One of the biggest advantages of contract management software is the ability to uncover overpayments. Even on a small scale, a small monthly overpayment can add up to a significant amount. For mid-size or large enterprises, duplicated services and overpayments can be downright disastrous.
Overpayment is remarkably easy to do. In a post on the Apex Expert Blog, Jim Arnold wrote about tracking down the scourge of overpayments in the context of ERP systems. He cited a couple of excellent examples in his blog of overpayments.
In one example, an automotive company ended up paying $421,000 more on a vendor contract because someone misplaced a decimal on the invoice. In another example, a large manufacturer contracted to pay 75 cents per cubic foot for gases, but on the invoice that was
changed to $75 per cubic foot. It got paid because the calculation made sense.
That’s how easy it is to overpay. When you have invoice payments being made but not recorded against an easy-to-view record of a contract, these kinds of mistakes are possible – even likely.
Consider the upside to catching these kinds of oversights. You could save your enterprise or branch a lot of money – helping to boost net profits and reducing expenses. We know of one example of a small city that implemented contract management software and in the first six months discovered $70,000 in overpayments on expired contracts — and an additional $200,000 in the next fiscal year.
Any version of Contract Assistant, for example, allows you to input key information on contract records, including payments made and details on contract rates and payment conditions. Even if you don’t catch something minor, you can set alerts to remind you when to check invoices to ensure that billings match agreed prices. Those are just two very quick examples of how contract management can help.
Don’t forget the reporting function too. If you are recording and sharing payment information within internal department groups, you have more “eyes” on the subject matter, and therefore more help in catching something irregular.
In any case, the real risk is letting contracts get signed, filed and forgotten by one department, then letting another handle the invoices with little to no information on the contract conditions. It’s just too easy for mistakes to be made at some point in the process. Giving your company the ability to record payments, review key deliverables and invoice information – pulling these things out into the daylight – makes it less likely to let overpayments go unnoticed.