Building A Compliance Culture In Accounts Payable: 5 Best Practices

In the modern, ever-changing business world, the financial departments and HR are crucial for building compliance-driven processes for every organization. Your company needs to stay on top of the latest developments, laws, and regulations, as well as industry policies, in order to not only protect your business but your customers as well.

Ensuring compliance across your organization is a key component of long-term success, and when it comes to financial processes, this cannot be overstated. When dealing with accounts payable compliance, you have to ensure compliance for everything from invoice processing to managing vendor relationships, payroll, and beyond.

Use These 5 Best Practices For Accounts Payable Compliance

That’s why today we are taking a closer look at accounts payable compliance and the best practices you should start implementing right away. Here’s what you need to know.

Compile and Collate Your Compliance Data

First things first, everything starts with good data organization, management, and processing. 

Your first order of business is for your financial, HR, marketing and sales, and operations departments to compile all their compliance data. Also, to research industry trends and any compliance shifts. You want to make sure that you’re as up-to-date as possible and that your accounts payable department has all the data they need.

The best way to do this is to compile your data through a data ingestion pipeline that will funnel the data from these different sources into a single, cloud-based data stack. Make sure that every department documents its data sources and that you can divide the datasets in your software.

Once you have all the necessary data, your accounts payable team can use the right datasets to form their compliance policies and culture.

Ensure Compliance In Your Accounts Payable Contracts

Contract management is a crucial part of compliance in the modern business world, and it’s vital for accounts payable teams to be able to manage contracts efficiently and effectively.

You need to train your accounts payable team in the importance of compliance, yes, but you also need to implement concrete solutions into their processes. For example, it’s important for the team to use contract management software that allows them to create, negotiate, sign, renew, and create actionable reports quickly for the higher-ups.

One of the biggest reasons why using the right software is important is because you want to be able to amend the contracts on the fly or apply changes and add appendices as policies evolve. This process is crucial for staying agile while meeting partner and supplier needs.

Leverage Automation For Compliance

Speaking of software, one of the best ways to reinforce a culture of compliance in accounts payable teams is to empower them through automation.

In the context of accounts payable teams and their processes, automation is a way to delegate manual and repetitive tasks to software solutions, streamline workflow, and make reporting and compliance easier across the board.

From faster invoice processing to better data visibility and beyond, accounts payable automation gives teams a way to automate menial tasks while focusing on complex issues. It also gives a comprehensive overview of the data, and with a rise in AI-driven automation, the future might also bring some AI-assisted automation.

In any case, this type of automation is a great way to alleviate the pressure off your staff while helping them nurture the culture of compliance, as automation minimizes the risk of human error.

Run A Scheduled Compliance Audit

Regular audits in all your departments are crucial for operational efficiency, innovation, progress, and compliance. When building a compliance-oriented culture, especially in your financial department, you need to ensure accountability through regular analysis and audits.

The best way to do this is to audit different processes in all the teams connected to your customers, vendors, partners, and the supply chain. That means running a compliance audit in your marketing and sales teams and auditing the compliance policies in your financial teams.

Why is it important to audit different departments? A comprehensive accounts payable audit will uncover whether or not payee data is processed according to national and international regulatory guidelines. 

Weaving The Culture Into Your Brand

Lastly, consider making compliance a part of your overarching brand culture. It is one of the easiest ways for your people to truly internalize and realize the importance of compliance in all their processes, not just accounts payable or finances. 

Explain to your teams why compliance matters not just for the company but also for the customers and the supply chain and how it makes their jobs easier. Conduct workshops and help your employees internalize what they have learned and how to implement it on the job.

The decision-makers in the company also need to undergo this type of training to stay on top of compliance and choose providers, partners, and compliant tools. This is important because different entities cover brokerage and trading accounts, so they must choose the right banks and brokerage firms for the company’s financial processes. 

Over To You

Accounts payable compliance is essential to your company’s long-term success, particularly in the face of legislative changes and evolving industry policies. Implement these tips into your financial processes and your accounts payable department to safeguard your organization and elevate efficiency in 2023.

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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