Do you have any information regarding best practices for invoice payment verification? Are most Fortune 500 companies performing this function in treasury departments, accounts payable departments or not at all?

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We assume that by 'invoice payment verification' you mean the use of positive pay, in which your company provides the bank with a file of issued checks. The bank verifies each check payment against this issue file before they pay a check. If the check presented to the bank is not in the issue file, then an exception is noted and sent to you. At that point you take whatever action is necessary to resolve the exception.

According to a study performed by IOMA regarding business practices among surveyed companies, a majority of the Fortune 500 use positive pay and approximately 1/3 of the small to midsize companies use it. There is no specific data about whether the function resides within the treasury department or the AP department. The pros & cons will differ by company size, structure and resources. Some companies have the AP department send the 'issue file' to the bank and also receive the exception report to investigate and resolve. These companies feel that they have addressed segregation of duties adequately within their department to separate vendor set-up, invoice preparation, invoice input, invoice approval, check disbursement and mailing functions such that no one individual does more than one of these major steps in the process. Other companies split the duties between treasury and AP whereby the treasury department sends the 'issue file' to the bank and receives the exceptions. Also see Ask the Expert best practices FAQs.

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