This was initially a temporary position as a Purchase Ledger Clerk for Lambert Smith Hampton Property Management (via BTG Recruitment.) The position became permanent in July 2008.
Working for the Nottingham Office of Lambert Smith Hampton, I was one of two members of the Purchase Ledger Team (this eventually became three when the workload grew.) I was responsible for all aspects of Purchase Ledger from beginning to end, and was able to see the entire process and build a rapport with Suppliers, and internal departments.
- Checking Coding and Authorisation of Invoices
- Adding New Suppliers to the system where necessary
- Logging Invoices onto the System (approximately 500 per week)
- Responding to Queries raised internally and with Suppliers
- Raising twice-weekly Payment Runs against Supplier Invoices
- Raising Manual Payments where necessary
- Raising Manual Payments via the Online Banking System
- Raising Reports for Aged Creditors where required
- Liaising with the Cash Allocation team with regards to Refunds and Returns
Whilst at Lambert Smith Hampton I handled receipts from one of the larger clients managed by our office in Birmingham. I liaised with the Birmingham Office when monies were received from the client for payment of invoices due, and with regard to which supplier invoices due would be paid with those funds. The client did not pay enough to cover their expenses, and frequently had upwards of £80,000 of total debts incurred for work done or services received over a period of several months. I built up a rapport with the suppliers in question, and made best efforts to make payment where possible.
I was not authorised to spend any monies that were part of the client's 'float' or to contact the client directly, as I had suggested I might do on several occasions.
I also dealt with one of our Suppliers - BT - directly after several incidents where Supplier Statements did not reconcile with the activity for each of our client's accounts. As a Property Management Company, Lambert Smith Hampton received funds from various clients to settle accounts with their Suppliers. Lambert Smith Hampton also paid suppliers amounts due from all clients under a single BACS payment; with a statement showing the amounts due to be paid to each account.
Not all of those amounts matched the records held by BT, and where they disagreed with regards to bills previously paid or credits that weren't actually due, they took funds from other clients' accounts - treating it as though Lambert Smith Hampton incurred all costs, and the individual accounts made no difference.
I explained to them several times, via telephone and written correspondence, that they should allocated debits and credits to the individual accounts and that if they any difficulties they should contact us (I also suggested that they ought to put credit notes taken twice or double-paid invoices onto the correct accounts.) However, BT stated that they could not do this as they had received singular amounts from Lambert Smith Hampton, to be allocated by them against accounts marked 'Care of Lambert Smith Hampton.'
This led to complications as they would often telephone and send demands for payment directly to the client.
As the computer system used by Lambert Smith Hampton paid all invoices that there were client funds available to pay as a single financial transaction, I suggested to my manager that that amount should be divided into the individual payments made on behalf of each client, and the statements should make it obvious that the individual payments were made with regards to specific accounts and should not be treated otherwise.
Although splitting up the payments, delayed the payment runs for a short time, and seemed to be a lot more work for something that should have been clear from the beginning, I explained that this should ensure that BT correctly allocated payments to the correct accounts, and they did not move money between client accounts that we were not aware of until a bill that we'd made payment against on the behalf of a client came under dispute from BT. I explained that this should make the accounts more closely match up and would save time dealing with complicated payment-allocation issues.
The system that I'd suggested was put into place.