Best Practices for Vendor File Cleanup

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Take the right approach to vendor file cleanup and give your business the edge.

When it comes to accounts payable, your vendor master file is one of the most critical corporate resources for your entire company, and it needs to be treated as such. Without proper care, it’s easy for outdated info to build up, duplicate payments to be mistakenly made, and inconsistencies to appear in your business dealings.

In the past, cleaning up your vendor files might have been something you thought about every now and then, but with new federal, state, and international rules and regulations regarding the accuracy of vendor files, it’s never been more important to check up on them regularly and clean them on a scheduled basis.

Not only will this help to keep your company files up to date and precise, but it will also help to reduce the risk of costly errors and save resources instead of storing outdated information you no longer need. With this in mind, let’s look at some smart tips and top practices for the most efficient and effective vendor file cleanup.

Consider Vendor Management Tools

These days, thanks to the perks of modern technology, many of the tiring processes of the past no longer need to be completed manually, and there are all kinds of services, tools, and applications you can turn to when it comes to automating AP processes and streamlining your day to day operations. This goes for vendor file cleanup too!

Vendor management tools, for example, can be used to save you a lot of time and needless stress for keeping vendor files clean and in order. They offer a simple, easy to use interface, fast and efficient processes, lots of time-saving automation, and many other benefits that can actually reduce the need for cleanup in the first place.

Make Use of Archives

What do you do with things at home that you haven’t used for years? Most people would answer that they store those items away in the attic or simply get rid of them, rather than leave them on display, taking up space in their homes unnecessarily. The same logic applies to your vendor file.

If you’ve got vendors in your files who you haven’t actually worked with for a long time (longer than a year, for example) then get rid of them and archive their information so you can easily add them back to your active list later on, if needed. This is a great way to trim down your vendor list and save on space while still keeping the key info you require.

Get Rid of Duplicates

When it comes to vendor file cleanup, one of the absolute top priorities you have to have is removing as many duplicates as you can possibly find. Duplicates can cause all kinds of issues, most commonly leading to duplicate payments that are costly and time-consuming to resolve. In fact, one of the most common causes of duplicate payments is duplicate vendor information in your files.

It’s quite easy to accidentally make these duplicate entries. For example, if you enter a new code when adding an invoice to your system, even if it’s with a pre-existing vendor, the system may create a duplicate file with that vendor’s information, leading to excess payments in future. Make sure to focus on these duplicates and erase them when cleaning.

Make Sure Your Entries Are Complete

A good way to make sure your vendor files are all nice, neat, and tidy is to take the time to go through individual vendor entries and make sure all of the necessary information has been obtained and entered into the system. In some cases, this may involve contacting your vendors and asking them for any missing info to fill in the gaps in your files.

That may sound like a lot of extra work, but it really can pay off in the long run. Having incomplete vendor files can cause a lot of chaos in certain situations, but making sure you’ve got all the necessary names, addresses, contact numbers, email addresses, and so on will really help out when it comes to avoiding errors like duplicate payments.

Final Word

Vendor file cleanup can be tiring and tedious, but it’s a task that simply has to be completed, and it shouldn’t be delayed or ignored for too long. The longer you wait to clean up your files, the more disorganized they can become, and every day that goes by is one more day when errors might occur.

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