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Accounting Best Practices, Fifth Edition by Steven M. Bragg Englewood, Colorado

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3–11. Directly Enter Receipts into Computer

One portion of the accounts payable matching process is to physically match some evidence of receipt, usually a packing slip or bill of lading, to a supplier invoice, thereby proving that the goods being paid for were actually received. The receiving documentation usually wends its way to the accounts payable staff over a period of several days, and may be lost on the way. Once it arrives, the information may not agree with the quantities being billed by the supplier. Consequently, the matching of receiving documentation tends to be either delayed, missing, or cause for extra reconciliation work by the accounting staff.

There are several solutions to the receiving paperwork problem. Two are outlined in other sections of this chapter. One is using fully automated matching of all accounts payable documents, which requires the input of all paperwork into the computer—receiving information, the supplier invoice, and the purchase order—so that the computer can automatically match the documents. This requires complicated software that not all computer systems may have available. It is described further in the “Automate three-way matching” section. Another solution is to have the receiving staff approve purchase orders for payment based on what has just been received. This is a more radical approach that is extremely efficient but that requires ...

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