Vendor Master File Analysis Frequently Asked Questions

Don’t hesitate to move forward with a Vendor Master File Analysis.  It’s easy to get started with help from BerkOne. Read on for questions our customers ask frequently.  While we provide answers here, our Vendor Master File Analysis Specialists are ready to address other questions and to get you started with an analysis.

Q:

A:

What are the benefits of doing a supplier / vendor master file analysis?

By having your master file of vendors or suppliers analyzed and performing the necessary file maintenance, you and your colleagues who maintain the file of all vendors/suppliers or use it in AP operations will achieve these benefits:

  • Pay the Right Vendor: Identifying all duplicate vendors, along with standardizing and updating addresses.  This allows your AP department to remove improper duplicates and ensure payments are flowing to the correct vendors.
  • AP Efficiency: Cleansing and updating your master vendor file makes your Accounts Payable operations more efficient. With a clean, de-duplicated list of vendors, both your AP staff and your automated financial processes can isolate the correct vendor without question. By clearing up duplicate vendor confusion, not only are payments made to the right vendors, but you reduce AP exception handling and shorten cycle time.
  • By consistently paying the appropriate vendor, you never have to pull back an incorrect payment from the wrong vendor and reissue payment to the right vendor. Additionally, this ensures you always receive your prompt pay discounts and you eliminate all bank processing fees associated with errant payments.
  • Fraud prevention: The AICPA recommends that your company perform a master vendor file analysis at least annually, or even quarterly for more control. This can lead to identification and correction of common master vendor file problems that can lead to fraud.

Visit our popular blog for tips on completing a successful vendor master file cleanup.

Q:

Are there requirements for the contents of our company’s master file of vendors or suppliers that we supply you, i.e. a standard file layout?

A:

Yes, the requirements are easy to meet.

  • Files submitted must be in CSV format.
  • Include all vendor entries in your vendor master file, i.e. your entire vendor population.
  • The best analysis results are produced when these required and recommended fields are provided:
    • Vendor / Supplier ID, vendor or supplier numbers
    • Name of Vendor / Supplier
    • Minimum requirement is either Physical Address or Mailing Address. Including both physical and mailing addresses increases the probability of identifying suspected duplicate vendors and may identify more addresses in need of correction
    • Recommended: Tax ID Number (EIN or SSN)
  • Optional fields may be included, i.e. employee name or department / unit assigned to specific vendor.  These fields may enable easier file maintenance. They will be returned to you in the results reports, but will not be examined as part of the analysis procedures.
  • Exclude any financial data such as balances or individual transactions.
  • Before you get started, your Point of Contact will provide you a customer guide and file specification that explains the file layout and all steps to get the job done.

Q:

What’s a Secure Link and how does it work?

A:

A Secure Link provides access to BerkOne’s Vendor Master File Analysis Portal. The link is unique and generated specifically for you. A Secure Link enables file transfers between our customers and BerkOne through HTTPS, the industry standard in web traffic security and encryption. We add additional security by making our links valid for single-use within five days.

There are two kinds of links for Vendor Master File Analysis: Secure Upload Links to send files to BerkOne and Secure Download Links to retrieve the Full Detail Results Package.

Q:

How do we know this is secure and that BerkOne will not use the information for other purposes?

A:

BerkOne is committed to high standards for information security. In fact, third-party auditors examine our security controls and issue their report of our compliance with SSAE 16 SOC 2 annually. Additionally, the terms of service which you will acknowledge before you upload your files prohibits BerkOne from using your information for any purpose other than the vendor master file analysis.

Q:

My company has multiple accounts payable systems and we are combining into one. Can you analyze the contents of multiple files and make identify suspected duplicate vendors across files?

A:

Yes. You can provide multiple files and we’ll do our analysis across them. When you upload the files to the portal, we ask you to indicate which file is “primary”. Your Suspected Matches report in your Analysis Package will flag the records from your primary file. This may be especially helpful to your staff in deciding which records to retain / update, de-duplicate or archive.

Q:

How much does the service cost?

A:

The Vendor Master File Analysis service is affordable and economically priced. 

  • First and foremost, there is no charge for submitting your files and receiving the Results Summary. 
  • If, after reviewing your Results Summary, you decide not to proceed, you owe BerkOne nothing more. 
  • To receive your Full Detail Analysis Package, your fee is volume based, i.e. a small fee per submitted vendor record. 
  • If you submit all your records in one file, there are no additional charges. However, if multiple files are provided, each additional file will be billed a handling fee. 

Your Point of Contact will provide you with definitive pricing based on the specifics of your vendor master file records, i.e. volume and number of files.

Q:

How do I pay for the service?

A:

Payment is easy. When we send your Summary Results, we also provide a calculation of the total billed amount. To receive the Full Detail Analysis Package, you pay BerkOne over the phone with a credit card. Your payment signals us to send you a payment receipt and a notification with a Secure Link to download your results.

Q:

To get the Full Detail Analysis Package, why do we have to pay by credit card over the phone?

A:

We want to make it easy to do business with BerkOne. Taking a credit card payment over the phone accelerates delivery of your Full Detail Analysis report, it gives you an email receipt to make it convenient to reconcile your credit card account and it is safe and secure.

Note: In the future, we plan to incorporate paying by credit card right on the Vendor Master File Analysis Portal. We are just not ready with that feature yet.

Q:

What does the Full Detail Analysis Package tell me.

A:

The Full Detail Analysis Package provides results for the vendor file(s) you submitted in five separate reports:

  • Suspected Vendor Matches
  • Vendors with No Suspected Matches
  • Physical Address Change Recommendations
  • Mailing Address Change Recommendations
  • Address Change Summary

Each suspected duplicate vendor is identified for your company to evaluate and potentially de-duplicate or archive. 

Each vendor address – both company and mailing – that may require an update is identified. 

Q:

How do you handle addresses from outside the United States, i.e. non-US or foreign Addresses?

A:

We encourage submission of non-US addresses. Regardless of location / country, the Vendor Master File Analysis program uses address information to determine suspected duplicate vendors. However, we cannot standardize addresses or identify changes of addresses on non-US addresses. Those functions rely on datasets that include only US-based addresses.

Q:

How long does an analysis take?

A:

BerkOne will make your summary results available to you within 5 business days. Once you pay for the detailed results, we send you a notification with a secure link to download your Full Detail Analysis Package.

Q:

How can I get more information?

A:

Complete the contact form on this page, email Sales@BerkOne.com or call our toll-free number: 866-396-8194. A Vendor Master File Analysis Specialist will reply and assist you.