Few groups rely on other departments like Accounts Payable — which isn’t always a good thing (especially if you ask them!).
There is a way to take those ties that bind and turn them into an opportunity to wipe out two of the biggest inefficiencies that slow your A/P folks down.
Here’s what they are and how people in the procurement process can help.
A/P Inefficiency #1: Incorrect info in your master vendor file
Naturally when you start working with a new vendor, A/P sets up the payment info in your system: name, business address, etc. Then the invoice comes in and the info on it doesn’t match what your have in your vendor file.
That can mean changing the info in your system, which exposes you to miskeys and even more mistakes.
Your best ally? Purchasing. See if purchasers would be willing to ask more questions of suppliers to verify that the info A/P has is right — before that first invoice ever reaches your company. It’ll keep A/P from having to scramble to make changes before a check is cut.
A/P Inefficiency #2: The month-end backtrack
Too often A/P feels like it’s at the mercy of other departments when it comes to getting the info they need to do their jobs. One particular time that happens? Month-end. That’s when a lot of Payables folks feel like they’re running around like crazy.
One company we know, for example, tracked all its fixed assets with a form they entered into their accounting system for purposes of depreciation.
Trouble was, A/P didn’t have certain critical pieces of info, like where the items were being used. So during already-busy crunch time, they were wasting time hunting for that info.
Your best ally in a situation like that? Receiving. The folks on the docks have a lot of insight — including items’ serial numbers and where they’re going to be used. By asking your receivers if they can supply this info up-front (and on a regular basis), your staffers won’t be caught in an 11th hour crunch.
With those two administrative snags out of the way, your A/P staff can devote more time to things like capturing more prompt-pay discounts.