In many organisations, towards the end of every month (and definitely towards the end of the financial year) accountants send an email to those who spend money or receive income for the company or agency. The email goes something like this;
End of financial year approaches. At 30 June we need to ensure that all accounts payable invoices for this financial year are recorded. To achieve this;
Send all outstanding invoices to Accounts Payable by 23 June
Any invoices received after this date and before 5 July – scan and email to finance
Where goods and services are received up to and including 30 June but an invoice has not received, email Finance with the amount to be paid, cost centre and account code you want this charged to.
The employees concerned might;
- ignore the request (can’t be bothered, don’t have time)
- wonder what it means and lose interest
- try their best to comply (but get it wrong), or
- have already completed the task (too easy)
– the response depends on individual priorities, care factor, or understanding of the importance of the request.
At the end of the financial year there is quite the palaver about notifying finance about unprocessed or expected invoices. Especially large invoices.
Who’d have thought it makes a difference?
I will admit that for many years I just didn’t get the pressing need to notify finance of large invoices not yet arrived or processed (revenue and expenses). What difference does it make?
Just between you and me, in one of my past roles, I was required to do up to 25 project accruals (on spreadsheets) at the end of every month. At least three months went by as I just followed the instructions given to me at orientation. Turns out the instructions were wrong. Inadvertently, I had added considerable workload to someone else’s day. I wasn’t on my own either. The accountant concerned repaired dozens (if not hundreds) of mistakes. Not that they ever let me, or the others, know!
Wanting to know what I was actually doing, and why, I eventually found the time to document (and use) the correct process. The ‘why’ is very important to me as an employee. So is not giving others more work than necessary. It might take some time, but I do get there eventually.
For many employees, accruals don’t make sense. So, in the interests of improving that situation check out the video.
The end of the financial year is fun, isn’t it?