There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Effective policies and procedures in the accounts payable function are critical for any organization wishing to eliminate duplicate payments, prevent and detect fraud, improve cost effectiveness, and maintain regulatory compliance. The first step in that battle is having a current, detailed policy and procedures manual. This course will help you create an effective manual that documents the organization's policies and procedures and can be used as a reference and training guide. Industry expert Mary Schaeffer shows auditors, controllers, and managers how to create such a manual when none exists. She also includes an outline for a sample policy and a checklist that can be used to assess current policies and procedures.

Please note that the information covered in this course is also covered in Internal Controls in Accounts Payable, Vendor Issues in Accounts Payable, and Best Practices for Accounts Payable.


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

Jan 23, 2018
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

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

  • Identify best practices for creating an accounts payable policy and procedures manual.
  • Cite how an accounts payable policy and procedures manual strengthens controls.
  • List what should and should not be included in the manual.
  • Cite the segregation of duties requirements for the accounts payable function to be included in the policy and procedures manual.

Table of Contents


Learning Objectives

The Role an Accounts Payable Policy and Procedures Manual Plays

Why a Policy and Procedures Manual Is Needed

What If You Don’t Have One?

The Policy and Procedures Manual from a Control Standpoint

The Policy and Procedures Manual: An Ongoing Project

Including a Flowchart Is Not a Bad Idea

Creating the Manual

No Policy and Procedures Manual? Three Ways to Get Started

Keeping It Updated

A Straightforward Plan to Update the Accounts Payable Policy & Procedures Manual

No Shortcuts Available

Tips for Creating a User-Friendly Accounts Payable Policy and Procedures Manual

Using the Manual

Getting a Manual Produced Quickly

Help from the Manual

The Segregation of Duties Issue

Don’t Overlook Segregation of Duties Requirements

Segregation of Duties: How Much Access Do Your Employees Really Have?

The Potential Scenario

The Solution

Six Common Procedures That Enable Internal Check Fraud: Fix Them with Your Policy

Reviewing and Updating Your Policy and Procedures

Updating Your Accounts Payable Policy and Procedures Manual

Five Often-Overlooked Practices That Should Be Incorporated into Your Policies


Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Qualified Assessment

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation


Choose Your Preferred Format

Online Access

Get immediate access to a robust collection of learning and reference materials, allowing you to dive deep into the information you need. Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts who focus on helping you grasp concepts quickly using real-life examples. Download your CPE to any device, and take it with you so you can learn when and wherever you want. Complete your CPE with an online exam, and enjoy instant grading with the option to print your certificate immediately upon passing.

online access
Hard Copy

Our self-study materials are authored by top-quality, industry experts. You’ll receive a bound notebook of all the course materials, shipped to you within one business day. In addition, you’ll also have full online access. Each self-study package includes a robust collection of learning and reference materials to help you cover the information efficiently and put it into practice immediately.

hard copy
Self-Study Video

Experience high-quality instruction with our Self-Study Videos, available to you 24/7. With more than 80+ videos currently in the Western CPE Self-Study Video library, you can see and hear our expert instructors deliver the information you need in a dynamic way that allows you to immediately apply your learning. Unlike a live course or webcast, you can complete the course on your own time, playing and pausing as needed. Self-Study Videos allow you to complete your CPE requirements on your own time.

hard copy

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