Is there any reason why Accounts Payable should not do journal entries? Does this go against segregation of duties? Is it not a best practice?


Our experts say no, AP should not do journal entries. It is a segregation of duties issue, as you mention.  

Journal entries have a little less "audit-ability," particularly in many instances when several are lumped together—back up can be spotty, etc. While the system is likely to record who entered and/or posted the journal, you just don't have the same specificity as you do with an AP transaction.

Accounting typically handles journal entries. They may be specifically assigned to someone by division, accounts, etc., or they may be handled by a variety of people in accounting—FIFO, or when they have time, or by a daily schedule or other means of dividing up the work. Making journal entries might be limited to a few specific accountants within the department.

AP might write up the journal and add the backup—that is, AP might request that a journal entry be made, say, to correct an AP error after a period was closed when it is not possible for AP to do a normal correction.  But even in this case, AP would not do the actual journaling. AP shouldn't even have access in the system other than read-only.

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