I'm incorporating analytics and more audit into our group. We already do a daily audit for invoice processing and compliance. Now we are going to do vendor analysis to identify more potential cost avoidance opportunities...

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Q. (cont.) We have the interactive real time reports. Do you have templates or guidance on what specific items should we focus on aside from the usual? We are already covering common items; I’m looking for what we may be missing.

  • Credits, aging, duplicates, daily invoice audit
  • Third party charges, pricing outside price books
  • Invoice behavior around our current invoice dollar thresholds
  • Average invoice count vs. spikes
  • Average dollar/invoice vs. spikes

A. In addition to what you have listed, you might also look at the invoice number sequence to see if there are any invoice numbers that don't match pattern, which might reveal such things as a check request for down payment—make sure it was not also paid on an invoice—or  an invoice for a different supplier, and so on.

You might also send a letter to suppliers (starting with the top dollar amount invoices and working down) to ask for statement of account as of X date specifically asking for all open invoices, cash on account and credits. Then match that to their vendor record. That is worth the time and effort.

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