Goals for an accounts payable department will vary from organization to organization, depending on company goals and policies, specific circumstances of a given AP operation and various other internal factors. Broadly, goals typically include:
- Timely and efficient invoice processing and disbursements in support of the company's cash management strategy -- this may include paying promptly to obtain prompt (early) payment discounts, or scheduling payments to occur at a company-determined term in order to maximize cash flow.
- Timely compliance with federal and state regulations with regard to taxable payments reporting, unclaimed property reporting, sales and use tax remittance, and compliance with OFAC and the Sarbanes Oxley Act (public companies).
- Process improvement, including process automation and increased/improved payables analysis, to lower AP cost and add value to the organization, in support of the first bullet above.
- Customer service -- to establish and maintain good vendor relations in order to assure a smooth reliable supply chain, and to provide good service to business units including timely accounting, and timely reimbursement of expenses.
- AP Dashboard metrics-- establish a set of metrics that drives the processing and payment operations in the A/P organization such as number of invoices input daily, number of payments processed per FTE, number of errors discovered during or after processing, and cost per invoice to process are among a few. You can also check out the Benchmarking topic to see articles on how to start measuring the A/P organization