Select a Webcast

December 21, 2018
12:00PM - 2:00PM ET



Course Description

The adage 'you can't improve what you don't measure' has been used across many business functions. Often, the accounts payable function is not included as it is difficult to measure with any precision. However, any company that wants its accounts payable department to improve must be able to measure its performance against its peers.

This course will examine the reasons for benchmarking in accounts payable, how to get started, and how to use the results to drive efficiency in your accounts payable process. Some common metrics will be discussed and evaluated. Data from recent AP Now surveys on invoices and payments will be included to demonstrate how your organization measures up to others. This course also covers the common mistakes companies make when benchmarking their accounts payable process.


Mary S. Schaeffer, MBA

Mary S. Schaeffer, MBA, has the inimitable ability to find accounts-payable-related solutions that really work—without making a major dent in the bottom line. Armed with a degree in math and a graduate degree in finance, she takes a “roll up your sleeves and dig into the details” approach to finding solutions to those problems that cause migraines for CFOs, controllers, and managers.

Fifteen years spent researching and writing about payment issues gives Mary a unique vantage point. Combine that with an almost equal amount of time spent in the corporate trenches of several large finance and treasury departments, and you’ll understand why she’s become known as America’s leading accounts payable expert.

A wide variety of institutions have taken advantage of her unique expertise: John Wiley & Sons has published over a dozen of her books; CRYSTALLUS, Inc. relies on her know-how to direct its professional publication, training, and consulting business; and the Institute of Financial Operations (IFO) turned to her to serve as its editor-in-chief, steering cutting-edge commentary into its Financial Ops magazine. She also developed the IFO’s Innovating Accounts Payable certificate program.

Mary shares her expertise in a variety of venues, giving 1-day seminars, as a guest speaker at regional and national events, and online in 25–30 webinars each year. For Western CPE, she produces self-study courses and webcasts.

She has a BS in mathematics from York College (CUNY) and an MBA in finance from New York University.

Course Specifics

Feb 11, 2017

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Determine how your organization measures up against others and where it needs to improve
  • Identify an effective benchmarking program regardless of your company size
  • Identify how to meet the challenges involved with benchmarking
  • List those items that realistically can and should be measured
  • Define the pitfalls you need to avoid when benchmarking in order to have an effective process

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