I needed an invoice to get paid while I was gone from work. I asked James and Lisa to coordinate. When I came back, a copy of the invoice was on my desk, indicating “paid.”
I contacted the vendor just to make sure. I said, Happy New Year! (And did you get paid?)
They said it appears the invoice was paid by check, and with the holidays there could be delays in their system. I thought it funny we would pay by check, so I went back to James.
James put the invoice in a basket with AP and said he didn’t know. I walked down to AP. The first person I saw said she’s sorry, she doesn’t sit there (she’s a sign language interpreter). I talked to her neighbor. She redirected me to the next row.
I enter the next row, and find Carolyn. Carolyn is wonderful. She greets me, makes eye contact, adjusts her blouse, and sits down. I explain that if we don’t get this paid by next Friday, we’ll lose the space we have leased for a big conference in Las Vegas. Can we see if the invoice has been paid yet?
Carolyn displays a sense of urgency about my problem. First, we need to see if they’re in the system. They’re not. This means we’ll need a W9 and there’s a three-day processing time, so if we get this by next Tuesday, we can overnight it and pay by Friday.
All this seems dangerous. We agree credit card would be better, so I go back to James. Can we use Jim’s credit card? It would be better to use Mike’s since it came out of his cost center. So I go to talk to Karen, Mike’s assistant.
Karen is great. She says, put it an email to me and I’ll take care of it. So I do that, and wait. In the meantime, I think to ask the vendor for their W9, just in case we can’t pay by card for some reason.
Mike answers my email with his iPhone, saying if Karen can pay with her card, it’s okay. But the bill is $8,000 and Karen’s limit is $5,000 – which means we need to find the form for a temporary limit increase request, for Karen.
In the meantime, I get the W9 from the vendor. Now we have options. Check, or card? Karen sends me a note asking, what do I want to do? Card!
Karen gets her limit increased and walks over to my desk, to ask how I want to send the payment? By fax, or call the vendor? She offers to call the vendor.
I send a final note to Carolyn: now that we have the W9 and we’ve decided to pay by card, is there the risk that the bill will get double-paid when the invoice appears in AP?
She says yes, there is that risk since the expenses are recorded in different areas for check and credit card. She needs a copy of the invoice so she can look for it, delete it, then send it to MDIO so they can get the vendor set up in Oracle, allowing us to pay by check next time.
One way or another, people who care get things done.