There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Strong internal controls are essential for any effective accounts payable function. Without them, fraud is easier to commit, duplicate payments increase, and cost-effectiveness is sacrificed. This course presents information you can use to identify control problems and implement strong controls. Industry expert Mary Schaeffer shows auditors, controllers, and managers where control issues are likely to occur, how to strengthen controls, and best practices for an effective accounts payable function.

Please note that the information covered in this course is also covered in Creating an Accounts Payable Policy and Procedures Manual, 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

Aug 15, 2019
There are no prerequisites.

Compliance Information

Qualifies for CA Fraud: No

Learning Objectives

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

Chapter 1

  • Detect problems likely to occur as a result of weak controls.
  • Identify the regulatory consequences of poor or ineffective controls.

Chapter 2

  • Identify accounts payable practices that weaken controls.
  • Pinpoint problems likely to occur if strong controls are not used in accounts payable.

Chapter 3

  • Delineate problems created when segregation of duties are not set up correctly.
  • Identify issues that arise due to poor internal controls.

Chapter 4

  • Identify the relationship between fraud and poor internal controls.

Chapter 5

  • Identify weak control practices that enable duplicate payments.

Chapter 6

  • Identify places where internal controls commonly breakdown in accounts payable.
  • Cite how an accounts payable policy and procedures manual strengthens controls.

Chapter 7

  • Identify places where purchase orders cause control problems.

Chapter 8

  • Identify how best invoice control practices improve the processing function.

Chapter 9

  • Cite how control issues can fail during the month-end and year-end close.

Chapter 10

  • Cite proper controls regarding the check production process.

Chapter 11

  • Identify controls related to check request forms.

Chapter 12

  • Identify controls that should be incorporated into every corporate procurement program.

Chapter 13

  • Cite best control practices related to electronic payments.

Chapter 14

  • Cite how controls around the master vendor file prevent fraud and help the bottom line.

Chapter 15

  • Identify how to control expense reimbursement fraud.

Chapter 16

  • Cite why it is important to have a policy regarding employees using personal devices for work.

Chapter 17

  • Identify how to check for bribery into the accounts payable department.

Chapter 18

  • Identify control problems created when employees share passwords.
  • Cite the importance of eliminating petty cash boxes.
  • Identify issues created by super users of ERP systems.

Chapter 19

  • Identify how a good policy and procedures manual can strengthen internal controls.
  • Cite how updating the policy and procedures manual on a regular basis strengthens internal controls.

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

Back to top