What is a double payment?
Duplicate payment occurs when a consumer, whether natural or legal person, makes the same payment two or more times.
The causes can be a technological failure in a used payment system, for example, or by human error — by forgetfulness or disorganization.
Regardless of the reason, this error generates a lot of inconvenience and inconvenience, as it commits twice (or more) of the amount foreseen in the company’s financial budget for that month and takes time to resolve the forms of reimbursement.
It takes tranquility to find the best solution in each case and always be aware of what Brazilian legislation provides on the subject.
When can double payment happen?
In the case of companies, double payment can happen in recurring bills, such as electricity, internet and others, or in the payment of suppliers, partners and employees, when labor funds are paid more than once.
In all these cases, the company needs to face the problems caused by the mistake made.
What problems can it cause?
The main problem caused by double payment occurs in the company’s cashier.
When paying the same expense twice or more, it is possible that the available financial resources become insufficient to cover the other costs, thus compromising financial health and preventing the business from fulfilling all its obligations.
In this case, other consequences can happen, such as the payment of fines and interest for default, bank credit restrictions and even lawsuits, depending on the case and the time to discover and solve the problem.
1-Main causes of double payment and how to solve them
In the case of boletos and invoices, one of the main reasons for duplicate payments is the lack of financial organization .
When the company does not have strict control over pending payments and those already made, errors are often quite frequent.
Just monitoring the account and statements may not be enough and end up confusing the person in charge, favoring the payment of the same account more than once.
For this situation, the best solution is to have a specific employee to make the payments and/or use a financial control system .
In this way, the payment of bills is unified, reducing the risk of making mistakes.
Another possibility is that an error occurs in the banking institution. Since 2018, when the collection banking system was implemented, boletus are registered and this does not allow the same security to be paid twice.
However, some institutions have not yet joined the system and can issue slips without this security system.
Credit card payments are also prone to errors, as they do not have this duplicate check.
2-Duplicate Payroll Payments
Another possibility of double payment is when the payment of labor sums that are undue or that have already been paid.
These payments are usually related to wages, overtime or sick pay .
Here double payment can also happen for different reasons:
- bank error — when the bank itself makes the payment twice. In this case, it is the company that must carry out the process of reversing the amounts, and therefore, the company must contact the bank to resolve;
- errors in the company’s HR and DP sector — this is when the duplicate or improper command is given in the company itself. It can happen in the payment of salary or overtime, or also in benefits, such as transport vouchers and food vouchers.
What to do to recover the money from the duplicate payment?
The way in which the amount paid in duplicate will be refunded depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the payment.
In the case of services , such as consumer bills (water, electricity, telephone, etc.) and also credit cards, the most common is for the company to offer reimbursement as credit on the next bill.
That way, you will only pay the difference consumed more, if it happens, in the following period.
But it is also possible to request a cash refund. For this, the customer must formally request the return and inform a current account for deposit.
According to the Consumer Protection Code (CDC), service providers have a period of 30 days to resolve the case and return the amount to the consumer, which can be in the form of credit on the next invoice or bank deposit.
If the company refuses to return the amounts paid in duplicate or refuses to provide information about the return and the time for solution, it may fall under article 39 of the CDC .
In these cases, the consumer must file an action in the Special Civil Court of the city or look for the Procon of the region.
It will be necessary to prove the payment in duplicate and the lack of attitude of the company to resolve the situation.
1-Duplicate payments to suppliers
When the double payment happens to a supplier, the best way is to contact him and talk about the problem, proving that there was this duplicate credit.
Often, also due to lack of financial organization, this duplicity is only noticed after many months.
And, in these cases, even if the supplier is willing to return the amount paid in excess, he may not have the amount in cash at the moment, so it is necessary to be open to negotiation.
The first thing to remember is that the mistake was not the supplier’s, but your company’s financial sector, so be patient and seek a solution through an agreement.
If there are still outstanding installments ―to be paid ―, they can be reduced to the total amount already credited.
If the total payment has already been made, and the pending issue is with a company that provides recurring services, it can also be agreed that the amount will remain as a credit for future contracts.
However, if there is no interest in this, it will be necessary to accept the conditions and deadlines that the supplier offers or even sue him in court.
How to resolve double payments of labor funds?
Labor legislation determines that discounts cannot exceed the maximum limit of 30% of salary.
This means that the company must guarantee the employee to receive at least 70% of the salary, under penalty of acting illegally.
In addition, it is important that the employee agrees with the proposed way of refunding amounts paid in duplicate .
For this, the company must formalize an overpayment contract which includes the form of return. The contract needs to be signed by both parties.
Depending on the amount and nature of the credit, a full and immediate refund can be proposed (if possible for the employee) or even in installments, discounting monthly until the total already paid is added up, always respecting the limit of 30% of the salary for the plot.
Another option is, in the case of a salary paid in duplicate, consider that the amount corresponds to an advance on the 13th salary , which by law must be paid by November 30 of each year.
What cannot happen, under any circumstances, is to leave the employee without receiving a salary the following month.
When the undue payment happens in terms of transport vouchers, meal vouchers or food, when the worker is away from work, for example, it is possible to make an agreement so that the amount is compensated when he returns to work.
How to avoid double payment?
Most of the time, cases of double payment are caused by disorganization in the financial sector of the company.
When more than one person makes payments or even when appointments are made too far in advance, errors can occur. And lack of efficient follow-up can delay problem identification.
The financial organization is the solution to avoid these events. And for it to happen, it is essential to have good financial management.
Several elements make up financial management, but the most important to ensure that the company has sufficient resources to meet all its commitments are cash flow and working capital .
The cash flow is the record of all the financial movements of the company, whether they are expenses or income.
In addition, it also includes estimates and projections of payments for the following months.
Working capital, on the other hand, is what enables the company to pay day-to-day expenses, even if customers opt for installment payments.
To carry out the cash flow correctly, it is necessary to carefully record everything that enters and leaves the company’s cash on a daily basis. In addition, you need to follow up at the bank and reconcile accounts.
This is when duplicate payment errors easily appear.
When this follow-up does not happen or is sporadic, the perception of missing values is much more complicated, as there will be many entries to sort.
The financial organization is also important so that your company has available resources to wait for the deadline to return the amounts, without the payments of daily obligations being compromised.
1-Use technology to your advantage
The best thing to do is to count on the help of technology , which today offers several resources and tools to help the manager keep this monitoring up to date.
Much more than a simple spreadsheet, which requires continuous recording of transactions, today several software helps to automate the conference, reconciling the accounts with the projections made and organizing the cash flow in a much simpler and easier way.
Many of these systems offer features that identify appointments and payments that have already been made, preventing duplicate credits from happening.
Best tools for financial management regarding Duplicate payment
But now you must be thinking about which tools are really important for financial management, especially since there are so many available on the market.
Here we are going to talk about the main resources that have the potential to help organize your company’s finances.
Managing invoices can be a difficult task, but it is extremely necessary for financial control.
Having an invoice management system helps reduce issuance errors and minimizes bureaucracy, automating and optimizing staff time. Many software are integrated with financial systems, making control even easier.
Electronic spreadsheets help keep track of accounts payable and receivable, track financial indicators, manage cash flow and analyze income statements.
But to have all these advantages, it is necessary to invest in spreadsheets specially created for the financial sector.
An ERP is a fully integrated management system, which manages to optimize several actions , from sales registration to even the generation of invoices and financial reports.
It facilitates the identification and analysis of financial information, thus helping to make better decisions.
In the most complete tools, functionality goes beyond the financial sector, as well as sales, HR , inventory and others.
They help automate financial and accounting routines, making financial monitoring and control much simpler.
All analyzes can be done in dashboards which are generally quite intuitive.
When the company offers several payment methods, such as bills, cards, checks and deposits, for example, it can be difficult to control all receipts.
With payment systems, receipts are automated with banks and card companies. Management is done online, facilitating control.