Has your finance team noticed more payment errors cropping up in the past year? If so, you’re in good company.
The experts at Technology Insight have seen a significant increase in errors in recent recovery audits. And they believe that’s due in large part to all the business process changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Where are these payment errors stemming from? Check out what the recovery experts say, so you can work to reduce them:
1. Remote work
Of course, you can’t talk about the pandemic without talking about remote work.
At home, your people may not have the same tools or access they have in the office to perform at the same level of accuracy, Technology Insight says. For example, staffers may now be scrutinizing invoices on a small laptop screen, when they’re used to big dual monitors in the office.
If your company plans to keep up remote work for the long term, it’s key to ensure that staffers have equivalent tools and equipment at home as they’re used to on-site. That may mean using more cloud-based tools to boost accessibility or budgeting for needed equipment, like computer monitors. These investments can end up saving your company money in the form of fewer costly payment errors.
2. Heavier workloads
During the pandemic, some companies had to lay off or furlough staffers. Other firms underwent big changes.
The result, either way, was probably more work for your finance team. With less time and added tasks, it’s easy to see why more payment errors would arise.
It’s time to check in with managers on staffers’ workload – especially staffers whose error rates have gone up lately. As CFO, you want to make sure no one’s so strapped that they’re making mistakes and becoming overly stressed.
3. Lax approvals
You know how essential approvals are. But with people being more dispersed and a lack of visibility, some employees may have gotten a little lax on certain approvals. Invoices may be paid or expenses reimbursed without the proper oversight or verification.
The solution? Sometimes, all people need to whip back into shape is a subtle reminder. So, if you’ve seen people falling into bad habits, have your team issue a memo: No matter where or how they work, approval policies stand. They could even send a copy of the policies and the consequences for noncompliance.
4. Repeat invoices
The pandemic left many companies strapped for cash. Now more than ever, vendors want to be paid promptly.
As a result, some may end up sending multiple invoices – via fax, email, portal, etc. – to make sure they get noticed. And unfortunately, some finance pros have paid these duplicate invoices.
Remind your team to look out for duplicates and keep communication open, so no one makes a double payment error. And if there are any particular vendors staffers have seen getting into this bad practice, refer to your terms. See what the agreed-upon invoice method was. Then staffers can kindly remind them to only use that method.