Processes

Developing Analytics for Your AP Team

Introduction to AP Analytics The accounts payable process holds the key to several types of data that can help your company with decision making for strategic sourcing. The data also indicates invoice stratification by dollars, payment types and can provide a window into an “at-risk supplier” situation. And of course, accounts payable can highlight process… Read more »

Four Practical Steps to Measuring AP Performance

Jess Scheer Continuing Education Manager, IOFM Given a list of more than 20 options from which to select their biggest business needs, the only choices that garnered more than 25 percent of respondents in our latest AP survey were: Improving processes Automating manual processes Managing time/improving productivity Increasing on-time payments While those are great goals… Read more »

Picking the ‘Low-Hanging Fruit’ in Process Improvement

By Pam Miller, APMD Time and time again when attempting to implement new tools or initiate changes in process, AP is told to “look for the low-hanging fruit” so that it will have some process improvement successes to celebrate. In most instances, that’s good advice. Many AP managers have already devoted time and effort in... Read more »
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Help! I’m Drowning in Paper: What Is the Best Policy for Paying Utilities?

An AP & P2P Network member recently shared her challenges in paying utility bills. She sent in the following question: At my organization, we spend too much time keying in individual bills each month. We consolidate as many as possible, but still have more than 100 utility bills each month for processing. What do other... Read more »
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Invoice Processing Work Distribution Management

This month, Beth R. Hinten, APS, Accounts Payable, CBC Companies, Inc., asked about how various organizations staff their AP operations, distribute the workload, and cope with lulls and busy times. She asks: I’m curious how other companies manage their invoice process. If there are multiple AP Specialists/Processors at your company, how is the distribution of... Read more »
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Forms: Effective Tools for Communication and Documentation

Accounts payable must interact with a variety of customers from within the larger organization as well as from outside the organization. Few, if any, of these customers understand exactly what AP needs to accomplish the task(s) the customer requires. And in reality, they don’t really care about the details as long as they get what... Read more »
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Catching Errors Is ‘Mission Possible’

By Pam Miller, APMD Accounts Payable handles thousands of incoming documents, many of which are inconsistent, incomplete, and inaccurate. Despite these considerable challenges, AP must enter, verify, and match the data contained on these documents, often using a variety of systems or programs that don’t necessarily “speak” to each other. Regardless of how well AP’s... Read more »
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Good Process Management Keeps AP Humming in a One-Person Shop

Accounts payable departments can have the best-designed processes in the world, but without ongoing process management, AP cannot function at optimum performance levels. The consequences can be breakdowns in vendor relationships, supply-flow interruptions, and inability of the company to conduct critical business. “Accounts payable is responsible for one of the most important organizational functions—paying our... Read more »
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Shaving Days off the Close

By Pam Miller, APMD Any steps that accounts payable can take to whittle away at the time it takes to close will be recognized and appreciated by controllers and CFOs. To speed up the close process, AP needs to work strategically to complete the invoices that have been received—and provide the information regarding what needs... Read more »
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Process Improvement: Always a Good Practice

Even when processes seem to be running smoothly in accounts payable and other finance functions, there’s always room for improvement. “Process improvement is important for so many reasons,” says Amy Berry, Corporate Controller, Guardian Real Estate Services LLC (Portland, OR). “Every manager in finance should periodically review their processes,” she suggests. “If you don’t review... Read more »
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