Best practices re A/P posting

  • Best practices re A/P posting

    Posted by DSC Communities on December 19, 2016 at 8:43 pm
    • Michelle McDonald

      Member

      December 19, 2016 at 8:43 PM

      Hi everyone,

      We’re working to streamline our A/P workflow.  Our A/P team processes invoices, which are coded and approved by our managers.  We currently don’t allow our A/P team to post their own batches.  Instead, our Controller reviews and posts their work.

      Does anyone allow their A/P team to post their own batches?

      I’m wondering if it wouldn’t make more sense to have our A/P team post their own work daily, since they’re really the “experts” on our vendors and how we code invoices.  That would look like this:

      • A/P reviews invoice/inputs invoice data
      • Manager reviews/approves/codes invoice
      • A/P reviews once more and then posts daily
      • Controller reviews their work before any vendor is actually paid.

      Just curious how others handle this work process.  Thanks for any input.

      Michelle

      ——————————
      Michelle McDonald
      Director of Finance
      The Annenberg Foundation
      Los Angeles CA
      ——————————

    • Leslie Vail

      Member

      December 20, 2016 at 7:12 AM

      Hi,

      Most all of my clients have their AP staff book and post the invoices. They have a gate at the general ledger and on any checks or ACH files that go out, so it has been to their benefit to get the AP booked into the system ASAP. Personally, I’m of the group who believes the AP should be booked immediately. Book it and THEN send it around for approval. At least you won’t have it sitting on someone’s desk forever.

      Hope this was helpful.

      Leslie

      ——————————
      Leslie Vail
      Accounting Systems Consulting, Inc.
      Dallas TX
      ————————————————————————-

    • Bob Lash

      Member

      December 20, 2016 at 8:02 AM

      I would think the staff could do the coding and the managers could do the review and posting.  It seems to me that the staff would be better at the coding and the managers should just review and post.  The controller can just pay the bills. 

      We’re a small company but I think our controller enters too many repetitive entries (like utility and freight bills) which we should change.  I think we will continue with his review and posting (particularly because our purchasing agent misses some small details like an invoice that’s off by a digit or GP didn’t calculate the cash discount exactly correct).

      Thank you for bringing up the question.

      ——————————
      Bob Lash
      General Manager
      Ti-SALES, Inc.
      Sudbury MA
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    • Kathy Kim

      Member

      December 20, 2016 at 8:42 AM

      We have A/P post the batches daily.  In our case, we generally code the invoice in A/P and have managers review and approve the coding and invoice.  Our A/P team is more likely to code the invoice correctly than many of our managers.  We also use Kwiktag for the approval workflow, but a similar process could be applied with manual and/or GP workflow.  Our process looks like this for non-PO invoices:

      • Invoice is scanned, emailed or uploaded in Kwiktag (scanned by A/P, emailed directly from vendor, or uploaded from a file.
      • A/P enters the information for each invoice in Kwiktag, including G/L code (a/p entry occurs here rather than in GP).
      • A/P forwards to appropriate manager for approval (may be automatic or a drop down selection)
      • Upon approval, the invoice flows to a work queue within GP.
      • A/P creates a batch or batches and selects the invoices from the work queue.
      • A/P scans the batch for errors and to make sure they selected the invoices to be posted in the proper month.
      • A/P posts the batch.
      • No G/L posting review is done at this time.
      • During the closing process, the G/L accounts are reviewed for reasonableness and major revenue and expense accounts are reconciled and reviewed in detail.  Significant budget variances call for a closer review.
      • All G/L asset and liability accounts are reconciled monthly with a detail of what makes up the accounts.
      • Managers are provided a detailed G/L of all their accounts to review for items that may have been miscoded or belong in another cost center.
      • Director of Finance reviews the cash requirements report prior to check runs and checks related invoices (no coding is checked as part of this process).
      • After checks have been printed, the CFO receives a file from Kwiktag which the CFO can click on a check number to link back to the invoices paid on each check. (Again, no coding is reviewed at this point).

      We believe our processes at month-end catch 99.9% of coding errors and the other processes in place provide protection from fraudulent entries.  It appears your focus is generally about the coding and I agree with you that A/P it is more efficient to allow A/P to post their batches.  Neither my Accounting Supervisor or I have time to review every batch and entry.  I do have myself set as the final approver in Kwiktage for certain types of invoices that are more prone to error, which allows me to catch any coding errors prior to posting.  

      ——————————
      Kathy Kim
      Director of Finance
      Donor Network of Arizona
      Phoenix AZ
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    • Darris Crandall

      Member

      December 20, 2016 at 9:00 AM

      We allow AP invoices to be posted without approval for the following reasons:

      • The underlying invoices are already approved (and sometimes dually approved) by way of our automated workflow via Eclipse by DocStar
      • Adding another layer of approval can slow down the process – delaying payments and damaging vendor relationships
      • The actual payment (either check, wire, or ACH payment) is again reviewed and approved or dually approved on it’s way out the door
      • G&A variance analysis is performed at the end of every month and quarter, which if further review of AP work. Discrepancies can be re-classed if required. This is just a geography on the trial concern, not a fraud concern

      Our auditors are, and have always been fine with this arrangement.

      Hope this helps.

      Darris

      ——————————
      Darris Crandall
      Systems Controller
      Annaly Capital Mgmt
      New York NY
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    • LINDA HENDRICKS

      Member

      December 20, 2016 at 9:38 AM

      My A/P team enters and post their own batches daily.  I run a GL report every day to make sure everything hit correctly.  Once a week we do a large check run.  Each A/P specialist selects who they are paying, and the batch is combined in one run.  I go through the report (before checks are cut) and ok who they want to pay, then the controller goes through the report a second time for anything I may have missed.  The checks are cut after any editing has to be done with that report.

      This process, we have found, keeps all the invoices in A/P until entered and they double check on our check run keeps us from paying any vendors too early etc.

      ——————————
      LINDA HENDRICKS
      Egan Company
      Brooklyn Park MN
      ————————————————————————-

    • LINDA HENDRICKS

      Member

      December 20, 2016 at 9:39 AM

      My A/P team enters and post their own batches daily.  I run a GL report every day to make sure everything hit correctly.  Once a week we do a large check run.  Each A/P specialist selects who they are paying, and the batch is combined in one run.  I go through the report (before checks are cut) and ok who they want to pay, then the controller goes through the report a second time for anything I may have missed.  The checks are cut after any editing has to be done with that report.

      This process, we have found, keeps all the invoices in A/P until entered and they double check on our check run keeps us from paying any vendors too early etc.

      ——————————
      LINDA HENDRICKS
      Egan Company
      Brooklyn Park MN
      ————————————————————————-

    • Shari Bruno

      Member

      December 20, 2016 at 10:21 AM

      Hi Michelle,

      We use ReQlogic for vendor and PO invoices, and expenses and our process runs much like you described.

      • AP receives the invoices, codes them, and runs them through the workflow for the department that is based on our Expense Empowerment Policy.
      • A designated person in the department reviews and changes the code if needed.
      • The document continues through the department based on the amount.
      • The end of all workflows direct the document to our Controller who approves it.
      • The documents end up in AP who do a final review, create the voucher, and post the batch.
      • All check batches are reviewed by the Controller, and then a check signer before payments are made/sent.

      Even before we automated our process was the same, the document was just physically passed around for signatures before coming to AP.

      ——————————
      Shari Bruno
      Accounts Payable Specialist
      Bible League International
      Crete, IL
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    • Kimberly Lomax

      Member

      December 21, 2016 at 9:40 AM

      We also use ReQlogic for our coding/approval routing.  We had a modification written by our partner (Socius) that disallows posting of a batch that you’ve modified, therefore creating that separation of duties between A/P personnel, so the review and posting can be completed by the same group.  This customization is also applicable to all the modules within GP and has worked beautifully for us with no issues.

      ——————————
      Kimberly Lomax
      Manager, Financial Systems
      Rayonier
      Jacksonville FL
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