What Steps to Take Before Approving an Invoice for Payment
Making sure the invoices you pay are accurate is essential to keeping your company's budget in order. Otherwise, you could find yourself overpaying for supplies and services -- or even paying for things you never received. Having a standard procedure for approving invoices helps you avoid these costly mistakes. Having a streamlined process also lets you pay vendors and contractors faster, fostering goodwill and better business relationships.
Examine the supplier or contractor information to ensure that the information you have is accurate. This includes the vendor's name and address, as well as any account number or other number that identifies the payee. Inaccuracies in any of these areas can cause you to pay the wrong vendor or send payment to an incorrect address.
Make note of the invoice date and number and check your accounts payable or other financial records to confirm that the invoice has not yet been paid. Check individual entries on the invoice to determine if any of the charges have been paid already.
Use purchase orders, receipts, contractor time sheets and other forms of documentation to confirm that the amounts on the invoice match your records. This includes verifying quantities and checking to make sure the prices for products or services are consistent with the agreed upon amounts. Double-check the math to ensure accuracy.
Consult with managers and other employees to resolve any discrepancies you come across. If you can't figure things out on your end, contact the supplier or contractor to get things sorted out.