Whatever level of automation your Accounts Payable department is at, there are still basic invoice-processing principles most staffers need to follow.
When it comes to processing invoices accurately and efficiently, here are five best practices:
- Input invoices immediately. As basic as this one sounds, it is often ignored. By entering invoices into the system as soon as they are received, AP staffers greatly reduce the chance for errors to occur.
- Steer clear of duplicates. Paying for the same invoice twice accounts for a large percentage of improper payments in AP departments.
Safeguard: Taking steps to ensure that your system will automatically reject a vendor bill with a duplicate invoice number on it. (The more automated an AP department is, the less likely it is to deal with headaches in this area.)
- Close POs out right away. 101? Maybe. But to ensure that the system doesn’t permit additional payments against a PO, it’s vital that AP staffers close POs right after they’ve been paid in full.
- Capture credits early. Automatically deduct credits entered into the system from the first future payment. To make everything run more smoothly, any info about the credit should go on the remittance. Also, let your vendor know how to apply the payment.
- Use control account codes for vendors. These codes make sure invoices are coded to the correct account. To take it a step further, your default standard distributions can be set up for each expense line. This ensures that all expenses correspond to the right account.