Currently we file by batch number rather than alphabetically. The operations are complaining that they cannot do vendor research. What is a best practice?

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The solution for allowing you to do research on invoices filed by batch will depend on several factors: What type of accounting system is being used? What capabilities does the accounting system have to provide limited access to users? What kind of information can be exported from the accounting system and in what format? What types of invoices are being researched: open, closed and paid, yet to be input into the accounting (i.e. in someone's inbox to be input to the accounting system, in the mail waiting to be distributed to AP, etc.)? Are the batch numbers associated with entering a group of invoices to the AP system or is the batch number assigned when the invoices are paid, or both?

A couple of thoughts about how your operations group could research the invoices: If your accounting system allows for an export of information from the database, then you could create an access database separate from your accounting system that would be fed the desired invoice information for the operations group to research. This would limit them from accessing the accounting system if this is one of the requirements but allow them flexibility to research and sort data by a means that meets their needs (e.g., research by vendor name, invoice number, date, etc.)

If your accounting system allows for the set up of restricted user profiles, then you could create an inquiry only user profile for the operations group. This user profile would only access the data as an inquiry but it would need to be able to inquire either by batch number, vendor name, invoice number or what other parameter meets the research needs of your operations group. Another option would be to create a simple Excel database program that could allow you to input a vendor name, invoice date, invoice number, amount, batch number and status (paid, unpaid) that would allow your operations group to sort the invoices to fit their research needs.

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