What are your recommendations about faxed invoices? Is it acceptable or frowned upon?


While paying from faxes is a policy question dependant in part on your particular set of circumstances, generally it is not a sound practice because it increases a company's risk of duplicate payments. We are not aware of a best practice other than to say that some companies do not allow payment from a fax copy at all, and some only allow it under certain circumstances. A good business practice is to pay only from original invoices, not from copies or faxes, nor from statements. This is not always possible, but policies should encourage this, and controls should be put in place for the exceptions, for example requiring high-level approval and careful search of the vendor record by invoice number, amount and date. Controls must also apply to original invoices, since typically the problem is that after an invoice has been paid from a fax or copy, an original invoice shows up and gets paid without a careful check because it is an original. So if payment from faxes or copies is allowed at all, it increases the control requirements on all invoices.

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