Information & Resources

Even though AP and purchasing communicate with different areas of the vendor’s organization, it is important present a united front when communicating with vendors. The primary attributes of a vendor management program are strong communication and monitoring. 

A vendor's performance should be closely monitored to ensure they are meeting their obligations. Monitoring should be instituted for shipping timeliness, order fulfillment ratios… Read More

The first step in the process of identifying and removing inactive vendors from the vendor file is to run a report selecting vendors that have had no activity within the designated period of time.

The second step is to change the status or location of the vendor records for those being "taken out of service." Ideally, these records can be archived and removed from the live master vendor file. As an alternative, if removal and archiving is not per… Read More

AP professionals who wish to start the new year off right would be wise to perform a Vendor Master File (VMF) cleanup. VMF upkeep not only sets the stage for a smoothly functioning AP department, it promotes regulatory compliance and prevents fraud.

With this in mind, one savvy AP professional who is making VMF cleanup a year-end priority is Sheila Velazquez, Senior Manager, Accounts Payable & Shared Services at RLJ Entertainment (RLJE), an i… Read More

Vendor information is in constant flux. Contact names, phone numbers, addresses, terms, and even vendors’ names change frequently. Vendors buy each other, sell each other, spin off a subsidiary, merge, and "unmerge" all the time. Sometimes, changes are invisible to AP until purchasing shares the information or AP spots an invoice containing something that indicates a change.

For AP professionals, vendor management can be one of toughest cha… Read More

When paying an invoice, it is generally considered a good practice to be sure to find and pay the correct vendor. You also want to be sure that you have the vendor’s correct name and tax ID number when 1099 reporting time rolls around, yet it won’t be easy to do so if you do not have a consistent vendor naming convention, a critical component of good vendor file management.

Several factors affect how vendor n…Read More

At one time, purchasing and accounts payable used different systems, each with its own vendor master file. Purchasing’s vendor master was a tool for issuing POs, while AP’s vendor master was a tool for entering invoices and cutting checks. “Little attention was paid to data quality or standards,” recalls Jon Casher, President, Casher Associates, Inc.,...… Read More

Maintaining the Master Vendor File (MVF) is one of the most challenging tasks in Accounts Payable. Even if every vendor’s information has been set up with perfect accuracy and you are the AP's Most Valuable Player (MVP) when it comes to properly setting up vendor file, that information will likely change many times over the...… Read More

Checklist For Data Entry Formats ❑  Avoid punctuation. ❑  Determine use of upper and lower case. ❑  Use dropdown boxes. ❑  Take a stance on initials. ❑  Drop all titles. ❑  Deal with “The” and “A.” ❑  Develop a policy for “And” and “&.” ❑  Use name of taxing authority. ❑  Be wary of governmental...… Read More

  Master File Tips for Other AP Professionals Sarah Jasiewicz, APS, Accounts Payable Senior External Support at Big Y, advises AP professionals to use these tips for more successful vendor file management: Never pay until all I's are dotted and T's crossed. "We also do not issue any payments to a company until all the...… Read More

As a company was going through a Sarbanes-Oxley-driven internal review, the question of vendor verification came up. The accounts payable (AP) manager noted that, like many AP departments, it requires a W-9 from a vendor in order to set them up. While requiring a W-9 for setup is certainly a tax-compliance best practice, the auditors pointed out that anyone can complete and fax a W-9, including a fraudulent vendor. Beyond requiring a W-9, what el… Read More

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