Improving Your Accounts Payable Process in Steps

Friday, May 13, 2011
To continuously improve business processes is to polish corporate competitiveness. In particular, the financial, information communication and distribution industries are already beginning to have established BPM practices. More vendors who offer BPM systems have a variety of workflow templates.

The primary areas for BPM application include complaint management, loan approvals, management of accounts payable in resource management and procurement, reimbursement management and asset management. Corporations with a long history of BPM activities tend to apply BPM to difficult business processes, such as management of accounts payable and budget planning.

The below workflow is a very simple form of accounts payable management. There is no Swimlane representing the accounting department, but if they refer to the list of approved invoices, they can pay them at once at the end of the month.

1. Receive Invoice, 2. Approve Payment, 3. Inquiries

[Management_Supervisor : "2. Approve Payment" screen]

<Process Data Items>
  • title <<Payee and use (ex: Japan Printing/50000 leaflets)>>
  • Payment to (string)
  • Amount (numeric)
  • Ordered on (date)
  • Payment deadline (date)
  • Summary of invoice (string: text box 3 lines)
  • Scanned invoice (file)
  • Supervisor approval (select:OK/No)
  • Correspondence (discussion)

Of course, it would not be bad to define the role of accounting. That way, the upstream purchasing employee can see whether the downstream accounting made the payment or not. Of course, the deadline of [4. Make Payment] corresponds to the process data item "payment deadline."

1. Receive Invoice, 2. Approve Payment, 3. Inquiries, 4. Make Payment