Table of Contents

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Using 5S to improve efficiency in your AP Department

It is amazing how small changes can make a big difference. 5S has personally helped me double my efficiency in the past year, so I'm a believer! Here is my take on 5S:

1) Sorting - Get rid of all unneeded items in within your reach. Keep commonly used items close by. (i.e. things that you use every couple of minutes should not be in a drawer and things you haven't used in a month shouldn't be in front of you). 
2) Straightening - Once your things are arranged in the right spots, make sure they return to the same place after each use.
3) Sweeping / Shining - Keep everything clean and organized. This reduced the time wasted looking for lost items.
4) Standardizing - Workstations that are organized the same will make it easy for a coworker to find work items when you are on vacation or out on a mental health day!
5) Sustain - Keeping up steps 1 through 5 and continuously looking to improve the process.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

What steps can your AP department take to lower cost?

Here is a list of ideas to start with:

1) T&E policy modification
2) Taking Discounts
3) Purchasing cards
4) Electronic payments
5) Electronic invoicing
6) Imaging
7) Automation
8) Vendor portal

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My challenge to you: Become a microlender!

As little as $25 you can make a difference for entrepreneurs in developing countries. How this works is:

1. visit
2. Click on the Lend button.
3. Find a business that you would like to help.
4. Click on the LEND $25 button, and follow instructions.

The difference between being a microlender and just donating money is that the $25 is paid back to you. When you get the $25 back, you can re-lend it (on and on). So instead of helping one person, you can help many with the same amount of money.

Q: What does this have to do with A/P?
A: Absolutely nothing. But I believe in helping people stay out of the grips of preditory lenders.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

What steps are you taking to protect your AP Department from fraud?

Here is a list of ideas to start with:

1) AP recovery audits
2) Duplicate invoice reports
3) External audits
4) Internal audit
5) Positive Pay
6) Separation of duties
7) Taxpayer ID Number matching
8) Vendor master setup
9) W-9 requirement

Also, I recommend reading:

"The Art of the Steal: How to Protect Yourself and Your Business from Fraud, America's #1 Crime" by Frank W. Abagnale.

There is lots of great information about how to protect yourself and your business from check fraud and other scams.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You are invited to join Accounts Payable Professionals group on LinkedIn

The Accounts Payable Professionals group on LinkedIn was created to share AP specific news and information, as well as other resources. We currently have over two-thousand members, mostly AP pros, but there are also IT pros, recruiters, and other business professionals. There are also two AP Associations represented in our group: IOMA/TAPN & IAPP and many of our members are certified specialists.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

IRS Announces 2011 Standard Mileage Rates

The Internal Revenue Service issued the 2011 optional standard mileage rates used to calculate the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical or moving purposes.
Beginning on Jan. 1, 2011, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:

51 cents per mile for business miles driven
19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations

Friday, December 10, 2010

A/P Hall of Shame | Accounts payable clerk arrested for embezzlement

Accounts payable clerk arrested for embezzling $545,000 from Bloomfield, NJ Auto dealership Lynnes Nissan. Karen Marie Sosa of Belleville was sentenced to 7 years in prison.

Link to Article #1
Link to Article #2