How to Avoid Duplicate Payments

Updated on Thursday 16th March 2023

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Duplicate payments are the most common errors the accounting department in a company faces, no matter its size. Small companies, for example, selling a few products with close or similar prices can be subject to duplicate payment errors due to the redundancy of figures, while medium-sized and large companies will have to handle huge amounts of money under the form of invoices which need to be entered into the system. In the latter case, a large number of invoices, among which without a doubt similar figures will appear, are the most common cause of duplicate payment errors.

duplicate payment, often known as double payment, occurs when an organization pays the same invoice twice. For instance, you might unintentionally pay a supplier's invoice on two different dates of the month after receiving it. This problem develops when your accounts payable procedures have some faults. With the help of our accounts payable software, you will no longer need to worry about them.

Luckily, there are ways of avoiding duplicate payment errors, among which our overpayment recovery software which can be used as an avoidance tool in the beginning and as a prevention solution in the future for those problems. We focus mainly on duplicate payment prevention. Our tool can be used for the controls for duplicate payments.
 Quick Facts  
Reasons for duplicate payments

- large number of invoices,

- similarity between numbers,

- redundancies,

- fraud

Avoidance of duplicate payments options 

Use of dedicated overpayment protection software, accounts payable audits

Verification procedures for duplicate payment

- master-file verification,

- typing mistakes checking,

- use a fixed invoicing method

Prevention of duplicate payment 

Regular audits

Documents to verify for prevention

- invoices,

- ledgers,

- master files

Dedicated or integrated software availability

Integrated software that can be used for multiple actions.

Accounts payable verifications

Standard operating procedures, financial statements

Timeframe for checking for duplicate payments A few minutes
Fraud prevention tool availability Yes 
Method of preventing duplicate payments Accounts payable approval control software
The importance of human factor in the occurrence of duplicate payments   Employees play an important role in the occurrence rate of duplicate payments due to the high volume of work.

 Verifications for fraud

Our software can be used to verify invoices and other documents for fraud by double payments. 

Improve accounts payable operating procedures 

 One of the best ways to prevent duplicate payments is to improve accounts payable procedures by using personalized software.

Availability of internal accounts payable audits (YES/NO)  Yes, accounts payable audits can be completed as part of duplicate payment avoidance. 
Accounts payable verification options 

Cross-checking with older invoices for accuracy, signaling inaccuracies, requesting approval before being sent for payment. 

 Steps after finding a duplicate payment

- tracking the root cause of the double payment,

- making corrections in the accounting system,

- stopping the payment before being made 

 Possibility to detect fraud through double payments

Yes, our recovery audit software can be used to detect fraud attempts. 

 AI-based software availability (YES/NO)

Our program relies on Artificial Intelligence and a machine learning process to offer precise results. 

 The importance of double payment prevention

 Preventing double payments is very important as it can stop financial leakage, and thus, recover the lost amounts of money.

The easiness to use PAID Analytix's software  The software created by our specialis can be installed in a few mintues and can be customized based on various settings. 

Let’s discover below how a company can avoid duplicate payments with our AI-based solution - PaidAnalytix. You can also rely on us for accounts payable audits. We can also help with recovery audit solutions.

Duplicate payment invoices – a real problem for companies

Although paying each vendor with a single payment method is the ideal scenario, in reality this is not always possible. However, using an automated accounts payable program can your company closer to the ideal standard of not registering duplicate payments and streamlining the work of an entire department.

Handling the accounting of a company requires a lot of attention and patience. This is why many companies don’t rely on a single person to do all the accounting tasks but create various positions within the accounting department to handle such meticulous duties related to the verification of invoices. Even so, duplicate payment invoices still appear and for some companies, the best solution is to outsource some of the tasks of the accounting department. For those who do not want to outsource such tasks, PaidAnalytix could have the solution to resolve the annoying issue of duplicate payment invoices: our overpayment protection software.

Before delving into the solutioning of duplicate payment errors, you might want to consider an accounts payable audit in order to see how you can correct other problems in the accounting department. Our specialists can also offer more information on the cost of recovery audit.

The main causes of duplicate payments

Most of the time, duplicate payments appear when the invoices are downloaded into the accounting software or when manually introduced into the system. In most cases, the accounts payable software should detect such errors, but when the number of invoices is large, the software can have its limitations. However, there are also other reasons for which duplicate payment invoices appear, and these are:
  1. when the accounting department has multiple copies of various invoices (these can be sent by various means of communications);
  2. when the volume of invoices is large and human errors occur (our software is made for companies with a large number of invoices per year);
  3. when payments are delayed, and several invoices are submitted in order to complete a payment;
  4. typing and keying mistakes are one of the most common causes of duplicate payment invoices;
  5. new invoicing methods that cause confusion among the staff are also an issue.
In order to help you correct duplicate payment errors, PaidAnalytix has created an overpayment protection software which allows you to enter the invoices you want to have verified and see the exact errors resulting from the mistakes mentioned above. We also have a team of specialists in charge of dedicated accounts payable, as well as recovery audit solutions.

How does our overpayment recovery solution work?

If your company is dealing with duplicate payment invoices, you will need to access our cloud  AI-based software, enter information about the company and the invoices you want checked. Within a few minutes, you will have the results of your inquiry. The best part about our software is that you can customize it in accordance with your company’s specifics, such as activity, size, and the number of invoices issued. This will ensure accurate and personalized results, and even more, it will help you prevent future payment mistakes, not only duplicate payment invoice issuesAccounts payable audits are also a good solution for detecting payment errors.

Our overpayment protection software is safe and easy to use, as it works like any other accounting software, only it is more performant thanks to the use of Artificial Intelligence which is faster and more accurate than traditional programs.

Our software can help your company solve duplicate payment invoices

According to various studies, the larger the number of purchase volumes, the higher the chances of registering duplicate payment invoices. This is where our overpayment recovery software can make a difference, considering that:
  • for each 100 million euros in payments, our solution can help companies save up to 1 million euros;
  • our AI-based software is 30% more accurate than traditional accounts payable software;
  • our solution is also faster, helping your company to save up to 40 hours per week of extra work;
  • it can also help you reduce the operational efforts of detecting duplicate payment issues by 50%.
An accounts payable audit implies a thorough examination of all the pertinent financial data on a company's accounts payable records. In order to give an unbiased evaluation of how accurately and completely accounts payable invoice and other transactions represent actual business operations, the actual AP audit is typically carried out by an independent firm, however, with our program this will no longer be required.

Duplicate payments and the accounting department

The accounting department has one of the most difficult tasks in a company: that of handling budgets. When the money is not correctly handled, problems may appear, such as the double payment of an invoice or even worse the double payment of more than one invoice. This can only lead to financial losses in a company. This is why duplicate payment prevention is very useful.

PaidAnalytix has developed an Artificial Intelligence a solution that can help all types of companies to avoid duplicate payments. For those who want to use it, the first step will be an accounts payable audit which can find the source of many problems. After that, the controls for duplicate payments can become easier.


What are the steps to avoid duplicate payments?

The first and natural procedure to follow is for a company to ask the personnel in the accounting department to verify the invoices and make the payments. Even if a double verification can lead to the discovery of some of the duplicate payment errors, most of these remain undetected, which is why our services are based on duplicate payment prevention.

Here are the steps to follow in order to avoid duplicate payments:
  1. verify the vendor master file and clean it regularly in order to avoid payment mistakes;
  2. double-check for typing and reading mistakes (which is a tiresome task for a person to complete);
  3. avoid using more than one source document to take the information from;
  4. use a fixed invoicing method (ask suppliers to send invoices through one means of communications);
  5. complete the payment order from the original invoice sent to the AP department.

Most companies use ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems to control business processes, however, these too can be prone to errors which is why for the accounting team in the company it is best to use a separate and dedicated solution.

The system designed by PaidAnalytix has created a platform in which you can log on, enter the invoices to be checked and, based on them, our artificial intelligence engine will identify the invoices that have a high chance of duplication. The data will first be verified by our colleagues and then introduced into the system which will analyze and provide the results.  These proposals will be then validated by an accountant in your team which will in return help the AI engine become better in its proposals.
We offer overpayment recovery and AP recovery audit solutions in order for you to avoid not only duplicate payments but also other errors that might occur during the invoicing process.

We invite you to read about the main steps of avoiding duplicate payments in the scheme below:
Main steps of avoiding duplicate payments

The importance of accounts payable audits in the prevention of duplicate payments

One of the most important tools that can be used in avoiding duplicate payments is audit. Regular verifications of the protocols put in place in the accounting payable department can indicate abnormalities and lead to effective solutions in righting errors and preventing others from happening.

An accounts payable audit can be used to examine the standard operating procedures (SOPs), the financial documents and statements that go through this department. Among these, purchase orders and invoices, as well as vendor files can be regularly checked and compared to the most recent information.

Our software can perform extensive checks in just a few minutes and offer detailed reports you can use to improve the work of your accounts payable department, but most importantly, to avoid future duplicate payments. For this purpose, you can use our audit management software.

Duplicate payments – an effect of fraud

Unfortunately, many companies discover at some point they have been paying certain amounts of money twice or even more over the span of a few months. This can be an effect of fraud.

Accounts payable frauds usually occur because of the large number of suppliers and an even larger number of invoices a business has to deal with month after month. While sometimes red flags can appear earlier in the process of invoice verification, sometimes this happens after the manager discovers discrepancies in the financial statements of the company.

Companies can fall for internal or external frauds, where shell companies, fake invoices on behalf of suppliers or kickback schemes are used to withdraw money from a company. Duplicate payments are one of the most employed such schemes, as only a few minor details, such as a slightly higher amount of money on the invoice can be altered to succeed.

The detection of accounts payable frauds can be done in a number of ways, and with the help of our overpayment protection software, some of these ways include the above-mentioned accounts payable audits and the thorough verification of duplicate payments.

Artificial Intelligence is much faster and can detect even the smallest inconsistencies when it comes to similar invoices issued by the same supplier with one click.

Use accounts payable approval control

One of the most efficient ways of preventing duplicate payments is to use an accounts payable approval control software. This can be an external software or an integrated mechanism in the ERP system, however, the first solution can be harder to implement.

With the help of our AI-based tool, the approval process starts the moment the invoice is entered into the accounting payable system. It is then verified and assigned to the person in charge of inputting data into the ERP.

The following steps are usually completed when using a software that approves invoices before being paid:
  • the invoice is coded and validated by matching it against other similar documents;
  • corrections are made, if applicable;
  • the invoice is sent for approval and then cleared for payment.

This may seem like adding extra time to the entire payment process, however, technology can now be used to ensuring a quick verification and pre-approval of an invoice before being paid and, thus, avoiding duplicate payments.

Duplicate payments – what to do after finding them

There are cases in which duplicate payments are discovered after a short while, but also after long periods of time. If in the first case, the situation can be amended rather quickly with a verification of the latest payments and trace down the source of the problem, in the latter thorough procedures are required.

An accounts payable audit is the first step towards detecting how serious the problem is. Luckily, our overpayment recovery software can be used to find the cause or causes of the problem right away. Then, starting the financial recovery process is essential. For this too you can use or solution which can provide a thorough analysis of various documents you submit for verification. In the case of recent invoices that have not been paid yet, the payment can be stopped thus preventing further financial leakage. In the case of older invoices that have been paid, corrections can be made for future payments to be made accordingly.

Also, contacting vendors and signaling the problem should also be part of resolving a duplicate payment issue.

Taking the necessary precaution measures to prevent future financial losses is one of the most important steps in stopping duplicate payments from occurring, and an invoice approval protocol can be put in place in this sense.

How does our overpayment recovery service work?

The solution proposed by PaidAnalytix works as a personalized software that you need to enter information on. Here is what clients need to do in order to obtain relevant results about duplicate payments:
  • the client will need to enter the payment list into our system (one can enter more than one list);
  • the data is then sent to the AI engine which analyzes it and prepares a report;
  • the report is sent back to the client.

The report will highlight all the errors found in the lists sent to us. All this is done in a matter of minutes or even less, depending on the number of payments analyzed.

AI is present more and more in people’s lives, however, most of its advantages offer benefits for companies willing to invest in their development.

For a detailed presentation of our overpayment recovery system and how it can help you reduce errors resulted after the implementation of our duplicate payment prevention solutions, you can count on our specialists who can also show you how our software works. Clients interested in controls for duplicate payments can rely on our specialized tool. We can also help you reduce the total cost of a recovery audit. You can also watch our video below:


Facts on duplicate payments

Apart from being one of the most common accounting errors, duplicate payments can also lead to great financial losses, considering that:
  • we recovered 2,1 million euros (out of real duplicate payments worth 2,5 million euros) for one of our customers in the retail and investment banking sector;
  • for another client, we have discovered no less than duplicate payments of EUR822,000;
  • our results are 95% accurate and we are working on improving them;
  • we can help you reduce the effort of the team in your accounting department by 50%.

For complete information on you can avoid double payments through our duplicate payment prevention solutions with our help, please contact us. All services provided by recovery audit firms, including the accounts payable audits, are tailored to your needs.

Radu FertoneaArticle by:
Radu Fertonea is the founder of Paid Analytix and Senior Manager with Executive MBA degree (Maastricht School of Management). He was director of operations at Societe Generale European Business Services, in charge with: Management of the Source to Report practice (Procurement, Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Management Accounting) | Global redesign of end-to-end source to report activities | Consolidation of the Finance exercise for the European operations of Société Générale (100% coverage target by 2020) | Transition Management, Process Standardization and Continuous Improvement | People Management – team of 150+. With a broad experience in the financial field and after working with large societies which handle thousands of payments every year, came up with the idea which led to the creation of Paid Analytix.