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Accounts Payable Best Practices

A SmartPros 2004 Top Ten Best Seller!

The fundamental structure of the accounts payable function reflects a company’s financial integrity, yet so many payable operations in companies aren’t running at peak efficiency. Overlooking only a few weak accounts payable operations can adversely affect a company’s bottom line in a number of ways, from incurring costs to resolve discrepancies and fix errors to receiving fines for failing to comply with escheat or sales and tax rules.

Accounts Payable Best Practices provides businesses and other organizations with a strong sense of where they stand against industry leaders and shows them how to take their services and organizational processes to state-of-the-art levels. Documented strategies and tactics employed by highly admired companies are presented--both successful and unsuccessful--to illustrate the real-world functionality of each process and approach.

Every chapter features a brief explanation of the process or topic being addressed to accompany the discussion of best practices. However, for a variety of reasons, some firms aren’t in a position to employ best practices. To bridge the gap between the latest theory and practice, Accounts Payable Best Practices identifies "Almost Best Practices." These special sections consider that not all practices will work at every company, and they offer successful alternatives to best practices. Also included are discussions on practices that absolutely should not be used, but may be practiced at other companies.

To address the renewed interest in internal audit and controls, such as the Sarbanes-Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the mundane operational aspects of accounts payable are reviewed in a way that focuses attention on issues that are sometimes ignored, such as the master vendor file. Other coverage in Accounts Payable Best Practices includes:

Innovative T&E techniques
P-cards--an easy-to-understand innovation
1099 reporting
sales and use tax handling and reporting
unclaimed property
Cash management initiatives
Case studies demonstrating how best practice helped real-world companies achieve outstanding results

Accounts Payable Best Practices is an essential resource for accounts payable managers, controllers, and CFOs at every size company.

Praise for Accounts Payable Best Practices

"Given the rapidly changing responsibilities of accounts payable operations, it’s critical to have a resource to keep you up to date–Accounts Payable Best Practices is that resource. Each chapter covers one area, identifying and explaining best practices and pinpointing worst practices that you should avoid. By implementing the recommended systems and processes, you can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your department."
–Jon Casher

"Mary Schaeffer is the leading author on accounts payable practices. This book provides a complete compilation of practical advice on how an accounts payable department can improve the bottom line. You can pay thousands of dollars to consulting firms to learn the latest buzzwords about business processes, or you can buy this book and get practical tips for implementation."
–Dr. Will Yancey, CPA
Independent Consultant