From GS Online's MLS Forum
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GS Online MLS Forum member Paul_ecap recently asked the following:
Does anyone know of, or has anyone tried, using a [third-party] company to review your residual reports for accuracy? I have noticed that some months our volume increases significantly, but our residuals go down or stay the same; other months our volume decreases, but our residuals jump way up. ... Most of us can agree that residuals are our most important revenue stream. Any thoughts or advice?
In response, faithm recommended TCB Consulting Inc.'s work. Others offered thoughts about doing the task in-house. Here's what they had to say:
The reporting I get each month is so detailed that I would never need anyone else to look at it, especially since I can break my report down to specific card types. What type of reporting are you currently getting each month? Is it not very detailed? What does it show?
When I was in the hotel business 20 years ago, I learned to read spreadsheets, and it is not easy. ... Most ISOs' [reports] have coding in them, so you can copy [and] paste or view the codes. One thing for sure is that, in most cases, simple math is all you need to know. Another thing I learned is "figures don't lie, but liars sure can figure." If the residual is detailed or not, as long as you know your costs you can spot-check a few merchants and tell if things are correct.
I always look over each spreadsheet that I get and if there are any errors, or if I think there is an error, I contact the processor/bank ASAP and go over it with them. I have heard a few things over the years such as "you are one of the only reps that ever calls about residuals" and "you are one of the only reps that knows how to read a spreadsheet." The disadvantage we have is that every company uses different software and that in itself is a problem.
We review all residual payment calculations each month. We continue to be amazed at the errors we find. We eventually are paid the correct amounts by the bank/ISO, but only after we bring it to their attention. Two interesting points: 1) It is rare that the error is ever in our favor; 2) It is even more rare that the error is brought to our attention.