Q. (cont.) We have done testing with some of our business units and found that when the receipt is created, if we enter the invoice number into the packing slip field it will populate as the invoice number. I guess the question would be from our audit as to what happens to the invoice ... you don't want it sent to AP, as it could cause duplication, so what is best practice?
A. From Judy Bicking, our practitioner expert:
Most companies populate the invoice number with the packing slip number. They also have pre-negotiated with the suppliers' Accounts Receivable departments that they can apply the payment with the packing slip number.
When selecting the suppliers, it is best to ask them who is currently using ERS and start with them. As you move through the learning curve, you can add other suppliers not familiar with ERS.
We actually held a supplier day and had a supplier who liked ERS speak to our other suppliers who had not rolled it out yet, so they could understand the benefits to them as well.
As to best practice, two different answers:
It seems as though your company has already received the invoice, which I would suggest if it is what you are using to receive the goods, then have it shredded.
Traditionally: the receipt is done from the packing slip. Most suppliers cannot prevent the invoice from being mailed, so give them a new P.O. box that is strictly used for ERS suppliers. Once received, the mailroom would ensure all invoices in that P.O. box are ERS and shred them to prevent duplicate payments.
Auditors: A good way to bring the auditors along with this best practice is to have them talk to other companies' AP departments' auditors that are using ERS to understand the process and how to audit these types of transactions.