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

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3–24. Issue Standard Account Code List

Accounts payable can be a difficult area in which to replace employees while still experiencing high levels of productivity. The problem is caused by the time it takes a new person to learn the accounts to which invoices should be coded. Even when experienced accounts payable clerks are hired, they still must memorize the account codes, which will slow them down considerably. Even an experienced, long-term employee may occasionally misdirect a supplier invoice to the wrong account, so some solution is necessary to resolve the issue.

The easiest way to resolve the problem is to reduce the chart of accounts (which can be a very lengthy document) down to a single page of key accounts to which invoices are to be coded. Most invoices can be applied to a very small number of accounts, so this is usually a very viable option. When the shortened list is posted at each accounts payable clerk’s desk, it becomes a simple reference tool for finding the correct account, which improves productivity while reducing the error rate.

A more sophisticated way to resolve the problem is to encode the accounting software with an account number for each supplier. Under this method, the clerk does not have to worry about the account to which anything should be coded because the computer already contains the information. However, there are two problems with this approach. One is that some software packages do not contain this information, and expensive programming ...

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