AP Best Practices | Policies

Too often, AP departments do things the same way, year after year, assuming that they are working to their maximum capacity and using the best available methods. 

But a study or audit of your AP invoicing cycle—including work inside the department and the flow of information to and from other departments and companies—can reveal opportunities for improvement.

Is there a process improvement that you'd like to propose? Before approaching management with your idea, you need to gather information about the potential benefits and challenges surrounding implementation. This is where TAPN's Project Proposal Report Template comes in.

The Accounts Payable Network's policy manual templates are designed to help you build an accounts payable policy manual. The starting place for the AP Policy Manual Tool Kit is the Table of Contents, which lists the policies and forms available for development of your AP Manual.

Search - AP Best Practices | Policies

How to Build and Maintain a Record Retention and Destruction System

With the volume of documents (paper-based or electronic) that AP deals with, it is important to maintain a proper filing system. If records are not managed properly it can lead to lost documents, security breaches, inefficient use of employee time, investigation or litigation, fines, degraded internal and external customer relations, and increased administrative costs. This can significantly and…

Analyze Your AP Processes Carefully

Too often, AP departments do things the same way, year after year, assuming that they are working to their maximum capacity and using the best available methods. But a study or audit of your AP invoicing cycle—including work inside the department and the flow of information to and from other departments and companies—can reveal opportunities for improvement.

The Fiscal Year-End Checklist for Accounts Payable

This twenty point checklist assists Accounts Payable Professionals with the fiscal year-end closing process.

AP Policy Manual Tool Kit: Start Here

The Accounts Payable Network's policy manual templates are designed to help you build an accounts payable policy manual. The starting place for the AP Policy Manual Tool Kit is the Table of Contents, which lists the policies and forms available for development of your AP Manual.

Common Payment Terms

"Payment terms" refers to the provisions the buyer and seller have agreed upon to get the goods paid for. Of course, payment terms and conditions must be negotiated up front and agreed upon by both parties. And it only makes sense that sellers create incentives to get their money faster, and buyers reserve rights to hold on to their money as long as possible. With so much on the line, it helps to…

Budgeting for Success - Project Plan Budget

Initiating a new accounts payable project involves a significant financial decision. TAPN's Project Plan Budget Template will help you organize all of your project's costs and expected savings so that you can demonstrate clearly to management how much your project will cost and how long it should take to earn a return on investment.

Avoid the Wrong Choice: RFP Scorecard

Whether you are implementing a new piece of automation technology, outsourcing all or a portion of your department, or rolling out any number of accounts payable process improvements, the project's success hinges on the vendor you choose.

Putting Your Procedures on Paper – AP Policy Manual Templates

Successful business practices don't happen by accident. They are the result of detailed, written policies and procedures. The Accounts Payable Network's Policy Manual Templates are perfect for organizations that want to create written documentation of their accounts payable policies.

Close the Books without Closing Down the Department

After weeks of struggling to keep up with invoices, expense reports, vendor file maintenance, and all the other responsibilities of running an accounts payable department, the end of the month comes and you have to close the books. Pulling all this together without letting your other work slide means strictly adhering to a month-end policy, effectively managing your staff resources, and fully…

Make Security Mission-Critical

Payroll and HR departments work behind closed doors with locked filing cabinets and exclusive printers and fax machines. AP, on the other hand, generally works in the open–with employees from other departments able to access accounts payable files and equipment. 

Mail Call Policies

Call it a tub, tote, bucket, or bin, that whitish plastic thing full of invoices that the Post Office drops off signals the beginning of a series of tasks–-tasks that are required to get the invoices out of the bin and into your AP process.

Disaster Recovery and AP: Reducing the Risk in a Paper-Based System

A chilling observation from Disaster Recovery Planning (disaster-recovery-planning.org) reveals that “a company that is denied access to mission-critical data for more than 48 hours will be out of business within one year.”

Build an AP Policies Manual with Help from The AP Network

Without well-established policies, a company is risking a much greater likelihood of mistakes, inefficiency, and even fraud. The Accounts Payable Network has developed a host of best practice policy templates to assist members in developing their own Accounts Payable Policy Manual.

Start Your Improvement Project Right - Project Proposal Report

Is there a process improvement that you'd like to propose? Before approaching management with your idea, you need to gather information about the potential benefits and challenges surrounding implementation. This is where TAPN's Project Proposal Report Template comes in.

Using 2 Monitors to Speed AP Research, Imaging, & Chart of Accounts Reference

In the past few years, people have been scrambling to get a bigger computer monitor. Big monitors are great, but if you want to gain the most efficiency in accounts payable, make the move to two monitors. And while you are adding monitors—make them big ones!

Strong Policies Help Deter T&E Fraud

A strong, well-publicized, and enforced T&E policy helps to avoid misunderstandings by travelers. It is the best tool to help AP in its fight against T&E fraud.

12 Steps to a Better AP Policies & Procedures Manual

Whether it’s invoice processing, p-cards, or employee expense reimbursements,the use of formal policies and procedures in the form of a manual is absolutely essential—not only from a procedural standpoint, but from one of control.

As Fraud Proliferates, Internal Controls Become a Priority

Alan Wenk, corporate accounts payable manager at the Performance Contracting Group in Lenexa, Kansas, believes that AP professionals can sometimes lose sight of the “whys and wherefores” of internal controls. 

Four Opportunities to Gain Control and Cut T&E Costs

In addition to preventing the loss of revenue that results when fraud occurs, developing explicit T&E policies and strict, consistent enforcement tools are critical to reducing T&E costs.

Get Your Policies & Procedures In Order, SOX or No SOX!

Many accounts payable departments do a great job of creating a policies and procedures manual. But even the best AP managers fall behind on keeping that manual up to date. In many cases, their policies and procedures manuals are a haphazard collection of notes and cheat sheets that have been passed from one AP staffer to another over the years.

Five Steps to Take to Avoid Paying the Wrong Vendor

A common mistake in accounts payable departments is paying the wrong vendor. Sometimes it happens because vendors have similar names. Other times it happens simply because AP staffers are human and humans make mistakes.

With a Focus on Reengineering, MGM Resorts Achieves Measurable Process Improveme

Kathy Sharp, Executive Director of Accounts Payable for MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, recently embarked on a quest to improve invoice processing and other processes in AP. “Our AP department had been doing things the same way for many years,” says Sharp. “We knew that there had to be a better way to process our payables documents.”

Internal Controls: Make This Your AP Department Motto: 'Our Lips are Sealed'

AP is privy to a great deal of information that should not be shared. For example, the backup documents we require to pay many invoices—especially internally-generated invoices—are chock full of information that must be kept confidential. Here are five areas in which your organization can get in trouble if your AP staffers fail to keep private information to themselves.

AP Fraud Generally Indicates a Failure to Implement Internal Controls

Every time you see a headline about an employee who has stolen thousands of dollars from an employer, it invariably involves a so-called “trusted” employee who has been given entirely too much control over the AP process.

Records Retention: AP Pros Speak of Their Challenges and Solutions

AP departments need to have special protocols for document handling to enable them to comply with state or federal regulations. Some protocols may vary to conform to industry standards or to adhere to internal rules of corporate governance. However, there are certain general practices and "rules of thumb" that most AP operations can follow.

Rethinking Security Around ACH Information

As the number of ACH payments increases, so does ACH fraud—even though such fraud is less prevalent than with payments made via check.

 

This material is protected by copyright law. Copyright © 2002-2015 Diversified Business Communications. No part of the materials including articles, files, graphics, and logos, available in this Web site may be copied, photocopied, reproduced, translated or reduced to any electronic medium or machine-readable form, in whole or in part, without prior written consent. Distribution for commercial purposes is prohibited.