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

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4–14. Eliminate Month-End Statements

The employees in charge of printing and issuing invoices each day have another document that they print and issue each month, the month-end statement. This is a listing of all open invoices that customers have not yet paid. Though it seems like a good idea to tell customers what they still owe, the reality of the situation is that most customers throw away their statements without reading them. The reason is that the person receiving a statement, the accounts payable clerk, does not have time to research strange invoices that appear on a supplier’s statement, nor is it likely that this person will call the supplier to request a copy of a missing invoice. Instead, it is easier to wait for a contact from the supplier, asking about a specific invoice. By waiting, the onus of doing some work falls on the supplier instead of the accounts payable person, which is a preferable shifting of the workload from the latter person to the former.

The simple approach to eliminating this problem is to stop printing statements. By doing so, one can avoid not only the time and effort of printing the statements, but also eliminate the cost of the special form used to print the statements, as well as the cost of stuffing them in envelopes and mailing them. Though it is possible that the collections staff may complain that this collection tool is being taken away from them, it is at best a poor method for bringing in errant accounts receivable, and does little to ...

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