Self-Study Course Details
Course Description

Strong internal controls are key to any effective accounts payable function. Without such controls, fraud is easier to commit, duplicate payments increase and the function is not cost-effective. This course presents information the professional can use to identify control problems and implement strong controls.  Industry expert Mary Schaeffer shows auditors, controllers, and managers where control issues are likely to occur, how to strengthen controls, and best practices for a control effective accounts payable function. 


  • Identify really bad accounts payable practices that weaken controls
  • Pinpoint problems likely to occur if strong controls are not used in AP
  • Delineate problems created when segregation of duties are not set up correctly
  • Identify the interaction between fraud and internal controls
  • Understand internal control practices every firm should use to deter fraud
  • Identify weak control practices that don’t curtail duplicate payments
  • Recognize how poor controls make duplicate payments more likely
  • Identify places where internal controls most commonly breakdown in the accounts payable function
  • Understand places where purchase orders cause control problems
  • Identify common purchase order problems and solutions to fix them
  • Recognize how best invoice control practices improve processing
  • Recognize invoice automation control issues as they arise
  • Be aware of how control issues can fall apart in the accounts payable function in the month end and year end close
  • Learn how to implement the proper controls around the check production process
  • Identify why signature stamps represent a poor control and can cause your organization big problems
  • Identify poor controls related to check request forms
  • Identify controls that should be incorporated into every corporate procurement program
  • Understand best fraud control strategies for your p-card program
  • Recognize how uniform enforcement of the travel policy minimizes game playing on the part of employees
  • Understand the importance of having a policy regarding employees using personal devices for work
  • Identify how employees disguise bribes to foreign government officials
  • Identify issues created by Super Users of ERP systems
  • Recognize how a good policy & procedures manual can strengthen internal controls
Learning Objectives
  • Please see the 'Course Description" for the learning objectives.
  • None
Advanced Preparation


Author Details
  • Mary Schaeffer
    Mary Schaeffer

    Mary Schaeffer, AP Now’s Founder creates content around the accounts payable and payment function. This material takes the form of a twice-a-week free ezine, the AP Now podcast and YouTube channel with 500+ videos, a monthly newsletter, 20+ business books, a variety of courses for accountants and AP professionals, and numerous webinars. She served on the Business Payments Coalition and Federal Reserve’s Remittance Delivery Assessment Work Group, and is currently a member of Nacha’s ACH Network Advisory Panel. Schaeffer has been named a Top AP Influencer for the last five years. She also received the Well-Being for Others award from them in 2021 and was named the Top AP Influencer in 2022. She has a BS in Mathematics and an MBA in Finance. Before founding AP Now, she worked in corporate finance and treasury for Continental Grain (Cash Manager) Equitable Life, now AXA (Assistant Treasurer) and O&Y (Financial Risk Manager). 

NASBA Sponsor
  • National Registry of CPE Sponsors for the QAS self-study delivery method
    Encoursa is registered with the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA) as a sponsor of continuing professional education on the National Registry of CPE Sponsors. State boards of accountancy have final authority on the acceptance of individual courses for CPE credit. Complaints regarding registered sponsors may be submitted to the National Registry of CPE Sponsors through its website:


  • Webinars: CPE certificates will be accessible through your dashboard 1 hour after a webinar concludes.

    Self-Study: CPE certificates will be accessible through your dashboard immediately after passing the qualified assessment.

    For specific instructions on accessing your CPE, please see our FAQ section on our support page.

  • Multiple Attendees on Webinars: Each attendee should register separately for the webinar. If more than 1 attendee participated from the same device, please contact us after the event to let us know. For group signups for paid events, please contact us.

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