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Don’t be so quick to pay invoices online

Publication: The Business Journals Published: July 31, 2017 Full Article


Most of us have become accustomed to doing everything online, especially paying bills. It’s convenient, easy and efficient. However, because of this expediency, you might overlook mistakes and discrepancies. That’s why you shouldn’t be so quick to pay your invoices online.

Customers, vendors and most companies now expect mobile and online billing options. Still, most of us are way too busy to read every word of an online invoice. Your company could be inadvertently paying more than it owes. Advising corporations, I’ve seen this problem occur numerous times, resulting in public relations and marketing departments going over budget. Of course, there are solutions you can adopt to ensure you always pay only what you owe.

The facts about online invoicing you need to know

– Companies often pay bills quickly, without checking for errors. This costs additional money each month and might even cause budget overruns.
– When you do find an overpayment, it’s hard to correct. Online payment programs don’t always have the ability to quickly rectify the situation.
– Research by SIB Fixed Cost Reduction shows that billing errors are overlooked 30 percent more with online invoices than with traditional paper bills.
– Many online billing systems lack the capability to automate the entire process from invoice to payment. That means there are gaps throughout the course of the online payment journey. This may leave you vulnerable to mistakes and even fraud.

So what is the solution?

Of course, no one wants to go back to the days of thick envelopes full of paper for every single bill and invoice. On the other hand, you don’t want to end up paying more than you have to. Fortunately, there are ways to ensure paying online saves you time and money.

1. Review online invoices carefully, including recurring invoices. Watch for rate increases and hidden fees.
2. Put a dual-control system in place where one employee generates the payment and another is responsible for approving it. This typically forces you to scrutinize backup documentation, such as receipts and purchase orders.
3. Consider hiring expense management or fixed-cost reduction specialists. Using scheduled audits and working with vendors, these businesses help your company avoid overcharges and save money.

Just like PR protects your reputation and brand, you must use all tools available to protect your business practices and bottom line.

Jason Mudd is CEO of Axia Public Relations, a national PR firm. He is an Emmy Award-winning, accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His public relations portfolio includes work for American Airlines, Budweiser, Dave & Buster’s, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Southern Comfort, Verizon and more.