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

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3–6. Route All Invoices Directly to Accounts Payable

The accounts payable department is constantly faced with supplier complaints that they are not being paid on time, usually because the payables staff has never received the supplier’s invoice. Instead, suppliers send invoices directly to the person who originally ordered from the supplier, and this person has never forwarded the invoice to accounts payable. This is a particular problem when the person placing the order does so with a verbal order, so there is no written record of the approval—suppliers know this could be a problem, so they send the invoice directly to the person placing the order, in hopes of having him approve it on the spot.

To avoid this missing invoice conundrum, remind suppliers to always send all invoices directly to the accounts payable department, which can then immediately log them into the payables computer system for timely payment. Suppliers should always include on an invoice either the authorizing purchase order number or the name of the person who authorized the order, so the payables staff can then process the related invoice approval. If suppliers persist in sending invoices elsewhere than to the accounts payable department, then the payables staff should log in these invoices as they arrive from elsewhere in the company, and have the accounting manager contact his or counterpart in the supplier’s billing department to discuss the issue. If necessary, the problem can be escalated through higher ...

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