Invoices are currently sent to the different departments in our agency. We are considering implementing a centralized invoice process to require all vendors to send invoices to accounts payable...

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Q. (cont.) It is best practice for all invoices to come to the AP department? We would like to know how other organizations handle a centralized invoice process. Are invoices entered into the ERS for payment or tracked in some other software? Does the AP department decide if the invoice will be paid by check, ACH or charged to a purchasing card?

A. There is not a single answer – some organizations use their ERP AP module, while many others employ a third party software, or a combination. It depends on your systems and resources. See the Network benchmarks under Best Practices > Benchmarking > Results.

As for your second question, determining format of payment can depend on a few variables, but AP often initiates/drives change in payment format. That said, a good working relationship with procurement is important – ideally you want to address payment format up front when a contract is signed or PO issued.  Of course your vendors have some say, and payment format can vary by vendor. Some vendors accept card payment and AP can easily switch to a virtual card or BIP; others are used to ACH; others can be persuaded. Much depends on leverage in the relationship. 

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