Check your lab invoices for errors and get PAID!

Lab invoices. We all get 'em. These tiny slips of paper are the way you verify your original order to what you actually received from the lab, but they are also the gateway to finding out if you were charged properly.

After talking to some opticians at a conference a few months ago, I was shocked to find out how many offices didn't take the time to spot-check their individual lab invoices on jobs returning to the office. The amount of revenue these offices are losing, I can only imagine, is beyond belief.

Having a clear understanding of why you should be charged from your lab on a job is imperative in making sure you are getting correct pricing on each individual invoice. If your not checking your invoices you are more than likely being charged for items you didn't request or are being overcharged for treatments and lens materials.

To cut down on lab errors, I spot check all invoices when they come in from the lab during my job check-in process. After I verify the invoice to the original order, I take a look at the pricing listed on the invoice.

An easy way to keep up with pricing from your lab, is to create a folder on your desktop or a physical binder with all of your lab fees in it. I simply print the lab price book from their site and clip the pages in a binder to keep it organized and easily accessible. I made tabs in the binder so I can access the price of the most used lenses and treatments easily, and with time I have memorized the pricing so I do not need to reference the book each time I get an invoice. Once you have your pricing from the lab set up, this binder or folder should stay near by so you can verify your cost efficiently. 

If I find a discrepancy in any of our pricing, I write the amount we were overcharged on the invoice with the date and my initials and set it in a separate stack so I can call the lab and let them know we have a credit list coming. If the pricing is correct, I sign my initials and the date with the word, "OK" so that when our bookkeeper gets the invoices to match them to our overall lab statement, she can see I have already verified the pricing on the individual invoice. Most labs are great about giving credits, and a simple way to submit them to the lab so that you are not taking their time and yours on the phone, is to fax them in. Make a quick cover letter to the lab manager stating that the following invoices have credits due, and they will get them issued accordingly. 

By checking lab invoices in my office over the years, we have received thousands of dollars in credit. Check your invoices for errors daily, and get PAID for overcharges you may have missed otherwise. Keeping an organized record of overcharges will help you get paid, but will also help you gear a conversation with your lab when discussing what they will do in order to be sure these mistakes do not continue to happen.