As important members of an organization's accounting department, accounts payable employees have several goals and objectives which ensure the company's payments are handled properly. Although the accounting department's primary goal is to ensure vendor and employee payments are handled in a timely manner, accounts payable employees are also responsible for checking for and correcting errors found along the way. They are also able to help out with other accounting duties, such as organizing files and reviewing reports, which can allow the accounting department to operate more efficiently.
An important goal for accounts payable employees is the timely entry of invoices for payment. The accounting department in most companies allows employees to set their own goals and objectives that are in line with the department’s overall goals and objectives. The person who opens the mail will enter a date received on the invoice. The accounts payable person also stamps the date and initials the invoice when processing it for payment. These steps allow review of the time it takes from receipt of an invoice until it is entered into the accounting system. This provides the accounts payable person or others with a means to measure their activities with respect to their goals.
While errors do happen, the idea is to reduce them or eliminate them as much as possible. Reducing errors requires focus on work, improved typing and 10-key entry skills. It also involves checking entered work after entry into the accounting system and making the necessary corrections right away. If you review entered work into the system by comparing it against the preposting report when finished, this allows you to correct and find any errors immediately.
While the check turnaround time isn’t always in the control of accounts payable employees, what is in their control is how fast checks are mailed once they are received. In most companies, accounts payable checks are printed at least once a week. Meeting or exceeding goals and objectives requires stuffing the envelopes with checks upon receipt and mailing them as soon as possible. Mailing dates are noted on invoice vouchers or invoice copies that get filed.
Another goal and objective of accounts payable is to support the other accounting functions. This means not only recording expenses and printing checks quickly, but providing support to other areas of accounting, which may include purchase order closeout, budget input into the system, file organization or more. Accounts payable might also review reports and double check accounting postings for errors or corrections as needed.