My company does not currently age our payables. Everything is paid as soon as the vouchers are keyed. We are considering changing this in order to enhance cash flow...

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Q. (cont.) However, we are not a paperless shop. All vendor invoices are filed with the remittance information, alphabetically by vendor, after the payments have been processed. My question is this: When the invoices have been entered for payment, how do other companies temporarily file them until they reach the due date and are run through the actual pay cycle?

A. AP expert Pam Miller recommends reserving designated counter space and using sorters. She says to use the sorters to sort-and-hold remittance information until it’s time to meet up with the check and envelope (assuming the remittances are separate from the checks).

Similarly for the invoices themselves, hold them in separate sorters until you have a check copy, combine all the invoices represented on a given check with the check copy, then file them away by vendor.

Pam says, "We had several sorters because we sorted by company we paid for as well (they processed for several companies within the family)—this kept the sorters from becoming too stuffed. Not elegant but effective. We had a long counter we kept the sorters on—they do take up a lot of room.”

Accordion files might serve as well, depending on your space/counter situation.

Pam adds, “And we did not alphabetize within the letters—we did that when we filed the final invoice and check copies away in the file cabinets.  Usually there were not enough papers inside the letters to require that—we just pulled a letter and matched checks.”

Depending on frequency of check runs, you can set up the sorters or accordion file by date of the check run. Then all remittances for a given run are in one spot.

You may also want to post your question in  TAPN’s forum, to solicit input on how other members address it.

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