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7 ‘Do This, Not That’ Practices Every Organization Should Use

Many organizations incorporate poor practices into their accounts payable function without knowing it. Check out Mary Schaeffer's seven ‘Do This, Not That’ suggestions to eliminate these common problems.

  1. DO: Centralize the receipt of invoices.
    DON’T: Allow the vendor to decide where to send invoices.
  1. DO: Return unidentified invoices to the sender.
    DON’T: Try and determine who placed the order.
  1. DO: Establish and mandate the use of a rigid coding standard.
    DON’T: Allow each processor to enter data as they wish.
  1. DO: Review statements for open vendor credits on a regular basis.
    DON’T: Ignore the issue.
  1. DO: Mail all checks.
    DON’T: Return checks to the requisitioner.
  1. DO: Address the personal device issue.
    DON’T: Allow employees to do as they see fit.
  1. DO: Learn as much as possible about invoice automation.
    DON’T: Hope the issue will go away.

To learn more best practices and how you can avoid an internal control breakdown, download the full whitepaper here.

Fraud News and How to Prevent It

An Accounts Payable Manager at Carolina Steel Group, Angela Womack, has been convicted of multiple counts of wire fraud and money laundering.  Womack managed to create non-profit accounts named "IBOCF."  She made the checks payable to "International IBOCF" which were included on the company's vendor reports, even though it was not one of Carolina Steel Group's vendors. She altered internal accounting data and made the checks to appear to be paid to legitimate vendors.

Womack was sentenced to 70 months in prison along with three years of supervised release.  Womack is ordered to pay restitution of $2,857,201.85 and a special assessment of $300.00.  Read the full news article here.

Make sure your organization has strong internal controls in place. Here are a few tips on how to prevent fraud:

  1. Integrate the appropriate segregation of duties (one person per leg).
  2. Run frequent reports showing who has access to what. Be sure to take into consideration promotions and employees who left the company.
  3. Create a written, detailed expence policy for your organization.
  4. Compile daily bank reconciliations and check for unauthorized transactions.
  5. Automate your accounts payable process which will allow you to have an audit trail and set approval routes. It greatly reduces your risk of fraud when you know who did what when.

Check out our on-demand webinar on internal controls here.

Think Before You Blink

According to the Washington Business Journal, a woman from Maryland pled guilty to stealing $5 million from a non-profit over an eight year span.  She generated fake invoices, approved the invoices for payment, and deposited checks into accounts she had created.  She even created invoices and approved payments to a bridal shop she privately owns.

How can you prevent this from happening to your business?  It is important that you instill strong internal controls within your business and more importantly, implement a good transparent accounts payable process. Having clear duties for each working group is critical. No one person should handle more than one type of function.  It is also a best practice, within any industry, to review master vendor files on a regular basis to help detect and deter fraud.

Don’t let this happen to your business.  Take action and make sure you have strong, effective internal controls in place.

To read the full article from the Washington Business Journal, click here.

Webinar Recap: Advanced Internal Controls

        

During our webinar on June 11 with AP Now & Tomorrow, Mary Schaeffer covered how to:
  • Pinpoint and fix internal controls that do not provide the protection your firm needs
  • Execute an effective segregation of duties across the AP platform
  • Understand how AP automation can help you achieve your organization's goals
She explained the old best practices that no longer work in AP and provided tips on what you should be doing to protect your firm. Be sure to take a look at the "Do This, Not That" portion of the webinar to learn these best practices.
 
The slides and webinar recording are available here.

Also, don't miss Part 3 of our webinar series with AP Now & Tomorrow. Register today!

AP Now Webinar Series, Part 2: Advanced Internal Controls

Part 2 of our four part webinar series with AP Now & Tomorrow is just around the corner!

Advanced Internal Controls for Your AP Invoice Processing Function
Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Time: 1:00 - 2:00 PM EDT

Internal controls are the crux to stopping fraud and eliminating duplicate payments in any accounts payable process.

In this webinar, Mary Schaeffer of AP Now & Tomorrow will reveal how to:

  • Pinpoint and fix internal controls that do not provide the protection your firm needs;
  • Execute an effective segregation of duties across the accounts payable platform; and
  • Eliminate old best practices that no longer work in accounts payable replacing them with practices that protect the enterprise.

Register today for our June webinar and join us throughout the rest of the year as the series continues!

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