AP Horror Stories
We’ve entered Halloween season, where things are cool and crisp, and everyone loves a good scare. Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins are certainly spooky, but nothing terrifies us like invoicing disasters. We’ve rounded up some of our scariest tales NextProcess has ever heard from the AP vaults. Controllers and managers, prepare to be terrified by these AP horror stories.
No Way To Reconcile
“Our ERP system had a really tight duplicate check system—everything had to match perfectly, or it wouldn’t even flag as a possible duplicate. Numbers, dates, amounts, every last bit. For the most part, this wasn’t an issue. One of our vendors kept calling and complaining about late overpayment. The statements went back and forth, and we were all confused… until someone realized that they had been sending duplicate invoice copies with a different invoice date. We had entered all of their invoices at least twice for four months. It was a complete disaster trying to reconcile it all but when it was all said and done, they’d been overpaid by almost $100,000.”
That Will Be $6,000,000.
“We used a rapid data entry system to try to automate our PO invoice processing. One of our processors sent an invoice through that was off by a decimal point—and a few million dollars! The invoice total was $67,250.33, but the processor keyed it for $6,725,033.00 Imagine our shock reconciling cash that week!”
Adopting an AP Bottleneck
“Our company adopted an OCR front-end program to try and automatically process invoices. When we were implementing, we were all excited about the high numbers and how much less keying we would have to do. The project was tough and expensive, but they promised an ROI within three months. The actual results were totally disappointing. Every invoice we opened was missing data that was clearly on the invoice. Eighteen months later, we’re in the same spot—it usually grabs the wrong data or pulls something incorrectly. Now it’s just one more delay in our invoice processing. We do just as much keying work, and the invoices get to us a day later than they used to.”
Slammed With Late Fees
“We had gotten a new AP Processor a few months before. He went through all the training and didn’t seem to have any problems with processing. But then the AP manager kept trying to find invoices that had already been approved, and they weren’t in the expected spot. Whenever he’d been responsible for moving the images into the payment folder, he had been dropping them in another folder. We had to do a massive check run and sort out all the late fees and missed discounts from it. The loss from the disaster was around $500,000.”
Cry All You Want
“I had a department head show up at my desk with a stack of invoices that hadn’t been processed in months. His assistant had been putting the paper on his desk in his inbox, but he never had time to check on them. He had signed them all at once and wanted them all paid ASAP. We couldn’t say no so we just hunkered down and did our best to get all the invoices entered and payments posted. We left at 2 AM and near tears.”
“We used a shared P Drive system to house all of our invoices and approvals. At the end of the quarter, the images get archived by IT. It’s supposed to happen automatically, and we’ll have fresh, empty folder every time. Sounds pretty easy. Except that once, there was a “glitch” over the weekend. Instead of archiving the files, all of them were deleted. There was no way to recover the data except to do it all manually. We broke it up into date ranges and had the whole team scouring filing cabinets, going through emails and trying to rebuild everything. Our next AP Audit went very, very poorly.”
Hopefully, nothing like this has happened to your team. But all AP departments have troubles sometimes. We’re not trying to SCARE you into using our tools but if you’re ready to take your AP processing to the next level, look at NextProcess’ AP Automation Software today!