Check Your Invoices Carefully

Updated: March 11, 2010

1. Check the Print

Misplaced decimal points, typos, incorrect sub-totals, and mistaken quantities can add up to a lot of money in additional charges for any business or organization. Make sure you are paying the total amount due, not the unit price for the product or service. Some companies offer discounts or penalties for payments remunerated along an extensive timeline. Note the dates and prices correlated with this timeline. The highest amount is not always the actual total due.

2. Late in the Game

Mismanagement of invoices can lead to overspending through expensive late fees and high interest charges. To assist in proper management, make sure the due date of each invoice is clearly marked on a calendar (unless bills are paid upon receipt). Provide sufficient amount of time for mailing and processing to avoid missing the due date. Monthly invoices should be recurring items on your calendar with an easy addition for those claims that are irregular such as equipment repair invoices.

3. Early to Rise

Take advantage of early payment options if the discount offered is greater than the capital gained from interest baring accounts. Many companies offer this incentive to avoid late fees on their invoices due for the services they provided your organization.

4. Don't Pay Twice

Misplacement of invoices can result in duplicate billing, or other penalties. It is imperative to properly organize bills and keep them in order. Once payment is made, make sure the following information is appropriately tracked: check number, amount paid, associated reference number, and date paid. The same information should be noted if payment is organized in a spreadsheet or with digital software. If paper files are stored, attach a copy of the payment (check) to a copy of the original invoice and follow up by attaching the payment receipt if one is received.

5. The New Age - Tech Savvy

Lacking a proper online-bill-pay method can increase expenses through supplies and postage costs. Some companies send both electronic and paper bills, some only send one. Beware of duplicates and make sure cleared invoices are properly marked to avoid double payment. If the majority of bills are organized online, don't set aside paper payments that come via mail. To eliminate confusion and unpaid bills from being misplaced, make sure all online invoices are sent to the same email account or direct checking account.

6. Press 0 for the Operator

When uncertain, get on the phone and ask questions. This might seem like a waste of time, but if this process brings clarity, it is worth the investment. Note names of individuals you speak with for later reference if questions surface again.

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