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

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4–12. Computerize the Shipping Log

For a company with no computer linkage to the shipping dock, the typical sequence of events leading up to the creation of an invoice is that copies of the packing slip and the initial customer order form are manually delivered to the accounting department from the shipping dock; then the accounting staff uses this information to create an invoice. Unfortunately, this manual transfer of information can sometimes lead to missing documents, which means that the accounting department does not create an invoice and sales are lost. In addition, this system can be a slow one—if the shipping department is a long way away from the accounting department, perhaps in a different city, it may be several days before the invoice can be created, which increases the time period before a customer will receive the invoice and pay it. Finally, there is a problem with data entry, because the accounting staff must manually reenter some or all of the customer information before creating an invoice (depending on the amount of data already entered into the computer system by the order-entry department). Any additional data entry brings up the risk of incorrect information being entered on an invoice, which may result in collection problems, especially if the data-entry error related to an incorrect shipment quantity.

The solution is to provide for the direct entry of shipping information by the shipping staff at the shipping location. By doing so, there is no longer ...

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