A vendor lost a check and we have to reissue. Do we need to stop payment, even though we have a reversed positive pay file set up? What is the best practice to protect the company?

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The safest way to ensure they don't cash both checks is to stop payment on the first check, of course. But that will cost you a bank charge, usually $35 or more. We checked with Judy Bicking, a former director of shared services at Johnson & Johnson who now trains people in AP and AR best practices. Here are a couple of ways she said you might avoid the stop-payment charges:

  1. Can you rely on the person on your team who works with the bank on the positive pay file so that if the first check were presented, that person would notify the bank within the terms of the positive pay agreement, preventing it from being paid? If that relationship is not established, you might try another option.
  2. If you have a good relationship with the supplier, and somehow both checks are processed, you can agree that you will deduct the amount of overpayment from your next payment or that the supplier will refund the duplicate payment right away. 

Those two options involve considerable hand-holding by your staff, and that's why some departments decide to just pay the stop-payment fee.

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