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Procedures Manual: Entering & Paying Bills

Today’s the day! The day to complete your second assignment in the fun-filled Let’s Write a Procedures Manual challenge.

Last month you answered 4 short questions about making bank deposits. [Click here if you missed last month’s entry.]

Even though you may make deposits weekly and it’s rote to you, writing it down makes the process accessible to everyone. Today we’re tackling entering and paying bills!

Here’s the drill. Answer each question in the order given with as much detail as possible. And then Voila! You will have written two more sections in your Procedures Manual.

Entering bills

1. Where do you place bills when they arrive (either by mail or email)? In box, tray, folder?

2. Who assigns any codes (cost centers, accounting codes or department codes) or notations to the bills? The executive director, bookkeeper, administrative staff, finance director…?

3. Who enters the bills into the bill paying software?

  • If it’s a contract bookkeeper, does he or she operate remotely or come to the office?
  • If the bookkeeper operates remotely, who scans or emails the bills?

4. What information gets entered into the software besides date, payee and amount of the bill? If using QuickBooks, do you enter Classes or Customer:Job codes as well?

Paying bills

1. Who pays the bills? The executive director, administrative director, bookkeeper, administrative staff, finance director…?

2. How often do you pay bills? Weekly, bi-weekly?

3. Who decides which bills will be paid when? The bookkeeper, administrative staff, the finance director, the executive director?

4. Who reviews and/or signs off on the bills before they are paid? The executive director, bookkeeper, administrative staff, finance director…?

5. Who cuts and signs the checks? Whoever prepares the bills for payment and enters them into the software, should not sign the checks as well. A best practice also dictates that access to blank checks is strictly limited.

6. Do you require more than one signature on a check? If so, how many and under what circumstances?

7. If you use an online bill paying method, who has access to pay the bills? Once again, if the bookkeeper prepares the bills for payment, best practice dictates that the control belongs in the hands of senior management no matter how much you trust your bookkeeper.

Bonus points awarded for creating a list of all your regular bills and when they are paid.

Keep us posted on your progress in the comments section below.

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