Is there a standard practice that companies tend to follow regarding the parking of AP invoices in an ERP system?

Follow

In a small sample we found two companies (28%) that use the park-invoice feature of SAP, four that do not (or “rarely” do; 57%), and one (14%) that only parks invoices for one-time vendors. Here are their responses:

Yes

  1. We have the same practice whereby we park the document pending approval. All parked documents are aged and review to ensure invoices are processed. We do have the function to prevent duplicate invoices from posting into SAP. [medical device manufacturer]
  2. We just recently began parking invoices in SAP. We use the functionality to have the document in our system for tracking of the invoice prior to approval for posting into the GL. Upon approval, the invoice is posted and goes through the payment process as normal. The processor can review the documents in parked status to see which ones are still waiting for answers. If the document comes back as not approved and do not pay, they can enter it as complete, which has no GL postings but prevents the document from future entry also. If the invoice is received again prior to approval (or after denial), entering it into the system either for parking or posting is prohibited because the duplicate check gives a hard error. There is configuration in payables, as well as a field in the vendor master that must be used to make the duplicate check active. [IT products, software & services provider]

No

  1. Our company standard is not to park invoices in SAP, due to potential pitfalls as this question raises. [packaging manufacturer]
  2. We very rarely park invoices. We use 3-way match for PO items, and for non-PO invoices, we do not enter the document until we have approval. [equipment manufacturer]
  3. Our company does not use the park feature of SAP. If we are using invoice verification, the document will automatically block with an ‘R’ block if the item has not been received, or if there is a price problem with the purchase order. If we want to enter a document and temporarily block it for payment pending approval, we use a manual block (‘A’). We regularly run reports to review R and A blocks to see if the issue has been resolved. We rarely have a problem double posting invoices. SAP can also be set to issue a warning message if an invoice with the same invoice number and date is already posted to a particular vendor. [chemical company]
  4. We do not enter an invoice until it has been approved. We rarely use the park function. We found it was a lot of extra work for us. We only park an invoice if the entry needs to be double checked before posting, such as when a new clerk does the data entry. [steel & pipe manufacturer]

Sometimes

  1. We only park invoices posted under a one-time vendor. A weekly review of all invoices posted under this process is conducted. A report is pulled out of SAP and verified to the source documents. [financial institution]

 

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