Starting January 16 the SLD will deny BEARs (Form 472) based on a variety of clerical errors. In the process of trying to speed up invoicing, the SLD has acknowledged that processing a BEAR Form is "substantially delayed when one or more line items contain errors…" If the SLD denies payment they recommend referring to the BEAR Notification Letter and the list of "Invoice Error Codes" (https://www.usac.org/e-rate/applicant-process/invoicing/invoice-error-codes/) to understand why payment was denied.
Once the error is corrected the applicant may resubmit the form, and if the BEAR deadline is approaching they should request an invoice extension.
Frequently found line-item errors on BEARs include:
- Entries that are incomplete or missing
- Entries that are incorrect (for example, the digits are transposed on a Funding Request Number (FRN))
- Entries that are inconsistent (for example, the SPIN does not represent the service provider associated with the FRN)
- The sequence of dates is incorrect (for example, the BEAR Form was received by USAC before the Form 486 Notification Letter was issued)
- USAC has not yet made a commitment on the FRN
- There are no funds remaining for the FRN
- A Form 486 has not yet been filed for the FRN.
- For the last several months the SLD has also been denying Service Provider Invoices (Form 474) based on clerical mistakes. When a service provider resubmits their invoice the invoicing process starts from the beginning, which can prevent the service provider from being paid in a timely fashion.
E-rate applicants and service providers can use E-rate Manager to generate their payment forms. E-rate Manager can detect invoicing program violations and can prevent the most common clerical mistakes.