There are days the job kicks my tuchas. Then there are days like this. (FYI, major job neepery ahead, so if you choose to skip this one, I won’t be hurt. 😉 )
Short description of said job: I do accounts payable for a firm that does aircraft/aerospace-related purchases and sales. We buy stuff, I process most of the payments — a stack of paper that averages a ream or so every week. Like any other activity, stuff happens…vendor ships the wrong thing, something arrives damaged, we got shorted on parts, whatever. Problems with the shipment mean problems for the payment side, and usually I have to contact the buyer to find out exactly what’s going on and whether it will be cleared up in time to make full payment this week, make a short payment, or hold payment entirely until the problem is solved.
Yesterday, two of the buyers told me one of our vendors was holding their orders because the account was on credit hold, i.e., not up to date on payments. The accounts receivable contact at the vendor had emailed me last week about some things, I’d replied, and then I didn’t hear anything else, so I went merrily along thinking the problem was solved.
I spent what felt like most of yesterday pulling together information for the sales rep to prove we’d done our part — this item is open for this reason, I told the accounting person I needed more info to research that item, etc., but the sales rep didn’t have the authority to lift the credit hold and said I’d have to contact accounting. I call the person at the very end of the email who told the sales rep we were on hold; she referred me to another office, the person at the other office wasn’t the right person, and after all that the right person was out of the office for the day. When I did finally talk to a live human who could check the notes on our account, she brought up an item a month or more older than what was on the list I’d responded to last week.
By this time I’m contacting all the buyers who had orders related to the open items for as much additional info as they could give me, all of which I fired off to the accounting contact with cc:’s to everyone in my office who was either waiting for their order to be released or had one of those problem items.
Funny thing about most of those problems. They were still problems because my buyers had made repeated requests to their sales rep for authorization to return products that didn’t meet the requirements of our purchase orders…and the reps never got them the info.
Then today, things were even more fraught because we’re still on hold, etc., etc., and when I finally get an email from the accounting contact, she’s added the month-older item to the list without responding to ANY of the information I sent last week. More digging through emails, and OH! Lo and behold, I’d advised her in AUGUST of the situation with that oldest item, and she replied that she had turned it over to the branch manager for resolution.
Which obviously didn’t happen. By this time, though, she’s added the customer service manager (FINALLY! A MANAGER!) to the email list. So I responded with enough detail (copies of order acknowledgements and “I’ll request credit for you” emails from sales reps to my buyers and such) on the three oldest items, pointed out that ALL of them were due to the vendor’s sales reps dropping the ball (in nicer, more professional language, of course), and ended with, “This being the case, I respectfully request that any and all holds be removed from our account and all orders be released for pick-up.”
And just before I signed out for the night, the customer service manager authorized the accounting contact to issue credits for the three oldest items.
Grand total of the invoices causing all this sturm und drang?
$414.46, give or take a few cents. When we’d paid invoices about 45 times that much only a week before.
Talk about straining at gnats… Of course I immediately fired off a reply to the effect of “Thank you! Does this mean our orders will be released?” No reply by the time I logged out, but I have my fingers crossed.
Anyway, what I’m grateful for today is that I love love love me some paper trails (even the electronic kind) and keep detailed notes on problems and know how to write an effective email. Which by extension means I’m grateful for Mom’s burying me in books, the education she worked like a dog to give me, and every English class I’ve ever taken.
WORD NERD WITH MAD ACCOUNTING SKILLZ FTW!! 😀