Energy and Utility Management Consultants

Utility Invoice Validation

We have developed our own in-house comprehensive utility invoice validation and approval system that we believe beats all other systems being used today. Our system has to deal with any supplier and any energy or water invoice and will identify errors that others miss.

 

We will arrange for all utility invoices and credit notes to be sent directly to us or to be down-loadable from supplier’s websites. For each utility invoice and credit note received, we undertake a full reconciliation covering a huge range of parameters, including meter readings and contract prices and if every aspect is correct, we will then approve the invoice. Our aim is to complete this task within two working days of receiving the invoice. If approved, the document is date stamped with our unique stamp, referenced and initialled and then scanned into our system and forwarded on by post for payment together with an Approval Form. This Approval Form summarises the account and utility invoice details and can contain client property and supplier codes thus facilitating rapid data entry in Bought Ledger departments. The design of this form also removes the confusion that can arise from different supplier’s utility invoices and the risk of incorrectly paying brought forward balances. A number of our larger clients are now using this form in their Optical Character Recognition (OCR) systems. In this way, only correct invoices get paid which makes administration and cashflow easier for all concerned. In addition, if required, a scanned copy of the invoices can be forwarded by email to the Bought Ledger address thus shortening the time for payment to be made.


If a utility invoice is not approved due to an invoice error, we will contact the supply company, request the necessary revisions and arrange for a credit note to be raised. Reasons include items such as:


a) Incorrect opening or closing meter readings
b) For an estimated utility invoice, that the estimate too inaccurate to accept
c) Incorrect Available Capacity
d) Error in gas correction factor or calorific value
e) Mathematical error
h) Incorrect application of tariff or contract prices
i)  Incorrect VAT applied

 

 

Common issues we deal with include:

  • A monthly review of all invoices to ensure all have been received and that any queries are being progressed. This minimises any late payment charges from invoices that have been sent to the wrong address or have become lost in the post.

 

  • We frequently download invoices from supplier websites which can greatly minimise the invoice processing time.

 

  • We can email copies of approved invoices to clients in order to minimise the invoice processing time and we can send theses to multiple contacts thus ensuring efficient processing by the client where multiple sign-off’s required.

 

  • Clients are advised when consumption thresholds are exceeded thus providing an early warning that consumptions (and therefore costs) are increasing allowing remedial action to be taken at the earliest opportunity.

 

  • Late payment charges are checked against supplier’s Terms and Conditions and therefore incorrectly raised Late Payment Invoices are not forwarded to the client.

 

  • Half hourly data is downloaded from suppliers websites and is cross-checked against billed consumptions. Any discrepancies are investigated and resolved with the suppliers.

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Utility Bureau Service



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