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T3 Information Systems

Nonprofit Accounting Practices: Vendor Invoices (2 of 4)


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This is the second blog post based on our nonprofit whitepaper "Accounting Best Practices: Procurement to Payment" on Vendor Invoices.  Tate and Tryon recently conducted a survey to help nonprofits better understand how their current practices compare to similar organizations and where there are opportunities for improvement.  Our Procurement to Payment survey examined contracts, vendor invoice approval, vendor invoice payment, expense reports and tracking fixed assets.

When examining their procurement to payment procedures, nonprofit leaders may want to consider the following:

  1. Does your organization have an efficient method for procuring goods and services?
  2. Are vendor invoices approved online and by sufficient (but not excessive) individuals?
  3. Are controls on use of corporate credit cards clear and enforced?
  4. Is the fixed asset tracking system fully integrated with the Accounts Payable module?

You can read our first blog post on expense reports here.

Vendor Invoices

Vendor-Invoices-Infographic

The above infographic represents the findings from the survey with nonprofit organizations.

Best practices for Vendor Invoice Payment:

1.  Switch vendor payments from check to electronic method.  Electronic payment methods like ACH are the way of the future.  They are paperless and less expensive for both the customer and the bank.  Electronic payments also reduce the likelihood of "check washing" fraud, which is the process of erasing and rewriting check details.  Nonprofits are also advised to use blank, MICR encoded checks rather than pre-printed checks to minimize the risk of check theft and repurposing.  Nonprofits looking for accounting software could benefit from Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013.  The eBanking Suite is included in the Starter Pack for Dynamics GP 2013. Our study indicated that 72% of nonprofit organizations still use pre-printed checks.

2.  Implement positive pay. A strong internal control, positive pay protects your organization from fraud by significantly reducing counterfeit and fraudulent checks.  Before your checks are released, you would send your bank a file of checks written.  The bank then compares that file to the checks issued and only releases payment for preapproved vendors and amounts.  Our study indicated that 59% of nonprofit organizations use positive pay.

T3 (Tate and Tryon Technology) and Tate and Tryon CPAs are nationally recognized for excellence with nonprofits.  We have helped hundreds of national and international nonprofits with accounting software, CRM and Association Management Systems (AMS).

by T3 Information Systems

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