• 4 min read

How do Companies use AI to Check Duplicate Invoices?

Duplicate invoices occur far more frequently than most organizations realize. For example, approximately 0.05% to 0.1% of invoices paid are typically duplicate payments. The problem begins when the incoming invoices have similar and repeated data like invoice amount and number. Luckily, Aavenir’s Accounts Payable Automation Solution is here to help you efficiently manage your invoices.

What are Duplicate Invoices?

Duplicate invoices are received when multiple unneeded invoices with slightly different values (invoice numbers, dates, and sometimes amounts) are produced for the same goods or services. In addition, numerous vendor payments are processed when duplicate invoice errors are not detected, contributing to significant amounts of spend leakage.

Detecting duplicate invoices is a difficult task. However, if you are still using manual approaches, you will miss a lot of duplicates.

Manual techniques involve an exact match on a combination of Supplier + Invoice ID + Invoice Date + Invoice Amount. 

This manual technique is challenging to check and will miss many duplicate invoice errors. Most of the actual real-world duplicate invoices will go undetected. Duplicate invoices will have different attributes for each of the fields. This duplicate invoice primarily happens because of multiple errors in entering invoice data into the system from invoice images.

What causes Duplicate Invoices?

Duplicate invoices can result from various issues ranging from human errors to complex internal business processes. Some of the common causes of Duplicate invoices include:

  • Manual data entry errors
  • Errors in a master vendor file
  • Pricing errors
  • Adjusted quantity or price on invoice
  • Canceling vendor invoice post payment
  • Sending the same vendor invoice via multiple channels
  • Huge vendor invoice volume
  • No proper data validation for vendor invoices

How can your AP Team solve Duplicate Invoices?

Sending multiple unneeded vendor invoices to organizations can lead to a variety of problems. The AP team can get overwhelmed because of the multiple invoices send-outs. It reflects poorly on the vendor business as a whole.

Any of the following two reasons may cause the vendor invoice problem.

1. Invoice Classification

Do you have an easy way to see which vendor invoices have been paid, which need to be checked out, and which ones are past due?

If you can’t clearly see the state of your invoices, you’re setting yourself up to problems with duplicate invoicing. Sometimes invoices get sent out multiple times because vendors can’t tell that they’ve already been sent.

Tips: The easiest way to solve this problem is to have:

  • Accounts Payable Automation Solution — Easily classifies and organizes invoices
  • Set Business Rules — Automatically check and compare vendor invoices to past transactions (invoice number) and master data (vendor)
  • Cross Analysis of the Line Item Data — Verify items/materials, quantity, and price with the vendor invoices

2. Vendor Information Verification

Ideally, when your accounts payable team works with different vendors, they create one vendor master file record for each vendor. But it is not unusual to accidentally create multiple vendor records for the same organization. For example, the same department may sometimes receive two or three vendor invoices. However, the same vendors can have different postal addresses, and invoices get repeated without any check.

Tips: The easiest way to solve this problem is to have

  • Verification of Vendor Details —  Fields check level with the business rule of vendor number, invoice number, and invoice amount
  • Vendor Master Data — Confirm the vendor master with the vendor (PO box code + zip code + vendor name) and invoice amount
  • Introduction of AI — Auto-verify based on past learning, identify vendor invoice data patterns and see discrepancies or repetitions 
  • Red - Flagging Vendors —  Notify the AP team regarding vendor invoice repetition without human intervention for discrepancies
  • Automated Invoice Approvals —  Using advanced AI workflow conditions to settle the invoices

Over to you…

Many organizations take advantage of the ServiceNow platform to start their digital transformation journey. The platform offers out-of-the-box solutions to digitize many enterprise processes. 

For Vendor Invoice Processing, your organization can leverage Aavenir Invoiceflow, which provides a unique 'zero-touch invoice processing' solution covering 

Aavenir's Invoiceflow delivers faster invoice processing with fewer touchpoints, fewer errors, and more early payment discounts, thus improving the vendor invoice processing. 

Never pay a duplicate invoice again; instead, schedule a demo of Invoiceflow Accounts Payable Automation.

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