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The fundamental structure of the accounts payable function reflectsa company’s financial integrity, yet so many payableoperations in companies aren’t running at peak efficiency.Overlooking only a few weak accounts payable operations canadversely affect a company’s bottom line in a number of ways,from incurring costs to resolve discrepancies and fix errors toreceiving fines for failing to comply with escheat or sales and taxrules.
Accounts Payable Best Practices provides businesses and otherorganizations with a strong sense of where they stand againstindustry leaders and shows them how to take their services andorganizational processes to state-of-the-art levels. Documentedstrategies and tactics employed by highly admired companies arepresentedboth successful and unsuccessfulto illustratethe real-world functionality of each process and approach.
Every chapter features a brief explanation of the process ortopic being addressed to accompany the discussion of bestpractices. However, for a variety of reasons, some firmsaren’t in a position to employ best practices. To bridge thegap between the latest theory and practice, Accounts Payable BestPractices identifies "Almost Best Practices." These specialsections consider that not all practices will work at everycompany, and they offer successful alternatives to best practices.Also included are discussions on practices that absolutely shouldnot be used, but may be practiced at other companies.
To address the renewed interest in internal audit and controls,such as the Sarbanes-Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the mundane operationalaspects of accounts payable are reviewed in a way that focusesattention on issues that are sometimes ignored, such as the mastervendor file. Other coverage in Accounts Payable Best Practicesincludes:
Accounts Payable Best Practices is an essential resource foraccounts payable managers, controllers, and CFOs at every sizecompany.
Chapter 1: Invoices.
Invoice Handling: Approvals.
Verifying Invoice Data.
Paying Small-Dollar Invoices.
Handling Unidentified Invoices.
Handling Invoices without Invoice Numbers.
Case Study: How One Pro Took Accounts Payable Out of the Picturewhen Resolving Customer Discrepancies.
Chapter 2: Checks.
Check Stock Storage.
Distribution of Checks.
Rush or Emergency Checks.
Case Study: Information Sheet: Segregation of Duties.
Chapter 3: Operational.
Duplicate Payment Avoidance.
Paying When the Original Invoice Is Missing.
Limiting Calls to Accounts Payable.
Case Study: Expert Demonstrates How to Put the Web to Work forAccounts Payable.
Chapter 4: Master Vendor File.
Master Vendor File Setup.
Using Naming Conventions.
Making Changes to the Master Vendor File.
Master Vendor File Cleanup.
Case Study: Experienced Accounts Payable Pro Shares MasterVendor File Control Secrets.
Chapter 5: P-Cards.
Design of the P-Card Program.
1099s and P-Cards.
Case Study: P-Cards Improve Accounts Payable Process atPETsMART, Rock-Tenn, and Rouse.
Chapter 6: Travel and Entertainment.
T&E Report Form.
Case Study: Making the Most of Direct Deposit.
Case Study: TransUnion’s Successful Low-Tech, Low-BudgetT&E Solution.
Case Study: Follow IBM’s Lead: 21 Steps to anAward-Winning T&E Process.
Case Study: How Zurich America Developed Its Own ElectronicT&E Report.
Chapter 7: Regulatory Issues.
Sales and Use Tax.
Case Study: How to Avoid Sales and Use Tax Audit Disasters.
Case Study: A Typical Company’s Unclaimed PropertyExperience.
Chapter 8: Cash Management.
Taking Early Payment Discounts.
Payment Status Information for Vendors.
Bank Accounts and Fraud.
Other Cash Management–Related Initiatives.
Case Study: General Electric’s Approach to ElectronicInvoicing and Payment Processing.
Chapter 9: Technology.
Imaging and Workflow.
Case Study: PPL Electric Offers Lessons on Setting Up anAccounts Payable Imaging Solution.
Case Study: An Accounts Payable Web Site.
Case Study: How the Accounts Payable Manager at Merck OverhauledDepartment Procedures and Technology.
Chapter 10: Communications/Customer Relations.
Payment Status Information for Vendors.
Communicating Relevant Information to Vendors.
Communicating with Internal Customers.
Improving the Procure-to-Pay Cycle.
Case Study: Interactive Voice Response Frees Accounts Payablefrom Annoying “Where’s My Money” Calls.
Case Study: How Automated Accounts Payable and PurchasingSystems Mesh at BNSF.