Each month USAC’s Schools and Libraries Division (SLD) hosts service provider webinars, providing information and guidance to vendors that participate in the E-rate program. One of the items highlighted monthly are the invoice processing statistics for E-rate Forms 472 (BEAR form) and 474 (SPI form). On January 7th the SLD reported that they processed $148.6 million in invoices during the month of December and 96% were processed within 30 days of receipt.
After reviewing the reported invoicing statistics for the entire 2014 calendar year, it appears that the SLD is processing 96% of the invoices within 30 days on average. The SLD has markedly improved their invoicing processing procedures over the last couple of years, making the process smoother and faster for applicants and service providers, and they deserve credit for doing so.
Below is my analysis of the dollars from FY 2004-2013 that have been disbursed over the 2014 calendar year:
- FY 2013: $1.4 billion
- FY 2012: $437.5 million
- FY 2011: $106.2 million
- FY 2010: $61 million
- FY 2009: $11 million
- FY 2008: $9.8 million
- FY 2007: $1.4 million
- FY 2006: $332,000
- FY 2005: $419,000
- FY 2004: $448,000
As a reminder, the FCC and USAC have instituted a Payment Quality Assurance (PQA) Assessment plan to audit disbursements and evaluate the rate of improper payments to beneficiaries. The FCC recently reported (p. 100), based on the audit sample, over this past year the estimated improper payment rate was 3.47%, or $77.1 million in improper payments out of approximately $2.2 billion that was disbursed during the 2014 fiscal year.
The final invoice deadline for FY 2012 and FY 2013 for non-recurring services is January 28th, 2015. There are many new rules and changes which will affect the E-rate program going forward, and the FY 2015 filing window opens next week. If E-rate is stressing you out, please request a free applicant “E-rate Survival Kit” from Funds For Learning.
If you would like to learn more about how Funds For Learning can help with the application or invoicing process, please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.