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Controller and CFO's Guide to Accounts Payable by Mary S. Schaeffer

By Mary S. Schaeffer

Refreshingly candid and witty in tone, Controller and CFO's consultant to money owed Payable is needed interpreting for any expert desirous to comprehend extra approximately their organization's AP operations. It proclaims that AP isn't any longer a back-office functionality and underscores the truth that right recognition needs to be paid to this important division so one can run a number one aspect and aggressive corporation.

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Unfortunately, when these statements get to accounts payable, a few processors, especially new ones who may not have been adequately trained, will mistake the statement for an invoice and pay it. Thus, invoices get paid twice. Others will identify unpaid invoices on the statements and pay them. Then when the original invoice eventually shows up approved for payment, you know what happens. Thus, many organizations have a policy of never paying from statements. However, there is at least one instance when paying from statements might be a good idea.

Well, do you know who most frequently commits fraud? Long term trusted employees. So, do not be lulled by the thought that Joe in Accounting has been with you forever and would never do anything to hurt the organization. Numerous executives have reported that they have been dinged in their Sarbanes-Oxley audit for not having appropriate segregation of duties. By, the way, the other big area that has emerged as an issue for some organizations, is inadequate documentation. It appears that more than a few firms have not updated their policy and procedures manual in quite some time.

One way to do that is to track disputed invoices to identify trends and weaknesses in the process. Some of the metrics you might want to track to identify process loopholes are: 30 Invoice Handling • • • • Number of disputes by vendor Number of disputes by purchaser Number of disputes by type Number of disputes by location If you see an inordinate number of disputes in one or two areas, you can then focus on what’s going wrong in the process there. Alternatively, if you note that a few purchasers or locations have few or no disputes, you can investigate what that location/person is doing differently than the others.

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