Are overhead costs squeezing your business every month? How often do you do a health check on your company’s finances? Do you pore through every utility bill to verify its accuracy? What about checking for billing errors in landscaping invoices that come in every month like clockwork?
Most companies simply lack the capacity or the time to audit their utility bills. A quick cursory look is all they can afford, and if the bills fall within a certain range, they presume it’s accurate. But that’s not always the case. Landscaping companies can often make huge (and expensive) billing mistakes. A quick audit by a professional can root out the errors in your bills and lower your overhead. Here are four common billing errors in landscaping and grounds management invoices that cause your company to bleed money:
1) Billing for the Wrong Services
The landscaping needs of a large facility can be complex, and they vary from season to season. You may require some services and drop others as the season dictates. Sometimes the landscaping company may fail to capture the diverse requests, leading to inaccurate billing.
If your invoice doesn’t reflect the range of services offered, then your firm could be silently bleeding money each month. Auditing an itemized landscaping invoice is good practice because it allows you to detect specific errors. Landscaping comprising of small projects could easily tuck an extra $1,000 into your bill each month. Depending on the size of the property, the extra costs can climb up to $5,000.
Having a professional service audit your landscaping and ground management invoices can save you a ton of money. An audit alerts you to common billing mistakes and how much money you’ve paid as a result. You can use the audit findings to claim a refund from the landscaping company.
2) Billing at the Wrong Rates
Price changes are a common occurrence in the landscaping sector. Your landscaping firm may raise or lower their prices as they deem fit. But if you’re locked in a contract, the service provider shouldn’t raise the rates without official communication.
Unfortunately, some utility companies raise their rates by as much as 20% without informing their clients. If that’s the case, such a hike can more than double your landscaping costs over a year. Arbitrary changes in billing rates amount to an expensive breach of contract, one you’re unlikely to notice unless you audit your invoices.
Detailed auditing of your invoices can reveal when the new rates were imposed and your company’s total amount of overpayment. With the evidence in hand, you can dispute the charges and claim a refund.
3) Human Errors
Human errors are common in invoices, especially in companies that use paper-based billing systems. A simple typo or a misplaced decimal point could see you pay hundreds or thousands of dollars more each month for years.
Sometimes there could be a mix-up in the billing information, leading you to get the wrong landscaping bill. The name on the account could be correct, but the service rendered could be different. In such a case, you could be paying for services you didn’t receive.
Auditing each invoice from the landscaping company ensures accuracy and helps you identify any erroneous billing information. Digging into your previous invoices can also help you identify any discrepancies. The audit process reveals overpayment so that you can claim a refund from the service providers for any billing errors in landscaping invoices.
4) Sales Tax Errors
Depending on your location, a sales tax can tuck an extra 3% to 7% into your landscaping bill each month. At first glance, this amount may seem negligible. But it can add up to a significant sum over a year. It’s even more egregious if your business is eligible for a sales tax exemption.
Some businesses and non-profit organizations qualify for sales tax exemptions to ease their financial burden. Your landscaping company may have been dutifully adding a sales tax to each bill, unaware of your tax-exempt status.
If your business is exempt from sales tax, then you should update all your service providers and ask them to dock the charge from your future bills. An audit to catch any past tax-related billing errors in landscaping invoices can help your firm seek compensation. It’ll reveal the overpayment so that you can reach out to the landscaping company for a refund.
Validate Each Invoice and Save Money
Inaccurate invoices from your landscaping service provider can silently bleed your company dry. Whether an honest mistake or a deliberate action, any billing errors in landscaping invoices have a significant financial implication. Undetected errors can cost your firm a fortune in unnecessary bills.
Have an expert in identifying and correcting utility and service contract billing errors audit your invoices. This step will help you catch any landscape and grounds management billing errors affecting your business. It can also help you save money in future billings and claim a refund from the respective companies. Learn more about how Util Auditors can help develop a unique solution for your business’s needs.