The new business season is in a full swing. It’s high time to choose a conference to attend next. To help you with this, we’ve selected the 4 most comprehensive events for AP and finance professionals, focusing on emerging accounting technologies and trends.
Invoice processing would undoubtedly be much easier if all paper invoices were of the same format. There would be no exceptions to invoice processing rules, no need to do much configuration or customization to accounts payable software, no problems with data extraction and recognition.
What do accounts payable professionals consider ideal invoice management software? The one that provides automatic processing of invoices and related documents involving no human efforts? Or should such software streamline the whole process and make it more transparent for each participant? What is ideal accounts payable automation software for CFOs? We examined the topic from different perspectives and tried to formulate the main components of accounts payable software having divided them into 4 categories or basic elements.
We recently had an interview with Mary Schaeffer (twitter.com/Accountspayable), a nationally-recognized expert on accounts payable. Mary Schaeffer is the editorial director and publisher of Accounts Payable Now & Tomorrow (www.ap-now.com), a CRYSTALLUS, Inc. publication. She is the author of 101 Best Practices for Accounts Payable, Internal Controls for Accounts Payable and many other business titles. We asked Mary to give her opinion on several invoice management and accounts payable issues.
Working in an accounts payable department may turn into a real nightmare. Invoice processing errors result in horrifying overpayments, duplicate or fraudulent payments, payments to wrong vendors, late payments and forgotten discounts. However, AP automation software will always help you avoid these pitfalls, taking your business to the new level.
“Carrying out accounting and paperwork tasks related to the current efficient maintenance as well as processing company accounts payable transactions…” or “Receiving, entering, checking invoices and payment requests for corporate policies, matching them against purchase orders…” – these are common accounts payable specialist job descriptions, calling for highly skilled professionals and offering positions in very different companies. HR specialists enlist necessary skills that accounts payable specialists should possess: strong organizational skills, independent work skills, accuracy, analytical and problem solving skills, attentiveness. However, even if they find skilled and experienced accounts payable professionals, it does not guarantee faultless invoice processing.
In our previous blog about Kaizen we told you how the Japanese philosophy can help increase your accounts payable department efficiency through applying the main 5 Kaizen principles. In this blog we’ll explain you the concept of waste, its negative impacts on the working process, productivity and try to give you several tips on how to avoid it.
Kaizen is based on making little changes on a regular basis: always improving productivity, safety and effectiveness while reducing waste. The concept of waste in Kaizen is defined as activity consuming resources (time, materials, money) but creating no value.
Wastes are the drivers of excess costs, delays and quality issues. The critical problem for management is not the one of knowing how to prevent a specific occurrence of waste. Instead, the critical problem is identifying the root cause of the waste and eliminating this cause.
Looking closer at a typical accounts payable department, we can identify several ordinary wastes declining the department’s performance efficiency. We can divide such wastes into the following categories: people waste, process waste, information waste and asset waste.
Kaizen is the Japanese philosophy that focuses upon continuous improvement, seeking to achieve changes in processes in order to enhance efficiency and quality. Kaizen can be roughly translated from Japanese to mean “change for the good”. The concept of Kaizen encompasses a wide range of ideas: it involves making the work environment more effective by creating a team atmosphere, improving everyday procedures, ensuring employee satisfaction and making the job more fulfilling and less tiring.
Today Kaizen is recognized worldwide as an important pillar of an organization’s long-term competitive strategy. A lot of big and small companies across the world have adopted the Kaizen principles for doing business and running departments. In our blog we’ll examine this idea in the context of accounts payable issues.
To better understand the idea of Kaizen, we used our chance to ask Tsuneaki Sugata, Production Control Manager of Nissan Motor Company, to briefly tell us about the concept. Fortunately, Sugata-san kindly agreed to provide his assistance: