is just as relevant for businesses to know about as the details of BACs payments in themselves. While BACs’ efficiency is guaranteed, BACs software adds that additional level of security that consists of protecting financial data and the personal data of a company’s employees and clients. Using the software can also bring with it the benefit of setting up a kind of financial calendar in which dates are matched with information regarding which payments need to be made each day and to whom. A piece of software that wields such organising influence really is worth buying: it will help secure the long term success and reputation of a business because BACs software helps prevent delays by submitting payments at the right time and place.

Payments software can be of particular benefit to small or young businesses who cannot afford the luxury of employing an accounts team. Beyond this, the software can often be more accurate and efficient than your average accountant so investing here leads to a win-win situation. Altogether, learning more about BACs payments and BACs software will ensure the long term goals of your company are met as far as possible. Electronic bacs assistance removes many stressful administrative processes.

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BACS software brings your firm up-to-date

In the days before BACS, payments were made in several ways – most typically by cheque or cash, in the last week of a month. Paying money by cash meant a number of problems, not least the presence of a substantial amount of money on the premises, and the need for workers to collect their wage settlements in person. Cheques were a huge improvement, but still relied on a degree of administration, as well as the inefficiencies of the mail system. In addition, any problems – a missed signature, a bad date – meant delays. BACS payments avoid all of these problems, and practically all larger businesses nowadays have some form of bacs software to facilitate all the payments they need to deliver – whether to clients, employees or suppliers.

Smaller businesses can also benefit from BACS software. Of course, the smallest companies may find it easier just to use online banking; if your company is just one or two people and a very small handful of clients, this may be all that is required. Payees can be set up and paid one at a time, as and when invoices appear. However, any degree of growth will soon demonstrate that such an ad hoc system can become unmanageable, if only through the sheer number of contacts and their various types. You might manage to keep track of a dozen payees, but what if that increases to a hundred? Sooner or later, it gets too easy to drop the ball. That’s when you start hearing complaints, and even lost business. Apart from anything else, there are the hours taken to deal with all of the accounts this way – it’s just not an efficient use of time.

bacs software can pay for itself fairly quickly in terms of efficiency and peace of mind. The programmes will integrate BACS payments with your existing accounts system, automating the process and ensuring that you pay people the required amount, on time. Payments are quick (three-day standard, or an expedited same-day payment for an additional fee) and secure, and the BACS setup will provide you with an audit trail so that you can track what is being paid when. Funds can be transferred to other countries, too, if you wish, so this is a solution suitable for the international company, of whatever extent. As the alternatives – cash and cheque – become less and less widely used, there are few reasons not to bring this capability to your business too.

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