Tracking Money Order Payments
Almost six months ago, SEI instituted a policy that drastically altered the payment method to vendors and affected every franchise store. This policy came about when the Accounting Department made the strategic decision to reduce its number of employees as a cost cutting measure.
To accomplish this downsizing, franchisees and vendors were notified that SEI would no longer process invoices. Vendors who desired to continue delivering to 7-Eleven stores had to submit the invoices in an electronic format utilizing Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or via a third party processor, Transcepta. 7-Eleven suppliers who were unwilling, or even unable, to do so could no longer receive payment from SEI. The Accounting Department went so far as to declare suppliers who did not comply would be changed from recommended status to non-recommended status.
Vendors were subsequently told to contact franchisees for payment, and franchisees were given three options to use to pay these “uncooperative” vendors. In essence, storeowners were forced to negotiate their own terms of payment with their suppliers. It seemed SEI had distanced itself from its contractual role of establishing the value of a store’s daily book inventory.
The three payment methods now available to franchisees for their non-recommended vendors who meet SEI’s new paradigm to receive payment:
• Franchisees can pay them with cash from the daily deposit.
• Franchisees can write their own check and reimburse themselves from the daily deposit.
• Franchisees can print a money order.
All three methods require storeowners to spend more time preparing cash reports in order to properly extend the retail and cost of every single item on an invoice, and enter the information into the In-Store Processor (ISP).
It may come as no surprise that even the best-laid plans often go awry. For instance, there are times when the vendor does not receive—or even loses—the check or money order, and requires to be paid again. If a check has been issued, the franchisee must follow banking protocol to stop payment on a check, many times resulting in a fee of $20 or more. If the franchisee printed a money order in the store, a $15 fee is required to stop payment and to receive a replacement money order. Additionally, it usually takes weeks to receive a new money order.
However, there is a little known procedure to trace a money order, stop payment and get a replacement at no cost to the store. Since the franchisee is both the seller and purchaser of the money order, there is an alternative to the standard process our customers must follow.
The first step is to call Western Union at 720-332-4104 and speak with Mona. This is her direct phone number. Tell her that you are requesting a “Fraud Watch” be placed of the missing money order. She will need the six-digit agent number printed on the money order, the serial number, and the dollar amount. The franchisee will then be given a case number.
Next, the franchisee must print a replacement money order that can be given to the vendor. This will result in a cash shortage on that day’s cash report.
Third, the franchisee needs to call SEI Accounting Customer Service and speak with the 7-Eleven representative. Explain the issue and give the case number received from Western Union. The franchisee will be told the lost money order will be cancelled and its value processed as a cash adjustment for the day the original money order was printed. If the original purchase date was in a previous month, the cash adjustment will be applied to the first day of the current month. This cash correction may be tracked on the ISP via the “Cash Report Corrections” icon. The adjustment should be completed in three business days.