"Excuse me, but this doesn't add up!"

When was the last time you checked your bill after dinner?

Normally it’s just a glance to make sure it hasn’t got an unexpected zero, a flip of the credit card onto the receipt tray and job done.

If you’re lucky you’ll have that one mate who will scour through the bill line-by-line while squeezing every last drop of mental arithmetic from GSCE maths to try and find a mistake.

(Note: if you don’t have a mate like that, it’s probably you).

Most of the time we just roll our eyes, but when they do find a mistake it’s hard not to be surprised.

How does this situation even happen? How can a restaurant, that has pre-programmed prices against each dish on a till that automatically calculates the total price, ever get a bill wrong?

But we all know it happens. And it happens in our working world too.

Upon conducting some small-scale marketing audits this year, we’ve noticed that a LOT of client invoices are incorrect. For one client we found that 16% of their agency invoices didn’t actually add up. As in. The numbers. On the invoice. Didn’t. Add. Up.

Crazy!

But what’s more worrying is that most of the time the price on the invoices didn’t match the price on the media plan/contract. Naturally there are times when the invoiced amount will differ from the planned amount due to understandable reasons like over-delivery, owed inventory, optimised spend etc, but these invoices were wildly off-the-mark.

The client didn’t have a process in place where the finance team would check with the marketing team to ensure what they were paying was correct. Thousands of extra pounds had been spent. And now they have to try and get it all back. Which isn’t easy.

It’s like you ordering from the menu, eating your meal and then giving the bill to someone on another table. They would have absolutely no way of knowing if what they were paying for was what you ordered.

This missing checkpoint is potentially costing companies thousands if not millions of pounds per year. A relatively simple change in the invoice template and finance process can fix this quickly.

So when you get your next bill check your bill to see if it adds up. And if you save you and your mates some money, feel free to send 50% of total savings to Appraise.

Bon Appétit.