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Boost the bottom line with accounts payable best practices Logo aicpa

  Helen Tueffel |   Free |   AICPA |   01 Nov 2016 |   Journal of Accountancy

In accounts payable (AP) departments around the world, mistakes are happening day after day. Suppliers are onboarded without proper vetting. Duplicate payments are made. Fraud occurs in the disbursement process. These mistakes often happen not despite, but because of, the very systems that were designed and put in place to automate and perfect the AP process. Reliance on automated invoice and payment processes often reduces the number and effectiveness of process controls.

Topics covered:
  • Management accounting: Technical: Financial accounting & reporting: Transactional accounting & closing processes, Foundational

6 Comments/Reflections


M W Apr 2021

AP Control is much more than getting your processing systems in order, extra controls are very important . 
Gianluca Micalella

Gianluca Micalella Mar 2020

Interesting contribution over the significance of reviewing constantly the organization's master list from the registration process to compliance check of accurate data.

Have a summary view of disbursement systems is more important nowadays since multiple, remote locations exist for most of the companies.

Paying invoices with available discounts in places for advance payments can give substantial return of investments over a year and help maintaining sound relationship with vendors and good rating.
Oliver Rogers

Oliver Rogers Jan 2019

This is very interesting, as having been on the side of a team who uncovered intentional fraud due to lack of security on the vendor master records and bank account details, I agree with most points raised. Too many fingers in the pie also causes all kind of problems.
Nicholas Potter

Nicholas Potter Aug 2018

Recently a target for fraud, although no loss suffered, we have introduced new procedures for the onboarding of new supplier accounts.  This article backs up our new process of taking greater control of the supplier master list.
David Strachan

David Strachan Jul 2018

Excellent article.

As Audit manager I totally agree with the best practices and understand the frustrations that using supposed "automated systems" brings as there is a lot of cost leakage that goes under the radar.