Duplicate payments are a common area of concern at most major health systems. When copies of original invoices exist, payments may be processed twice if the ink is smudged or blurry. These copies can be hard to read and cause confusion for the Accounts Payable department.
The effectiveness of AP control features is reduced when invoices are not entered into the ERP system correctly and consistently.
In a recent Discovery Review, The Audit Group found that a major hospital system had paid its vendor, Mail Room Service Center, twice for one invoice. The invoice was paid, using the original copy, which read “Invoice Number:08110230.”
However, a faxed copy of the invoice was also floating around in the Accounts Payable department. This non-original invoice copy, which read “Invoice Number: 08110280,” caused a duplicate payment. Because the ink was blurry, Accounts Payable read this as a number eight instead of a number three, and a duplicate payment was made.
The health system’s AP software did not prevent the duplicate payment because invoice data was entered inconsistently. TAG identified the duplicate payment during our Discovery Review, and we recovered $9,117 in credits for the hospital.
If you often find non-original copies of invoices in your Accounts Payable department, be sure you’re avoiding duplicate payments. A quick Discovery Review with The Audit Group can point you towards unknown problem areas and help you recover funds. Give us a call to get started.