How Can Accounting Help Dispute Management?

How Can Accounting Help Dispute Management?

How Can Accounting Help Dispute Management?

Accounting and dispute management can provide great insight into customers’ purchasing behavior. Disputes can explain how businesses are seeing revenue loss on their balance sheet. And when businesses have their expenses, transactions and shipping invoices all organized in one data source, they will be able to present this evidence more efficiently. Moreover, that allows them to resolve disputes much faster than anticipated.

Here is how you can see the relation between disputes and accounting from a ‘cause-effect’ perspective. Here are some disputes that can affect your revenue stream.

Duplicate Processing

Duplicate processing occurs when merchants charged customers more than once without their approval. This type of dispute mainly originates from technical errors, such as faulty point-of-sale (POS) terminals. But that invalid charge poses a risk in revenue loss when the customer decides to file a dispute. By understanding what transactions are associated to duplicate processing, you will gain a better understanding of how to prevent this dispute from being filed in the first place. You will also need to use some sort of codebook that distinguishes where and when duplicate processing took place. This is where your organization skills really pay off.

Recurring Billing

Subscription billing has its perks. When it is executed properly, it can be increasingly convenient for customers and merchants alike. But that convenience can, unfortunately, has customers to forget to cancel their subscription. Or in some cases, it makes them forget they have an active subscription in the first place. That last recurring payment may be the catalyst that filed a dispute. One way to prevent these disputes (and its related charge backs) is with clear, upfront descriptions about your recurring billing process. This includes things like emails that alert customers about an incoming charge, and product and merchant descriptors that show what initiated the charge.


All consumer disputes have a reason code that specifically refers to a shipping issue. Shipping expenses are great pieces of evidence to prove that a product was shipped. And its associated invoices can prove your carrier successfully delivered the disputed product. Well-managed expenses is an essential cure to prevent shipping issues, let alone consumer disputes. It is even more effective when you have the tools to automate and aggregate receipts, expenses and vendor information all in one place.

Credit / Debit Issues

It is never a good feeling when a transaction does not go as planned. And processing a transaction as credit, rather than debt (and vice versa) can issue severe chargebacks. This is another processing error that can easily disprove a dispute or show that the merchant was at fault. It will all depend on how well you record and organize your transactions. Like late presentment, credit-debit issues are an opportunity to learn how this error occurred. When you make the appropriate changes, you can expect a decline in revenue loss from these types of disputes. And seeing growth on your balance sheet is always a good sign.

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