Organization

Is It Time for an AP Makeover?

Accounts payable is traditionally seen as overhead, a department responsible for just processing invoices and paying bills. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Rather than settling for merely being an invoice-paying engine, AP can propel itself beyond the administrative realm and into a strategic one. A Different Way of Thinking Process does not... Read more »
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What Functions Does Your AP Department ‘Own’?

By Pam Miller, APMD While all accounts payable departments “pay the bills,” the manner in which they do so varies from organization to organization. In addition to processing differences, there is a variation in the ancillary tasks that AP is responsible for. For example, in your organization, who owns the vendor master file? Who owns... Read more »
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Should AP Be Part of Purchasing?

A procure-to-pay process is most efficient when both ends share information. The procurement department uses accounts payable’s data to perform spend analysis, while AP uses procurement’s data to ensure vendors comply with contracts and purchase orders, and that buyers comply with purchasing policies. AP and procurement can drive significant supply chain savings when they work... Read more »
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Shared Services Case Study: Lessons Learned from SAIC

When exploring the unknown, prudent travelers know to bring a guide. Although the terrain looks treacherous, someone has already been there and knows the best path through. Rely on their experience and never go it alone. The same advice applies to accounts payable directors centralizing their organizations’ AP operations. Whether you are consolidating just accounts... Read more »
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Global Processing and Payment Hubs: Advantage through Strategic Placement

Businesses around the world are more connected than ever. Imagine ordering goods from a European vendor, receiving them in an Asian factory, approving the invoices in a Malaysian processing center, and issuing payment from within the United States. For many organizations, this level of global interaction is par for the course. When businesses operate across... Read more »
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Education and Communication Speed Buy-In for Centralization

When the manager started working as an AP clerk at the company, the accounts payable function was scattered among the main office and various mining sites and satellite offices. AP was not a shared service, and the organization did not have an automated workflow. When an invoice had to be routed, the three AP clerks... Read more »
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The 10 Best Tips for Moving AP to a Centralized Setup

According to the Hackett Group’s benchmarking research into what makes a world-class finance operation, a whopping 92.9% of the top-most companies operate their AP function in a shared services environment, Weller reports. “World-class companies are more likely to have their AP and travel-expense groups go into shared services than any other process in finance,” she... Read more »
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Centralized vs. Decentralized Accounts Payable Operations

A large majority of companies’ accounts payable departments are centralized today. Here’s a quick review of the pros and cons of centralized and decentralized accounts payable. Pros Decentralized Payment flexibility, especially for COD payments Redundancy for disaster recovery planning with processing sites and vendors Strong local vendor relationships Easier cost of operation allocation Site operation... Read more »
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The AP Organizational Structure: Where to Go from Here?

In today’s dynamic business environment it is more important than ever for an organization to be flexible and adaptable with both external and internal events. To grasp this challenge some companies have reorganized themselves into functional business teams in order to foster responsiveness to customer needs (internal or external) and promote the empowerment of the... Read more »
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The Changing Face of Accounts Payable

It is a paradox that one constant in life is change. The weather changes day to day, individually our circumstances change and we ourselves change as we move through our lives. Architects will tell you even buildings are not as static as we might think. It is certainly true that organizations change, as do the... Read more »
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