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Vendors constitute the entire gamut of business partners who provide or else service office supplies or ancillary services, goods or assets. The bills furnished by them go under the head of Accounts Payable (AP). The buyer is then expected to pay these suppliers on time by taking advantage of payment discounts against time bound payments, wherever possible. This also involves obligatory checks to ensure that duplicity in billing is identified and simultaneously bank overdrafts are kept in check.
Based on the indent of the user department, purchasing becomes the first step in this supply chain process which ends with the Accounts Payable.
Invoices are accepted as and when they come in; before payments are made, a projection of the cash requirement is forecasted. In order to regulate the free flow of cash, Accounts Payable selects invoices to be paid through a judicious mix of their value and due date and thereafter, usually makes payment by issuing cheques. Based on criticality of services and the terms of agreement, FIFO | LIFO methods of prioritizing these payments are applied. At times, a person or an organization may be paid a single AP cheque and this transaction for various reasons may not be directly recorded as such.
At times, a vendor may need a part of the order value as an advance that usually ranges from 25% to 50%. This can easily be done as part of AP.
All ERP packages have a module that takes care of each of the above through Accounts Payable.
Benefits to a supplier
Though it is highly risky to do business this way, but in case a supplier prefers to depend on just a few clients he would have a large number of invoices | bills that his office may have raised against work done. He may also have Performa Invoices raised towards part payment as advance against some orders. Many cheques may have been issued against these; details of all of such information are very easy for him to view via the internet | World Wide Web. It goes without saying, that it is practically not possible for a supplier to keep track of all such transactions as well as information without the help of suitable platform assistance.
The supplier also needs to have the added benefit of being able to update some of his basic information like his name, address as well as contact details.
Tables also form a part of AP
In order to streamline information as well as available records for subsequent retrieval, Accounts Payable has a number of tables as briefly elaborated below:
- Supplier Information:
- The base around which Accounts Payable revolves is often termed as the Master Data; detailed information about the organization’s suppliers and different creditors regarding their locations, contacts, products or services offered etc. are available in this. Such information obviously is of great help to the purchase department almost on a daily basis, (depending upon the size of the enterprise) and hence the same is used by them too for the smooth operation of their unit or business.
- Bank Information:
- Master Data also includes bank information; details regarding the organization’s bank(s), their contact details, the details of accounts maintained by the enterprise, the details about loans or overdrafts, if any as well as the balance maintained in each of them (in case there are more than one) form a part of this table. This is also a master data.
- Invoices & Performa Invoices:
- Based on whether a job or delivery | supply has been completed or not or is yet to be started the supplier | contractor issues such documents after or before a job is done intimating the organization of what they owe to him. Apart from the above, these tables also have entries regarding credit | debit | interest memos. These tables relating to the transactions invariably also contain the schedules of payment.
- Payments (Pending or otherwise):
- The payments table gives details of cheques issued to different suppliers and contractors; information includes payees name, cheque number & date, name of bank, value of cheque, deductions (if any) made on different heads.
- Accounting Entries:
- The accounting entries related to transactions of data by invoice and payments are also recorded here. Application has been designed in a way that it provides ease in accounting entries, auto updation of all relevant ledgers and accounts which provides comfort of user friendly features to the user. The application itself takes due care in updating the books as per the accounting standards.
- Data Compilation
- The application has inbuilt features to comply data and update various ledgers and accounts head to enable various departments to access these complied data. For Example - Accounts Payable Receives Purchase orders from the Purchase department and Store Receipts from the Stores Department, which then uses the two to match and thereafter make the payment. Pricing data is sent by Accounts Payable to the Inventory which is the complete list of all stocks maintained. Asset details are sent to Fixed Assets and the Accounting Journal Entries go to the General Ledger etc.
- The supplier’s | contractor’s invoice is the first transaction record. A purchase order and a store receipt can be used together to match the quantities supplied and their respective values. The next transaction occurs when payment is made to the supplier against his invoice. The accounts department, to make their work easy, many a time club a number of invoices of the same supplier | contractor and releases the payment after each one of the same has been approved by the higher authorized officer.
In spite of all kinds of checks and balances, sometimes things do go wrong and then comes the question of adjustment.
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