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April – Accounts Payable Coordinator


"People have no clue about how much work we have to do to get things paid."




April has to be sure that the documents from different departments match before they can be released for processing. Because she handles paperwork from so many different departments, employees tend to come to her with their questions.

Title


Accounts Payable Coordinator


Department



Finance




Demographics

Demographics






  • 32 years old

  • 2 years of vocational training in Finance

  • 10 years of experience in Accounts Payable



Market Size and Influence







  • An AP Coordinator is generally not included in the decision-making process to buy a new ERP system

  • If an AP Coordinator is involved, the focus is on the efficiency of the system to handle invoices and payments






Work

Environments






  • Small cubicle in busy accounting area

  • Adjacent to accounting co-workers

  • Surrounded by multiple filing cabinets



Goals





  • Stay on top of everything

  • Have everything paid within a fixed number of days from receiving the invoice

  • Have everything finished by the end of the day

  • Don’t hold up anyone else’s work



Roles





  • Accounts Payable Coordinator

  • Cash Management Coordinator

  • Bank Management Coordinator

  • Payroll Support Staff

  • Petty Cash Manager



Core Activities






  • Manages all AP transactions

  • Processes supplier invoices

  • Double-checks invoices for accuracy

  • Processes credit card payments to suppliers

  • Matches invoices to appropriate shipping and receiving paperwork and purchase orders

  • Submits a list of invoices to be paid to the Accounting manager or Controller for review and approval

  • Creates payments and creates electronic payments

  • Prints checks and obtains signatures

  • Mails out payments

  • Helps close the AP portion of books

  • Identifies 1099 suppliers and sends out the forms

  • Reimburses employees for travel and expenses

  • Assists with payroll as needed

  • Resolves small banking errors and researches service fees

  • Confirms that all numbers on the receipts match the numbers on the purchase orders and invoices

  • Troubleshoots any numbers that do not match



Communication, Collaboration, and Interactions







  • Reports to the Accounting manager

  • Interacts periodically with the Controller who has final approval over payments

  • Interacts with almost every department

  • Interacts with co-workers to answer questions about reimbursements and purchase orders

  • Interacts with suppliers by email and phone



Persona Variables






  • Moderate and complex finance departments will have an Accounts Payable Coordinator

  • In AP-heavy companies or if the accounts payable processes are more manual, there may be several AP Coordinators and an AP supervisor



Pain Points






  • Amount of time required to deal with discrepancies and disputes

  • Amount of time required to deal with all the paperwork

  • Amount of detailed information required to do the job

  • Amount of time involved in trying to find out who to pay

  • All the time spent tracking down people who are supposed to provide information

  • Tediousness in correcting posted transactions

  • Tediousness and repetitiveness in entering invoices manually

  • Difficulty in trying to find out which ledger accounts to use for transactions

  • Difficulty in tracking down all the different people who have to approve supplier invoices and payments

  • Dealing with lengthy and involved vendor invoices and trying to enter them into the system

  • Dealing with the end-of- the-month paperwork

  • Interruptions all day long

  • Stacks of paper on the desk at the end of the day






Psychographics

Computer Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities







  • Outlook, Word, Excel

  • ERP system

  • Fast data entry skills

  • Multiple company forms



Values, Fears, and Goals







  • Concerned at times that software will replace her job or take away some control, but recognizes that automation can also make the job easier

  • Skeptical about bank reconciliation being fully automated and not having a human interaction component



Technology Attitudes






  • Comfortable with using technology for online processing and job tasks



Communication Style






  • Prefers face-to-face communication with co-workers to get questions answered

  • Relies on email in order to create a paper trail when resolving issues

  • Determines which co-worker requests are truly urgent and determines which ones to respond to

  • Tries to minimize time spent on the phone

  • Strives to be pleasant on the phone when dealing with vendors






Get to Know April


Hi, my name is April. I have worked in accounting for 10 years and have been working in the AP department at this company for three years. Most people here have no idea about all the work we do or about all the paperwork that is involved in getting bills paid.

Our department has to make sure that the documents from all the other departments match before we can process invoices and pay bills. I also spend a lot of time tracking down people just to get the information I need to fill in all the gaps in the invoices. Plus, I have to track down management to get the approvals and signatures we need to process invoices and payments.

Because I generally handle the AP paperwork for the entire company, everyone tends to come to me with their questions. Some days, I just want to turn off the phone in order to get work done. If I had an office instead of a cubicle, I would be able to close the door so I could at least do the end-of-the-month work without interruptions.

A day in the life

8:00 – 9:00 AM







  • Finish any tasks from the day before, including reconciling cleared checks with bank statements

  • Open and organize incoming mail, email messages, and faxes



9:00 – 11:30







  • Match purchase orders and packing slips to invoices

  • Resolve any invoice and purchase order discrepancies



11:30 – 12:30 PM







  • Copy, print, and sort all items that need to be filed



12:30 – 1:30









1:30 – 2:30







  • Enter invoices into the system

  • Enter new vendor information into the system



2:30 – 3:30







  • Respond to email messages and phone messages about invoice discrepancies

  • Run Aging report and determine who needs to be paid

  • Do a preliminary check run and get approval signatures



3:30 – 5:00 PM







  • Start work on bank reconciliation tasks

  • Work on month-end or period-end closing tasks

  • Clear desk and organize work for the next day

  • Go home






Primary Roles

Accounts Payable Coordinator



Processes invoices



  • Receives invoices and organizes them by company name and invoice number

  • Confirms that all invoices are correctly coded

  • Enters all invoices into the system

  • Enters all supplier information and transactions, such as credits, into the system

  • Researches discrepancies and answers questions about invoices

  • Tracks down information for invoices that have invalid codes

  • Tracks down and resolves inconsistencies in invoices

  • Manages all invoice issues

  • Handles disputed invoices

Pays the bills



  • Selects items that need to be paid and gets approval

  • Generates the form of payment and gets the required signatures

  • Sends out the payments

  • Prints out a report with all the check numbers and the amounts after preparing a batch of checks

  • Processes credit card payments to suppliers

  • Processes credits from suppliers

  • Processes any voids, corrections, or issues that affect supplier invoices

  • Issues stop payments and reissues checks when necessary

Monitors company policy



  • Confirms that requests for travel and expense reimbursements are valid

  • Checks that information is entered into the system only when it is complete and accurate

  • Closes the books

  • Makes sure that all data is entered into Accounts Payable by the close date

  • Researches any questions about the data entered into the system

  • Assists in running reports for supervisors and management

  • Identifies 1099 payees and sends them the required forms



Cash Management Coordinator



Monitors and reports on cash balances



  • Generates the Cash Requirement report for the Controller

  • Handles the invoices and payments in foreign currencies and handles the conversion, when necessary

  • Writes off any credit balances specified by the Credit manager or Collections department



Bank Management Coordinator



Reconciles bank accounts



  • Retrieves bank statements and matches transactions in the system with those on the bank statement

  • Prints out the check register

  • Ensures that the books are balanced

  • Uses the bank statement to obtain information about receipts and payments



Payroll Support Staff



Supports payroll staff





Petty Cash Manager



Manages petty cash fund



  • Monitors and documents any pay advances

  • Monitors and documents petty cash disbursements

  • Makes bank withdrawals when the office needs something





Appendix 5 – References



Microsoft Dynamics™ and the 2007 Microsoft® Office System: Delivering Business Value Through Interoperability Whitepaper
The People-Ready Business Whitepaper
Bill Gates “New World of Work” Executive email
Microsoft Dynamics Snap-In Brochure

U.S. and Canada Toll Free 1-888-477-7989

Worldwide +1-701-281-6500

www.microsoft.com/dynamics

© 2007 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

Microsoft, Excel, Microsoft Dynamics, the Microsoft Dynamics logo, and Outlook, are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation, in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual company and products mentioned herein may be the trademark of their respective owners.

The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, this document should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.

This White Paper is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS, IMPLIED, OR STATUTORY, AS TO THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT.

Complying with all applicable copyright laws is the responsibility of the user. Without limiting the rights under copyright, no part of this document may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), or for any purpose, without the express written permission of Microsoft Corporation.



Microsoft may have patents, patent applications, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property rights covering subject matter in this document. Except as expressly provided in any written license agreement from Microsoft, the furnishing of this document does not give you any license to these patents, trademarks, copyrights, or other intellectual property.





1 You can find detailed information on how we approach usability generally at Microsoft in “Appendix 4 – Usability at Microsoft” of this document.”

2 High level details of this can be found in Appendix 2 – The Microsoft Dynamics Customer Model.


3 Small Business is defined companies with fewer than 50 people; Midsize Business as 50 – 1000 people.

4 See Appendix 3 for the Microsoft Dynamics Customer Model detailed profile of April the Accounts Payable Clerk

5 You can find detailed information on how we approach usability generally at Microsoft in “Appendix 4 – Usability at Microsoft of this document.”

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