How To Create A Process Of Accounts Payable Flowchart
Updated: Apr 27
Accounts payable (AP) can require multiple steps and processes.
The best way to stay on top of this is with a process of AP flowchart. These diagrams make AP easy to understand, visualise and manage.
Flowcharts make up an important part of the accounting process. They help you to make sense of tricky accounting systems and make it far more convenient to keep your AP working smoothly.
A process of AP flowchart is something that businesses should set up early on to help their AP department achieve better results. Follow this guide to help you create a process of AP flowchart.
What is an Accounts Payable Process Flowchart?
An AP process flowchart is a diagram that represents the process flow of payments from one party to another. It helps you understand the workflow of your company's AP transactions.
This is represented through a series of steps in the form of pictures (as they are much easier to grasp than complex accounting terms).
The AP process flow chart shows the sequence of events to be followed in order to complete a transaction. It also helps you understand what the steps involved in AP are, and how they should be performed.
Basically, a flowchart will help you to optimise and design perfect accounting processes.
How To Create A Process of Accounts Payable Flowchart
Creating an AP process flowchart covers five basic steps. These are:
Create a Chart of Accounts
Before the AP process starts, you’ll need to create a chart of accounts. This is the first step in an AP workflow, and it's the place where you'll find all accounting transactions.
Any highly-rated accounting software app should have its own chart of accounts ready for you to use.
Set Up Vendor Details
The next step is setting up the vendors. All vendor details need to be recorded into the accounting system.
This process also includes adding any accounting or payment terms required by the vendor.
Review Invoice Details
Once an invoice is received, it needs to be reviewed for accuracy purposes. This step ensures that the invoice is correct and that it reflects the right goods or services received.
Once this is checked, the invoice must be entered into the accounting platform.
The next step is to review all invoices and process payments. Reviewing invoices on a weekly basis is a great strategy to ensure that all vendors are paid on time.
Even if you are using an automated system, you'll still need to review due dates to ensure that all the payments are made.
Thereafter, the payments need to be processed and recorded. There are many different ways that a business can make a payment - this depends on the business and the terms set by the vendor.
When you process payments, it's important that the vendors are notified of all payments. This lets them know that the correct payment was made on the correct date; which helps you stay ahead of your invoice payment terms.
Represent These Steps in a Visual Form
Once you have established the four steps above, an AP flow chart visualises each of these actions.
Each step will need to be represented by a different shape and colour. These should be clearly labeled and connected with relevant arrows.
It’s important to have a complete understanding of how each of these processes actually plays out in your business.
This will help you to map out each step accurately.
Tips to Improve Your Accounts Payable Flowchart
When you create a flowchart, the process should be simple and it should result in a chart that’s easy to follow.
Here are three tips to help you create an effective AP flowchart.
Use the Right Software
Creating a process of AP flowchart with the right digital tool will help to optimize this process. You’ll be able to access all of your expenses and invoices in one place, and have all of the information you need available in a digital format.
This makes it easier for the AP team to track all invoices, and access the correct information about every payment.
Using a tool like Sweep to create an AP flowchart ensures total accuracy and efficiency.
Automate Accounts Payable Processes
AP responsibilities can include a lot of repetitive tasks. From processing invoices to inputting financial data, these tasks can be incredibly time-consuming, and if they’re entered incorrectly it could result in the entire AP flowchart being affected.
The best solution is to use an accounts payable automation tool. This automatically takes care of the time-consuming tasks - making AP more efficient, more accurate, and saves you man-hours.
And this way, your flowchart becomes far easier to manage.
Monitor AP Performance
Once AP has been implemented, it's important to track the right KPIs and metrics to ensure performance is on target. Always think about the metrics you need to monitor when you put together your process of AP flowchart.
Consider what metrics will make an impact on how your AP processes perform, and keep a watchful eye over these areas. This will help you create an accounting system that produces better results for your business.
By having a good AP system in place, you’ll be able to improve your business efficiency and bottom line. One of the best ways to achieve this is through a solid AP flowchart.
Follow the steps and tips above, and use the right expense tracking software.
By automating AP with a solution like Sweep, you’ll be able to maximise the results with less effort. This makes running your business a whole lot easier.