Published: August 18, 2022

Accounts payable is a process that delivers significant payments to vendors for goods and services and keeps local government operational. While the tasks that make up your accounts payable process may seem repetitious and mundane, they serve a critical business function—and they are vulnerable to fraud and error. When was the last time you took a hard look at your accounts payable process to ensure it’s still designed appropriately and functioning properly?

Whether your government has adopted new payment methods, incorporated more automation or gone paperless, risks change and your control systems need to adapt to prevent fraud and error. With the rise in internal and external bad actors targeting local governments’ payments processes, it’s critical that you review this function and ensure it’s built on best practices.

Over the last year, SAO has published several resources and blog articles to help you improve your accounts payable system. We’ve collected them all here so that you can quickly access them.

Accounts payable resources

  • Accounts Payable Guide. This guide offers tips and best practices to help you strengthen your accounts payable process. It’s organized by position so you can quickly view tips for leaders, managers, supervisors and accounts payable clerks.
  • Internal Controls Checklist for Accounts Payable. This self-assessment checklist can help you evaluate your accounts payable system to identify improvement areas.
  • Segregation of Duties Guide. This guide contains a chapter on how to segregate accounts payable duties. For instances where this isn’t possible, the chapter provides some options for possible compensating controls.

Accounts payable blog posts

These blog posts highlight common trouble spots with accounts payable and advice for addressing them.

For help

Remember, we are here to help. If you have specific technical accounting questions, please submit them using our HelpDesk in the client portal.

We also have financial management specialists at SAO’s Center for Government Innovation available to talk with you about best practices, resources or internal controls. For assistance, reach out to us at Center@sao.wa.gov.

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