There are no prerequisites.

Course Description

Organizations often deal with a continuous flood of supplier invoices and check requests from employees. There are demands to issue payments as expeditiously as possible, despite an offsetting need to investigate each request to ensure that it is valid. Payables Management describes a number of ways to create an efficient payables system that processes invoices at low cost, while still maintaining close control over the payments made. The course also covers an array of related topics, including procurement cards, use taxes, closing the books, payables controls, unclaimed property, and more.

You can find the answers to many questions about payables in the following chapters, including:

  • Which alternatives are available for processing invoices?
  • How can I make the review of expense reports more efficient?
  • What process flow is needed to generate a use tax liability?
  • How can I calculate the interest rate associated with an early payment discount?
  • How can I minimize the amount of property that must be reported as unclaimed?
  • What are some of the targets of a cost recovery effort?

Payables Management is designed primarily for professionals, who can use it as a reference tool for developing payables systems and researching the correct accounting to deal with various transactions. Given its complete coverage of these topics, Payables Management should earn a permanent place on your bookshelf.


Steven M. Bragg, CPA

Steven M. Bragg, CPA, is a full-time book and course author who has written more than 70 business books. He provides Western CPE with self-study courses in the areas of accounting and finance, with an emphasis on the practical application of accounting standards and management techniques. A sampling of his courses include the The New Controller Guidebook, The GAAP Guidebook, Accountants’ Guidebook, and Closing the Books: An Accountant’s Guide. He also manages the Accounting Best Practices podcast.

Steven has been the CFO or controller of both public and private companies and has been a consulting manager with Ernst & Young and an auditor with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an MBA from Babson College, a Master of Finance from Bentley College, and a BA from the University of Maine (summa cum laude).

Course Specifics

Dec 4, 2017
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

  • Recognize the types of transaction cycles as well as the effects of the different organizational structures.

Chapter 2

  • Note the effects of the matching concept and the use of adjustment documents in invoice processing.

Chapter 3

  • Identify the types of payments, their advantages, and when they are used.

Chapter 4

  • Note the exclusions from expense reports.

Chapter 5

  • Recognize the steps used in the reconciliation of a procurement card statement.

Chapter 6

  • Identify the parties involved in remitting sales and use taxes.

Chapter 7

  • Identify the concepts under which supply chain financing is offered to suppliers.

Chapter 8

  • Note how accounting software applies information when an invoice is recorded.

Chapter 9

  • Note how accrued expenses are calculated.

Chapter 10

  • Identify the types of process improvements as well as the methods used to improve the layout of a department.

Chapter 11

  • Recognize the controls used for invoice processing, recurring payments, expense reports, procurement cards, and petty cash.

Chapter 12

  • Identify the types of fraud that can apply to payables.

Chapter 13

  • Cite the impacts and features of the different types of payables technology.

Chapter 14

  • Identify the fields used in the vendor master file, and the methods used to derive supplier identification numbers.

Chapter 15

  • Note the uses of the Form 1099 copies.
  • Identify the fields used in the Form 1099.
  • Note the situations in which backup withholding is not required.

Chapter 16

  • Recognize the rules under which unclaimed property is sent to the applicable state government.
  • Note the processes related to unclaimed property.

Chapter 17

  • Note the areas in which cost recovery efforts can yield a significant return.

Chapter 18

  • Cite the situations in which certain payables measurements can yield incorrect or skewed results.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 – Overview of Payables

Learning Objectives


Transaction Cycles

Organizational Structure of the Accounting Department

Payables Functions

Payables Job Descriptions


Chapter 1 – Review Questions

Chapter 2 – Invoice Processing

Learning Objectives


The Need for Precise Invoice Processing

The Supplier Invoice Processing Procedure (Manual System)

The Supplier Invoice Processing Procedure (Integrated System)

Accounts Payable Credits Processing Procedure

The Evaluated Receipts Processing Procedure

The Check Payment Issuance Procedure

Payment Alternatives

The Void Checks Procedure

Enhancements to Invoice Processing

Direct Invoice Delivery

Centralize E-mailed Invoice Processing

Return Incomplete Invoices

Invoice Numbering Convention

Request Aggregated Invoice

Minimize Approvals

Analyze Matching Discrepancies

Monitor Invoice Disputes

Automate Recurring Payments

Restrict Manual Checks

Analyze Manual Checks

Restrict Manual Delivery of Checks

Restrict Cash Advances

Schedule Frequent Check Runs

Use a Signature Stamp or Plate

Reduce the Need for Second Signatures

Encourage use of ACH

Clean the Payables Aging Report

Search for Open Credits

Reduce the Number of Suppliers


Chapter 2 – Review Questions

Chapter 3 – Types of Payments

Learning Objectives


Cash Payments (Petty Cash)

Check Payments

Foreign Check Clearing


Advantages of Checks

Disadvantages of Checks

Bank Drafts

Automated Clearing House Payments

Advantages of ACH

Impact on Float

Global ACH

Wire Transfers

The Letter of Credit

The Standby Letter of Credit


Chapter 3 – Review Questions

Chapter 4 – Expense Reimbursement

Learning Objectives


The Need for Expense Reimbursement

The Expense Report Submission Procedure (Manual System)

The On-Line Expense Report Submission Procedure

The Expense Report Review Procedure

The Travel and Entertainment Policy

Travel preferences

Expense types



Direct company payments

Additional Expense Reimbursement Topics

Form of Documentation

Cash Advances

Expense Report Auditing

Expense Report Outsourcing

Spend Management

Employee Reviews


Chapter 4 – Review Questions

Chapter 5 – Procurement Cards

Learning Objectives


When and How to Use Procurement Cards

The Card Reconciliation Procedure

The Lost Card Procedure

Additional Procurement Card Topics

Card Issuer Relations

Card Rebates

Cash Flow Management

Card User Relations

Departure of Card Users


Chapter 5 – Review Questions

Chapter 6 – Use Taxes

Learning Objectives


Sales and Use Tax Overview

Use Tax Systems

Use Tax Audits

Sales Tax Exemption Certificate

Multiple Points of Use Certificate


Chapter 6 – Review Questions

Chapter 7 – Finance Issues

Learning Objectives


Early Payment Discounts

Payment Timing

Supply Chain Financing


Chapter 7 – Review Questions

Chapter 8 – Accounting for Payables

Learning Objectives


Routine Accounts Payable Entries

Period-end Accounts Payable Entries

Applicable Accounts to Charge


Chapter 8 – Review Questions

Chapter 9 – Closing Payables

Learning Objectives


Accounts Payable Accruals

Expense Reports

Issues with the Credit Card Close

Accounts Payable Suspense Items

Discrepancy Invoices

Uncashed Checks

Reconciling Accounts Payable

Additional Year-end Tasks

Closing the Ledger


Chapter 9 – Review Questions

Chapter 10 – Department Management

Learning Objectives


Payables Manager Responsibilities

Schedule of Activities

Error Tracking System

Process Reviews

Queue Management

Department Layout

Skills Review and Training

Measuring the Results of Training

Consolidate Accounting

Quality of the Work Environment

Flexible Work Hours

Job Sharing

Permanent Part-Time Work


Chapter 10 – Review Questions

Chapter 11 –Payables Control

Learning Objectives


Accounts Payable Processing Controls

Alternative Accounts Payable Control Systems

Control System for Manual Accounts Payable

Control System for Computerized Accounts Payable

Additional Payables Controls – Trend Analysis

Additional Payables Controls – Fraud Related

Additional Payables Controls – Periodic Actions

Expense Report Processing Controls

Alternative Expense Report Control Systems

Control System for Manual Expense Reporting

Control System for Computerized Expense Reporting

Additional Expense Report Controls – Fraud Related

Additional Expense Report Controls – Periodic Actions

In-Process Procurement Card Controls

Alternative Procurement Card Control Systems

Procurement Card Control System without a Transaction Log

Procurement Card Control System with a Transaction Log

Additional Procurement Card Controls – Fraud Related

Additional Procurement Card Controls – Periodic Actions

Petty Cash Controls

Additional Petty Cash Controls – Fraud Related

Payables Policies

Payables Policies

Expense Report Policies

Procurement Card Policies

Petty Cash Policies


Chapter 11 – Review Questions

Chapter 12 –Payables Fraud

Learning Objectives


Personal Purchases

Refunds of Personal Purchases

Fake Suppliers

Supplier Overbillings

Unauthorized Shipments

Supplier-Staff Collusion

Authorization Limit Avoidance

Petty Cash Theft

Redirected Payments

Check Fraud

Check Theft

ACH Debits

Keystroke Logging


Chapter 12 – Review Questions

Chapter 13 – Payables Technology

Learning Objectives


The Payment Factory

Automated Expense Report Submissions

Automated Payables Matching

The Reverse Lockbox

Supplier Portals

Automated W-9 Forms


Chapter 13 – Review Questions

Chapter 14 – Payables Record Keeping

Learning Objectives


The Vendor Master File

Vendor Master File Usage

Supplier Naming Conventions

Vendor Master File Errors

Duplicate Record Detection and Prevention

TIN Matching

The Payables Filing System

Off-site Storage

Document Imaging

Document Destruction


Chapter 14 – Review Questions

Chapter 15 – Government Reporting

Learning Objectives


The Form 1099-MISC

Treatment of Incorrect Filings

The Form W-9

Backup Withholdings

Form 1099 Administrative Issues

Form W-9 Administrative Issues


Chapter 15 – Review Questions

Chapter 16 – Unclaimed Property

Learning Objectives


The Unclaimed Property Liability

Uncashed Checks

Treatment of Credits

Due Diligence Letters

The Dormancy Period

The Unclaimed Property Audit

Document Retention Policy

Filing Unclaimed Property Reports

Claiming Unclaimed Property


Chapter 16 – Review Questions

Chapter 17 – Cost Recovery

Learning Objectives


Internal Cost Recovery Targets

Advertising Expenditures



Duplicate Payments

Freight Billings

Health Plan Enrollment

Legal Billings

Spend Compliance

Supplier Credits

Telecommunications Billings

Unclaimed Property

Unreturned Deposits

Internal Cost Recovery Staff

Recovery Auditors

Cost-Benefit of Cost Recovery Activities

Cost Recovery Timing

Fertile Ground for Cost Recovery Efforts


Chapter 17 – Review Questions

Chapter 18 –Payables Measurements

Learning Objectives


Days Payables Outstanding

Supplier Billed Price Variance

Transaction Error Rate

Full-Time Equivalent Measurements

FTEs per $1 Million of Revenue

Staff Cost per FTE

Line Items per FTE

Paperless Measurements

Percent of Paperless Invoices

Percent of Paperless Payments

Additional Payables Measurements


Chapter 18 – Review Questions

Review Question Answers and Rationales



Qualified Assessment

Answer Sheet

Course Evaluation


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