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

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3–12. Fax Transmission of Accounts Payable Documents

A centralized accounts payable department may have some difficulty receiving documents from outlying locations or suppliers in time to take early payment discounts. For example, a supplier invoice may be sent to the wrong location, from which it must be mailed to the accounts payable location, or a bill of lading must be forwarded. In either case, the time delay involved may be so long that there is no way to take an early payment discount.

The best way to avoid this problem is to find an alternative method for transmitting documents (with all due respect to the Postal Service). Though one approach is to enter all information directly into the accounting database from any location (see the “Directly Enter Receipts into Computer” section earlier in this chapter), many companies cannot afford an enterprisewide computer system that makes such an approach feasible. A simpler approach is to fax all documents to the accounts payable facility. To do so, there should be a separate fax machine that only handles incoming accounts payable documents; by setting aside a machine for this purpose, it guarantees that the fax machine will not be tied up by outgoing fax transmissions. Also, since it is only used for one purpose, it is unlikely that incoming faxes will be mistakenly taken to other departments. To make this system work even better, the accounting manager should look into getting a fax rerouting capability that sends incoming faxes ...

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