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11 Ways to Improve the Way You Pay Your Jewelry Store’s Bills

Stop wasting money, and start protecting your business with Laurie Owen’s quick and easy bill-paying checklist.

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paying bills

WHILE ACCOUNT PAYABLE isn’t one of the most glamorous functions in a business, tightening up the way you pay your bills will most likely help you avoid costly errors, eliminate late fees and protect your credit rating. Here’s a checklist for improved bill paying:

  • Always check the invoice number and dollar amount against previously paid invoices.
  • To avoid duplicate payments, don’t pay from a copy of an invoice, only an original. Log the invoice number into your bookkeeping system when invoices are received.
  • Accounting experts target the percentage of incorrect supplier invoices at 5 percent, so it pays to double-check the math.
  • Individuals who receive goods and services should create a receiving report, which is then copied to accounts payable.
  • Accounts payable should be reviewed regularly. For that reason, it’s a good idea to require a second signature above a certain dollar amount. As a business owner, you tend to notice things like missing credits and incorrect pricing when you review invoices.
  • Take advantage of vendor discounts whenever possible.
  • Batch payments for improved efficiencies, but pay regularly enough to avoid late penalties.
  • Scan documentation relating to unused vendor credits and keep a copy on your network.
  • Look into any late payment fees, especially on quarterly federal, state and local tax filings. One company we know did just this and found more than $50,000 in unnecessary late payments that were made in one year alone by a former bookkeeper. Needless to say, they personally made sure that a reminder system was put into place from then on.
  • Reduce the amount of vendors you buy from. You’ll get better pricing and consolidate the amount of paperwork and transactions.
  • Separate job functions. Don’t make one person responsible for money going into and out of the business.
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Laurie Owen is senior vice president at Business Resource Services.

This story is from the November 2007 edition of INSTORE

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