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How Can Highly Integrated Service Management Systems Help Prevent Duplicate Payments?

Duplicate payments can amount to a significant drain on working capital for a mobile field service firm. A recent article on Sharedserviceslink.com emphasizes how to avoid duplicate payments, why highly integrated service management systems are so important, and how rigorous audit and recovery practices can boost field service profitability.

How Can Highly Integrated Service Management Systems Help Prevent Duplicate Payments? — 320 words

Duplicate payments, a common problem in accounts payable departments, can amount to a significant drain on working capital for a mobile field service firm.

A recent article on Sharedserviceslink.com emphasizes how to avoid duplicate payments, why highly integrated service management systems are so important, and how rigorous audit and recovery practices can boost field service profitability.

Most important is for companies to set strict standards and processes for invoices and to master vendor and invoice numbers. Using service billing software, automated data entry and policies such as “no-PO, no-pay” helps reduce the likelihood of duplicate payments and makes them easier to spot.

For field services organizations, tying requisitions to the POs will save a lot of aggravation. That way, when each line is paid the first time, the software system will issue an error message if you try to pay again. A project manager won’t have to wonder, “Did I pay that or not?”

A number of factors can cause duplicate payments: human error, system error, fraud — even new software.

Bringing in third-party audit professionals can be a good idea when switching to new service management software. When converting from one system to another there always are hiccups, such as double invoicing a customer or paying a vendor twice. Audit recovery professionals can do spot checks to ensure that things are flowing as they should be.

Employing recovery consultants might seem expensive, but many firms will operate on a no-win no-fee basis, and may uncover savings a company would not have found otherwise. Audit recovery professionals also can help an organization streamline its processes, according to Eric Jones, director of corporate payables at Lowe’s.

“You can learn from what they do and build those routines yourself more cost effectively,” Jones tells Sharedserviceslink.com. “No matter how clean your processes are, it’s always good to have a third party come and look over your shoulder every now and again.”

Source: Sharedserviceslink.com, December 2012