AP & P2P Controls

An accounts payable department is only as strong as its internal controls. A weak segregation of duties or a lax invoice approval policy can leave your organization vulnerable to fraud. Establishing strict internal controls around transaction processing will eliminate the gaps that fraudsters love to exploit.

Most organizations spend considerable effort drafting their internal controls manuals, making sure that processes are efficient,… Read More

By Pam Miller, APMD One way to remember the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 (FCPA) is that it rhymes with SPCA—the organization that takes care of strays. Interestingly, the FCPA also takes care of strays, since it prosecutes and fines organizations that have strayed from obeying the law. Domestic businesses may not be… Read More

By now the Internal Revenue Service has sent out notices to some of the 6,000 employers chosen at random as part of a crackdown on misclassifying workers as Form 1099 independent contractors. The audit program—officially called a National Research Program (NRP) study—will last over three years and target employee fringe benefits and executive pay.… Read More

They May Be Old Scams, but They Still Work A recent survey of 259 attendees at the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP) Annual Conference reveals that 23 percent of the participants had fallen victim to fraudulent e-mails, shared log credentials, or made other common security errors, reveals a CFO Advisory published by CFO.com. “In… Read More

Many AP organizations do not look upon the internal auditing/control group particularly favorably. It is, after all, the internal audit group that is charged with finding fault with AP processes, policies, and procedures—and find fault they are likely to do when they show up to audit AP. But the reality is that an AP… Read More

By Pam Miller, APMD Every AP professional knows that strong internal controls and passwords are the first line of defense in protecting critical information from hackers and fraudsters. However, in order to make it easier to remember passwords, staffers are prone to using simple passwords—and the same or similar passwords on each system. The… Read More

By Pam Miller, APMD Careful consideration should always be given to who does what—and who has access to critical AP processing functions—in your organization. Whether you refer to this internal control as "segregation of duties" or "separation of duties," your procedures need to encompass three separate aspects: written policies, system set-up and access, and… Read More

By Pam Miller, APMD

While the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX) was directed at public companies in the U.S., its effects are more far reaching. Many private organizations are choosing to follow the SOX requirements in an effort to improve controls. The SOX requirements are stringent, to be sure, but they are highly recommended—and highly effective—for cleaning up and maintaining an organization’s internal control processes.

To meet and… Read More

One of the most frequent objections to p-card use is the concern that the cards will not be used properly and thus will put the organization at risk. But these objections can be easily overcome by ensuring that the proper controls are in place. Establish Suspension and Cancellation Procedures Clear policies and procedures put… Read More

If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. While this philosophy may be empowering when it comes to auto repair or cooking, applying it to accounts payable is a one-way ticket to internal fraud. When one person handles conflicting elements of a financial process, he or she can do considerable… Read More

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