Self-Study Course Details
Course Description

Best practices for the accounts payable function are critical for those organizations concerned about their profitability. For poor practices result in excess cost, duplicate payments, increased processing expenses, fraud and frayed vendor relationships. And, of course there is the growing issue of regulatory compliance as the Feds and states look for their fair share.  This course presents information the professional can use to identify best practice problems as well as regulatory concerns.  Industry expert Mary S. Schaeffer explains the issues related to the accounts payable function to auditors, controllers, and managers. She then reveals the best practices for a myriad of these issues as well as identifying almost best practices for those cases where it is not possible to use the best practice and the worst practices which are likely to cause trouble. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand how to establish strong master vendor file practices
  • Learn how to incorporate appropriate segregation of duties into master vendor file process
  • Identify how to create effective invoice receipt practices
  • Learn how to construct best practice invoice handling routines
  • Identify effective practices when short-paying invoices
  • Learn how to establish a process for managing discrepant invoices
  • Learn how to design an suitable process for storing check stock
  • Understand the benefit of paying electronically
  • Learn how to develop a process to weed out fraudulent change of bank account requests
  • Understand and develop strong controls in a p-card program
  • Identify ways to pay small dollar invoices without issuing a check
  • Identify lost funds through an effective supplier statement review policy
  • Learn how to integrate the concept of segregation of duties across the payment process
  • Uncover practices that will eliminate weak control points
  • Understand the importance of having a separate computer for online banking
  • Learn how to integrate check fraud prevention practices into the accounts payable process
  • Understand how to create a strong travel and entertainment policy the is compliant with IRS guidelines for the entire organizations
  • Identify and develop policies for handling travel issues created when employees leave
  • Understand what is required for information reporting to the IRS for independent contractors
  • Learn how to integrate use of IRS TIN Matching into the new vendor setup function
  • Identify and create a policy that will enable the organization to report and remit unclaimed property in all instances
  • Learn how to incorporate regular OFAC checking into the payment process to ensure payments are not made to terrorists
  • Identify potential situations where a payment may actually be a bribe to a foreign official in conflict with FCPA regulations
  • Understand how payment timing can both help and hurt the organization
  • Learn how to create procedures to ensure all early payment discounts are earned
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:


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

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