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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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4–1. Avoid Missed Billings

One of the most serious billing problems is when shipments are made or services delivered, and no billing is issued at all. For a variety of reasons, there are holes in the sales process that allow documentation of sales to never reach the billing department. Depending on the number of times this happens, the amount of lost profits can be quite large. Here are some techniques for minimizing missed billings:

  • Orders not entered through standard system. The sales staff sometimes walks a customer order around the order entry department and straight to the warehouse, just to ensure that a delivery takes place as soon as possible (or worse, they hand-carry it to the customer, so there is also no shipping record). When this happens, there is no record of a customer order in the computer system, so there is no indicator of an unbilled order that would normally flag some form of investigation by the accounting manager. The only solution is to require everyone at every step of the order fulfillment process to force anyone circumventing the system to return to the order entry department, where the order will be properly entered into the system.

  • Billable hours changed after the fact. Employees have a habit of going back into the timekeeping system and altering their billable hours after the billing period has closed. This problem can be avoided entirely by locking down access to timekeeping periods in the previous month, so that no changes can be made.

  • Late timesheet ...

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