By Mary S. Schaeffer, Institute of Management and Administration (IOMA)
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Extra info for Accounts Payable: A Guide to Running an Efficient Department
Some suppliers include terms on their invoices that, if not checked, would result in payments made earlier than the date agreed to by the purchasing department. Others include terms that are more stringent than those agreed to with purchasing. These are two reasons why getting a completely filled-out purchase order is so important. Always pay according to the purchase order, unless the terms on the invoice are better. Then use the terms on the invoice and inform purchasing so they can use this information the next time they order.
6 WHEN ACCOUNTS PAYABLE RECEIVES INVOICES LAST Whether invoices should all be sent first to accounts payable and then to the person who needs to authorize the transaction, or vice versa, is an issue for debate. The traditional view is that if the invoices come to accounts payable first, the department can then track the invoices and follow up when they are not returned in a timely manner for payment. But why should accounts payable have to spend its time making sure others do what they are supposed to do?
But why should accounts payable have to spend its time making sure others do what they are supposed to do? A small, but growing, number of companies are shying away from the traditional route and insisting that other departments handle their own invoice-processing responsibilities, without the accounts payable department overseeing their workflow. When this happens, accounts payable often gets invoices late, long after the company has any reasonable chance of qualifying for an early-payment discount.