Published: October 13, 2021

While every financial system’s internal controls are important, establishing strong controls for your government’s accounts payable process is particularly critical for preventing errors and deterring or quickly detecting fraud. From maintaining master vendor files to preventing duplicate payments and transactions, accounts payable requires a robust set of internal controls for ensuring your government safeguards public resources.

But designing and evaluating internal control systems can be time consuming, especially for an operation like accounts payable. The system needs to be strong enough to prevent errors and to detect and deter fraud, but it must also be functional, cost effective and efficient. So where do you start?

Don’t worry, we have tools to help. We recently released a new accounts payable internal control checklist that you can use to evaluate your existing internal control systems and identify potential areas for improvement. Periodically reevaluating your control systems is a best practice. Your government should consider doing this annually, unless staffing or system changes require a more frequent review.

This resource is available for you in our Resources Database, along with checklists for cash receipting and payroll. We also plan to introduce more checklists in the months to come, with an accounts receivable checklist coming up next.

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