I am looking for a policy on the use of faxes.

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We assume by fax policy you mean processing and payment of invoices from a fax copy. We have an Invoice Processing Policy on the site in the Tools section under the category of AP Policy Templates that addresses this. We do not have a separate stand alone fax policy but rather have incorporated it within the processing policy. In general, some organizations do not allow payment from a fax copy of an invoice. In this case, the policy only allows for processing and payment to occur from an original invoice. The reason behind such a policy is the fact that an invoice can be paid twice, once from the original invoice that shows up on another date and once from the fax. Even though the invoice number is the same on both documents, if the invoice number is entered differently in each case, then it can get through an accounting systems duplicate edit check. For instance, invoice number 00-21050-0 may be entered by one data entry person as 00- 21050-0 or 00210500 while another data entry person enters it exactly as it appears or maybe forgets to enter the first two zeros.

Although you can mitigate such a situation by having a standard operating policy that requires invoice numbers to be entered exactly as shown on the invoice, even then you can have human data entry error that may result in a duplicate payment. It is up to how management feels about processing from faxes and whether in certain circumstances it is acceptable, where controls are in place to help mitigate duplicates.

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