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What Every Accountant Needs to Know About Master Vendor Files? Long neglected, the master vendor file is now the star of the show in corporate accounts payable practices. The emergence of new fraud controls, an increased attention to the importance of internal controls, new types of vendor portals, and heightened regulatory compliance requirements have all put master vendor file practices in the spotlight.

Many companies are discovering they have weak master vendor file practices and even worse procedures for soliciting taxpayer identification numbers (TINs) for information reporting purposes. There is also a bit of confusion surrounding the new vendor portals in the marketplace.

  • Identify problems within existing master vendor file practices
  • Implement master vendor file best practices that will enable proper TIN solicitation
  • Identify preventable frauds through good master vendor file practices
  • Make master vendor file fraud-resistant
  • Identify and collect all data needed to run an efficient and regulatory compliant AP function
  • Address the segregation of duties issue correctly
  • Delineate between the different types of portals and decide which is the best for your operation

  • Do employees who create purchase orders (POs), process invoices or handle checks make changes in the master vendor file?
  • Do you allow those entering data into the master vendor file to enter it as they see fit?
  • Does your organization keep vendors in the master vendor file indefinitely, once they have been entered?
  • Are your vendors permitted to provide whatever information they feel is appropriate?
  • Does your staff simply make the best of it when entering a new vendor into your file?
  • Are vendors entered into the master vendor file whenever an employee notices one missing?

If you answered YES to one or more of the above questions, you need to tighten up your policies. These are not the only potential problems, but the most common ones.

This session by expert speaker Mary Schaeffer will address the growing need for stronger internal controls surrounding the master vendor file as well as increased data requirements. Mary will discuss recent events that have revealed weak links in many companies' accounts payable practices, as well as procedures for verifying change requests that need to be updated.

  • Problems within existing master vendor file practices
  • Master vendor file best practices
  • Enable proper TIN solicitation
  • Frauds that can be prevented
  • Make master vendor file fraud-resistant
  • Collect data needed to run an efficient and regulatory compliant AP function
  • Segregation of duties issue
  • Different types of portals

  • Accountants
  • Controllers
  • Accounting managers
  • Auditors (internal and external)
  • Treasurers
  • CFOs, CEOs
  • Payroll professionals and procure-to-pay professionals
  • Finance professionals
  • Accounts payable professionals
  • Small or medium business owners

Mary S. Schaeffer is the founder of AP Now, a B2B organization focused on creating business intelligence around the accounts payable and payment functions. She has written 18 business books and is a frequent and popular speaker at both online and live events. Schaeffer has created a number of CPE self-study courses, customized training and online training events. She is the developer of the Accounts Payable Best Practice Certificate program. Previously she held positions as an Assistant Treasurer for the Equitable Life Assurance Society, a Financial Risk Manager for O&Y and a Corporate Cash Manager for Continental Grain. She has an MBA in Finance from NYU and a BS in Mathematics from York College (CUNY).

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