Did you know that the week of October 8 – 12 of 2018 is Accounts Payable Appreciation Week? What are you going to do for your AP team to show your gratitude?
Bringing in muffins or treating the team to lunch is nice but think big. After all, the processing of Accounts Payable tasks can be tedious. It takes great effort to concentrate on such tasks. And, no matter how careful the processors are, the work, especially if processed manually, is still prone to errors. They are doing their best with the tools they have.
Generally, AP is seen as a stepping stone, an entry level job to get the foot in the door. If your operations are not seeing a higher level of turn over than in other departments, are those that stay in AP the best people for the job or are they making every effort to advance themselves within AP?
Here are some other options to really show your appreciation to the team while elevating their skill sets.
- Offer to pay for courses, external training and/or certification programs. Let your employees know you are willing to invest in their future as an individual and as your employee. Besides, they may acquire knowledge that would help your organization to be more efficient and effective.
- Supply your AP team with the best tools available so they can perform their jobs more accurately and efficiently.
What are the best tools? It might depend on the tasks assigned. For example, those responsible for Vendor Master Maintenance or Payment processing may benefit from having two monitors. Those processing AP may benefit from larger monitors reducing eye strain.
If the check printer were replaced with a faster one, could the time saved be put to better use? For that matter, the implementation of ACH payments would be an even better option that would reduce the number of checks to print while also addressing the risk of lost checks and potential fraud.
And the processing of Vendor invoices. Think about the steps taken before a processor makes the first attempt to process an invoice into the system! Envelops are opened or invoices emailed to AP are printed off. Invoices might also need to be sorted by type; PO versus Non-PO. Do Non-PO invoices then need to be sent out for coding and/or approval? If so, how does AP track these invoices?
Then, once an invoice is ready for processing, a good amount of invoice header details needs to be keyed into the ERP or other accounting software manually. If an error is made, is it caught right away? Imagine performing these steps for each vendor invoice received. It should not be hard to imagine that mistakes can occur, and processors can become complacent when applying business compliance rules.
What solution can reduce these monotonous tasks, which in turn can increase accuracy and timeliness process of invoices? A properly configured Accounts Payable Workflow system can apply company specific compliance rules, auto-match PO invoices to PO details and receipts, identify exception invoice and supply the error code, auto-route Non-PO invoices to approvals and can validate coding and other values per a company’s requirements.
How does this show appreciation to AP team member? It allows time for the associates to address more value-added tasks; manage exceptions immediately and perhaps work with the appropriate parties to address the root causes, identify bottle-necks that may be preventing invoices from being processed, establish and/or maintain Vendor Relationships, etc.
Want to learn more? Contact New England Document systems. They have the experience, and the resources to assist you; from answering your questions about available solutions to helping you to implement the right tool. Contact us to discuss just how much improvement you want to see in your Accounts Payable Operation.
This article is part of New England Document systems’ partnership with industry experts. This contribution was written by Anne Wheeler of CS Process Flows, LLC. Anne is a Consultant and Project Manager specializing in Accounts Payable processes and systems.