Let's face it not everybody is ready for AP Automation or even needs it. If you're not ready for AP Automation, that's okay! There are many things that you can start doing today to help make life easier for your accounts payable staff. Below is a list of some "AP Best Practices" that you might find helpful. Feel free to add your own best practices and helpful time saving tips below.
1. Setup an AP email address and allow suppliers to submit invoices via email. This will help cut down on the amount of paper that you will have to deal with.
2. Before paying any vendor, be sure there is a W-9 on file for them. This will save a lot of hassle at year-end when you need to prepare 1099s.
3. Ensure you have a policy about how invoice numbers are to be entered. If you have a number of clerks all using their own rules about entering invoice numbers (like what to do with leading zeros), it will be difficult to track down anything. Also, having a policy helps if there isn’t an invoice number.
4. The person entering the invoice should be different from the person approving the invoice who should be different from the person signing the check.
5. Have all invoices come to the accounts payable department first before being sent out for approval(s). This way the invoice can be logged before it enters the black hole.
6. Do not enter invoices as a batch. Each one should be entered individually in order to have an audit trail.
7. All invoices should have the account coding written on them as well as any notes about special handling.
8. The amount of the invoice should be entered as billed even if you don’t plan on paying the full amount. A credit memo can be entered and matched against the invoice later. The key is to remember the audit trail.
9. Have a new vendor welcome letter that you can send informing them of where invoices should be sent, what information you require to process their invoices (like a vendor ID number) and any forms you need completed. Vendors will appreciate the information to ensure their payments aren’t held up.
10. Watch your payables carefully to take advantage of any discounts being offered by vendors. It can add up to a nice sum by the end of the year.
Although accounts payable automation is the buzzword these days many AP departments find enough time savings and efficiencies by incorporating simple, straightforward financial practices when it comes to processing supplier invoices.
Feel free to add your own best practices and helpful time saving tips below.
Vision360 Enterprise Accounts Payable Automation Solution by BlueCreek Software reduces time wasted chasing down paper invoices by automating invoice approvals, eliminating manual data entry, eliminating paper invoices and reducing processing costs.