View Full Version : Receipt of Goods

01-28-2010, 04:59 PM
An order is placed, and the invoice is paid, many times without acceptance. Is there a best practice or SOP reference for receipt of goods for this check to take place prior to invoice payment?

02-19-2010, 08:04 PM
Dear Guest:

In your question as to best practices/SOP to ensure receipt of goods/services prior to payment (or at least payment as per contract terms), I can offer a thought or two, but make no claim as to best practices. Processes will vary a great deal depending on the size and nature of a firm's business as well as what financial applications it uses, but additional controls can be employed even in a very small organization.

A company might consider requiring the original signed, dated packing slip go to Accounts Payable to be attached to an invoice prior to payment (or, if this occurs electronically, assure that the receiving group has acknowledged receipt of goods). This would not work in deposit/payment in advance situations, but in that case A/P could attach or electronically receive a copy of a fully executed purchase agreement prior to payment. Many companies have managers approve invoices prior to payment, and this may be good to think about if it's not already happening.

Having a packing slip or executed agreement adds an element of proof to the process, and provides a level of assurance that payment is warranted. Consider taking a look at internal communications to see whether information flows in ways to help this effort. Your CPA or audit firm will be a tremendous resource to help tweak policies and procedures to make changes work in your specific situation. Once you have done that, you may want to update your department or company handbook to help ensure that all staff follow the rules.