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Should I be reporting this?

Company registration different to company being asked to make payment to

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I am a Financial Accountant in industry for a large company and one of my tasks is to carry out due-dilligence checks on our new vendors.

One of the vendors that I have been asked to set up has supplied an invoice (internal procedure hasn't been followed and they have already been engaged) that when I check, show  company and VAT registration details that are for a different company than 1) the company that we have engaged with, 2) that the invoice asks for payment to be made to, and 3) at first glance appears to be from.

The companies are related by having the same share-holders, but don't appear to be a group.

Having looked at the accounts for both companies I can see why they may want to recognise the revenue in the other entity, but it just doesn't feel quite right.

So my question is, is this legal and should I be reporting this?

Replies (13)

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By WhichTyler
18th Jul 2019 21:36

Have you asked the company why there is a discrepancy, or told your boss about it?

This happened to me once and it turned out that one of the vendor company principals was trying to do over his business partners...

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Replying to WhichTyler:
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By GB123
18th Jul 2019 21:46

It had crossed my mind that maybe there was a divorce or something similar involved, or that maybe they are trying to screw their creditors.

I have asked them to explain, but most importantly I want to be sure we are not getting involved in anything illegal or unethical.

Thanks for your reply.

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Replying to GB123:
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By paul.benny
19th Jul 2019 08:57

Their answers are likely to show whether there is anything improper going on. My guess it's simple [***]-up and the some where along the line the wrong company details have been used.

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RLI
By lionofludesch
18th Jul 2019 21:58

I don't think you've enough to make a SAR but I would be pointing out to the company that the details supplied don't correspond with those as advertised by Companies House (or wherever you got your information).

If you contract with a company - that's the company you expect to be paying.

Let them know you won't be paying in the absence of a satisfactory explanation.

Exact course of action will depend on your contracting procedures.

There's probably nothing in it but there's no harm in asking the question. If only to let them know that you're not to be messed with.

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Replying to lionofludesch:
David Winch
By David Winch
25th Jul 2019 09:42

Quote:

I don't think you've enough to make a SAR ......


I would think the OP is unlikely to be working in the 'regulated sector' - so he would not be subject to the requirements of MLR 2017 and s330 PoCA 2002.
He only requires therefore to make a report if he considers he is himself at risk of committing a 'money laundering' offence. There is nothing here to suggest that is the case.
David
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By bernard michael
19th Jul 2019 09:30

Make sure you inform and involve your Finance Director

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By John R
19th Jul 2019 10:53

If you pay the wrong company what is to stop the company you have contracted with from demanding payment in accordance with their contract?

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Replying to John R:
RLI
By lionofludesch
19th Jul 2019 11:02

Quote:

If you pay the wrong company what is to stop the company you have contracted with from demanding payment in accordance with their contract?

Quite. That's the point.

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By Vaughan Blake1
19th Jul 2019 11:55

Why not ask the contracted company to confirm where/who to pay?

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Replying to Vaughan Blake1:
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By GB123
19th Jul 2019 13:22

We will do that in any case. I was really concerned about, assuming it isn't just an error, the legality.

Thanks for all the advice so far.

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By LostinSuspense
24th Jul 2019 12:16

It could also be that both companies have the same bookkeeper / accountant and they simply got mixed-up logged into the wrong company and issued an invoice from that.

I have had that before (recently), nothing untoward just plain old human error. As has been suggested, it's not the error but the response when you report an error that should help you judge the situation.

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By FCExtraordinaire
01st Aug 2019 09:43

Report it to your FD or MD, they may know something you don't about the structure of the company that you are dealing with and it could all be innocent, such as a subsidiary or you have been engaged by the holding company.

However, point out that the company engaged is not who you have been invoiced by or who you are paying.
You are right to question it, especially if its a service item.

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By pauljohnston
01st Aug 2019 10:12

If it helps. I would send an email to FD enclosing the bill and also details of the company to be paid. Point out that the discrepancy and ask for confirmation that it can be paid. Keep a paper copy for yourself away from you office just in case so one tries to blame you

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