It is frustrating at times being in Accounts Payable Automation. One of the frustrations is that some people think when the paper is gone so is the security. I can understand it, however, in the beginning of my career I was less understanding. It wasn’t a good side, but I realized that if people don’t know any better it’s very hard to understand what life is like when the paper invoices are gone.
You would think that it’s a good thing to get rid of paper from a process like Accounts Payable, but if your entire professional career all you have known is paper the leap is difficult
Look at it this way. When you have paper invoices or paper checks in your accounting process you have paper problems. Invoices and checks can get lost, misfiled, held on to and trashed. The worst of paper’s problems however is complacency.
Over time if paper processes are not re-evaluated they have a tendency of getting less secure over time. You are unable to have enough checks and balances on paper to make sure that no funny business goes on.
With AP Automation, the key is to create a pattern of permission to where no one person has the ability to (1) Create a vendor (2) enter an invoice (3) approve an invoice fully (4) enter that invoice into the accounting or ERP system (5) select that transaction for payment (6) print the check (7) reconcile the transaction. The more people you put in this process that are subject to logins and software permissions the more secure your process. To be very clear the more people you have in the process the greater chance you have of getting a whistle-blower. Better than that if a person or a couple of people have the intention to defraud a company from the inside, once faced with having to recruit up to five more people they will conclude it’s simply not worth it. Deterring a crime is far better than doing an investigation to catch a criminal.
The great news, by automating the above permission structure an Accounts Payable Automation system will be (if it’s any good) able to report against all of the activity to make sure they are no additional anomalies.
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How about a children’s book? The Princess and the Paper – click here to buy