Finance News & Insights

A CFO offers some tips to smooth your A/P operation

Ernie Humphrey is a former VP and CFO who advises other finance leaders with his company 360 Thought Leadership Consulting. He’s got some good ideas for your Accounts Payable staff.  

Tips from the top

few tips for your folks in A/P:

1. Get rid of as many manual processes as possible. Find a way to work technology into your daily processes so that you can save time. A good place to start: See where you can reduce re-keying – if you haven’t already.

2. Be smart with your reports. Only pull reports that are truly necessary. Ask which reports can get the axe. Then teach others how to pull the most important and frequent reports so the responsibility can be spread.

3. Further master Excel. Sure, you may know Excel better than anyone else in the office, but there’s always more to learn. Our website has a new tip every week, and there are plenty of online resources to keep you sharp.

4. Encourage consistency. Figure out how to complete a task as quickly and accurately as possible, then make sure everyone is trained to do it that way. Of course, you should remain open to trying new ideas and techniques.

5. Be smart with handling other people. A/P is stressful, but don’t let that stress affect how you or your team behaves. If tensions are high between A/P staffers or A/P and another department, see if you can get to the root of the problem and find solutions. And don’t forget to let the team blow off steam every once in a while. Even little things – like going to lunch or a movie together – can relieve some of the tension.

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