How To Manage Accounts Payable Effectively?

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Accounts payable is another section that means the amount of money a firm owes to its suppliers of products or services on an agreed term of ‘credit’. AP management is one of the most sensitive operations in the organization as it relates to cash inflows and suppliers’ credit. Here are some tips for managing accounts payable effectively:

Here are some tips for managing accounts payable effectively:

1. Automate the AP Process

It is best to minimize the interventions of employees and automate as much of the AP process as possible to save time and prevent mistakes. Mobile invoices, automatic approval workflows, connections with accounting software, and electronic payments accelerate AP. Select an AP automation system that implements cloud solutions that can track invoices from start to end and offer information on pending and approved invoices.

2. Establish Payment Terms Upfront

When entering a new supplier, ensure that you agree on payment terms before you engage in business together so that you do not fall victim to a hope given later. The current payment terms could be anywhere from net thirty, to net sixty days from the date of the invoice. Ensure that you negotiate on the best terms, especially on items that are large and will be frequently purchased. Furthermore, specify about early payment discounts which are paid for the invoices at an earlier date than agreed usually in return for a percentage cut on the payment.

3. Adopt an appropriate Policy on Requisitioning

It allows controlling expenses since purchase orders or POs need to be issued before the supplies deliver the parts, products, or services. Establish controls so any figure above a certain limit must be authorized by another person. Connect your PO system with your accounts payable to reconcile receipts that were issued against the invoices received to the POs for easier audits. It can be understood that having a good PO system effectively mitigates the chances of being billed for items not agreed upon.

4. Review Invoices Promptly

A good practice is to open supplier invoices as they come in instead of having them accumulate. Check that the price, quantity, and terms of delivery correspond to the respective PO. Also, acknowledge receipt of the connected goods or services. Do not manage these issues for weeks let alone weeks but report any issue at first sight. Ensure that appropriate staff process approvals of clean invoices at once to ensure that they are processed quickly.

5. Early payment discounts This is where you get to benefit from paying your suppliers early and at a discounted rate which will be an added advantage.

It can be a few cents difference, for example, a 2 percent early payment discount means a lot of money when it comes to big companies. However, to get the benefit of these discounts, you need to make payments for invoices within ten days of its issue date. You need to make payments within this new shorter timeframe so confirm that you have adequate cash flow. Also, always be sure to settle the bigger invoices and with your biggest suppliers at that. Repay the loan before the specified period elapses to secure the benefits of cheap early payment discounts given on the invoices.

6. Optimize Payment Runs

Where possible, avoid writing checks every day and instead try to do that at least once or twice in a month. This makes it possible for the finance staff to dedicate some of their time to other important accounting activities other than AP. Make payment runs before or after month-end close, quarter end or inventory taking, or any other period that may not allow payments to be processed immediately. Unify payments by not having several locations that deal with them but instead having a shared service team handle them. The only exception is to manage some common occurrences such as emergency rush payments as and when they occur.

7. Consolidate Suppliers

Where at all possible, try to use a few suppliers, particularly for items like food and beverages that can be bought frequently. Buying materials in large quantities from fewer suppliers can be advantageous since it can help acquire better buying terms and rates. It also means less paperwork and less tedious and time-consuming processes such as approvals, coding, and reconciliation processes. It is important to make a periodic appraisal of suppliers on cost, quality service, and reliability.

These accounts payable best practices have been outlined as follows and they demand some initial work to be done, but they will save much of time and cost in the long run. Efficient AP also enhances some of the most valuable supplier relationships. Efficiency should be used in this case; this means that one should make use of technology, automation, and consolidation of suppliers to produce higher quantities of quality merchandise while at the same time avoiding the occurrence of mistakes.

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