For any business owner, writing an invoice can be detailed enough, but things can get complicated when you have to send multiple invoices to people.
Double invoicing is a mistake that could cost you your business.
Wait, don’t panic!
Luckily, we’ve got your back on this. Here are the simple ways to avoid duplicate invoices.
Table of Content
What is Double Invoicing?
When you create double invoices and provide customers with more than one invoice for the same goods and services is double invoicing.
It’s obvious that your invoice will have the same:
- Purchase order number (PO)
- Invoice date
- Invoice number
Such information makes it clear that they received the same invoice at least once before.
Common Double Invoicing Causes With Solutions
Let’s highlight some of the most common reasons that cause double invoicing problems.
Unprofessional Invoice Classification
One of the biggest problems with double invoicing is that you are not able to see clearly the status of your invoice like:
- Which invoices are paid?
- Which invoices still need to be sent?
- Which invoices are unpaid invoices?
Many times, it happens that invoices are sent to the customer multiple times as they are not able to identify that the invoices are already being sent.
The most efficient way to overcome this challenge is using invoicing software to keep your invoice organized.
An invoicing software like InvoiceOwl simplifies the daily invoicing process and makes your life easier than ever. It has a lot of direct and indirect benefits to your business.
Here are some of the major benefits of InvoiceOwl. It allows you to:
- Save your valuable time by automating the invoicing process
- Create and send invoices to multiple clients at once
- Manage and organize all the invoices
- Send invoices on-site to get paid quicker
- Access invoices from anywhere
- Offer multiple payment gateways
Another cause for double invoicing is the improper management of invoice records.
The primary reason behind such bad bookkeeping is that someone is not double-checking the records or verifying whether the correct amount is going out or not.
Poor bookkeeping can be detrimental to your business.
If you’re having issues with double invoicing, duplicate invoices, duplicate payments, or any other financial issues, it’s a good idea to audit your current system to see how efficient it is.
When you’re satisfied with your invoicing system, make sure your employees are properly trained on how to use it.
One of the most common scenarios that you need to deal with in this business world is working with multiple branches of the same business.
But, it is still challenging for you to maintain a bookkeeping system.
It’s better to create a separate vendor master file to maintain all the records in your accounts payable process. It simply keeps track of all your supplier details or business details you are working with.
Departments can merge over time. You could be sending two or three invoices to the same department.
If you’ve been in business for a while, it may be worthwhile to go over the addresses and contact information for each client you invoice.
Begin by contacting everyone to whom you have sent a bill in the last three months. You’ll eventually be able to get rid of information you don’t need, and your instances of duplicate invoices will drop dramatically.
Multiple Invoicing Methods
Traditionally, people expect to get invoices through mail or fax. But as time passes, many different communication methods exist.
Nowadays, most people do their business online and they specifically prefer to send their invoices via email. But, it’s better to opt for different invoicing methods to get payments on time.
Many businesses usually cover their business foundations by sending multiple invoices and taking multiple payments on time.
Sending invoices in different ways can confuse clients and create unnecessary paperwork for them to sort through.
A unified way to send invoices and other metrics to your client is by having efficient invoice management.
An alternate way is to simply reach out to the clients and ask them for their preferred method of invoicing. For a small business owner, it will be much easier to deal with different invoicing methods.
On the other hand, for large businesses, it may be easier for you to pick one method you prefer to stick with it for every client.
No Proper Verification
The next possible cause of double billing is ensuring that every invoice you send out is correct.
Most businesses delegate invoice distribution to individual accountants or front-desk personnel. This may speed up the process of sending things out, but it also leaves you open to double billing.
When you expect everyone to handle invoices on an individual basis, there’s no way to ensure that the correct number of invoices are being sent to the right people.
Someone in the accounting department could be sending out the same invoice that someone’s assistant emailed out two days ago.
Someone in the accounting department could be sending out the same legitimate invoice that someone’s assistant sent out two days ago.
The simplest way to address this issue is to have invoices sent to a centralized location before being distributed so that they can be reviewed. One person can be in charge of ensuring that no fraudulent invoices or incorrect invoices are issued.
Now that you know how to stop double invoicing, it’s time to get the rest of your business on track financially.
Do you still have any questions related to double invoicing? Don’t worry. We have compiled a list of frequently asked questions in the next section.
Is double invoicing money laundering?
Yes. This is due to the fact that money laundering is simply a process that seeks to conceal the proceeds of a crime through the use of what appears to be a legitimate transaction. It is the misrepresentation of the prices, quantity, and quality of goods imported or exported.
What is invoice fraud?
When a company intentionally bills its customers for more than it should. It leads to their customers overpaying for the goods or services they receive. Invoice fraud can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.
- Bills that have been forged. An invoice that has been prepared is then changed to include fraudulent information in order to receive funds that are unrelated to any actual sale. This fraudulent invoice is a ruse.
- False invoicing: When a company sends a customer an invoice to pay for goods or services that the customer never purchased. They are well aware of this.
Is double-billing illegal?
Yes. In Law, double billing is where a lawyer charges the same time spent working to two clients hourly. This is prohibited, and it is overcharging, causing criminal fines. This is because the amount of time spent working on any client’s work is less than what was billed to the client.
You must take care of the common double invoicing mistakes that usually occurs due to:
- Invoices are not classified in accordance as per their purpose;
- Bookkeeping errors which show up when the bookkeeping department handles too many invoices;
- Understaffed accounting department;
- Multiple invoicing methods.
The best option to get rid of such double invoicing mistakes is using online invoicing software like InvoiceOwl. You can create simple invoices, manage to send them out, and automate your invoicing process smoothly.