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Accounting Best Practices, 7th Edition

ISBN: 978-1-118-40414-0
473 pages
February 2013
Accounting Best Practices, 7th Edition (1118404149) cover image

Praise for previous editions of Accounting Best Practices

"For a comprehensive, yet easy-to-read guide to fixing those all-too-common shortcomings in your accounting department, look no further than this excellent book. Steve Bragg provides hundreds of fixes, many of them requiring surprisingly little time or cost while providing a handy guide to common implementation pitfalls. . . . I would recommend this invaluable book to anyone who is looking to enhance their existing processes, whether due to growth in their business, compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley, or just as part of their ongoing improvement process."
—Martyn Webster, CPA, Director of Finance, XenoPort, Inc.

"This book is critical to running an efficient and accurate accounting department. The use of RFID technology to track documents is one of many valuable tools in this latest edition. A required read for the demanding accounting manager's role."
—Jason Charet, CPA

"I've used Steve Bragg's Accounting Best Practices books for years as a source of ideas for improvement. Like previous editions, this edition has a number of new, actionable best practices as well as refinements of those ideas reported in previous editions. The books are broad enough in their perspective so that nearly any organization could find ideas that could pay back the cost of the book many times over."
—John Temmerman, Controller, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

"What a great resource! I have been in the accounting field for over twenty years, and I was still able to gain insight into improving processes within my office. Thanks for putting it all in one book!"
—Tina M. Thomas, CPA, CTP, Controller, Goodman & Company, LLP

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Preface xix

Chapter 1 Overview of Best Practices 1

Chapter 2 How to Use Best Practices 5

Types of Best Practices 5

The Most Fertile Ground for Best Practices 6

Planning for Best Practices 7

Timing of Best Practices 9

Implementing Best Practices 10

Best Practice Duplication 12

Why Best Practices Fail 13

The Impact of Best Practices on Employees 17

Summary 18

Chapter 3 Accounts Payable Best Practices 19

Implementation Issues for Accounts Payable Best Practices 20

3 1 Pay Based on Receiving Approval Only 20

3 2 Reduce Required Approvals 25

3 3 Use Negative Assurance for Invoice Approvals 26

3 4 Designate Approval Stamp Positioning 26

3 5 Base Approvals on Supplier Invoicing History 27

3 6 Use Procurement Cards 27

3 7 Use a Ghost Card 32

3 8 Negotiate Procurement Card Rebates 32

3 9 Route All Invoices Directly to Accounts Payable 33

3 10 Split Payables Processing Based on Discounts 33

3 11 Adopt a Standard Invoice Numbering Convention 34

3 12 Automate Three-Way Matching 35

3 13 Digitize Accounts Payable Documents 36

3 14 Directly Enter Receipts into Computer 38

3 15 Have Suppliers Include Their Supplier Number on Invoices 39

3 16 Request that Suppliers Enter Invoices through a Web Site 39

3 17 Audit Expense Reports 40

3 18 Automate Expense Reporting 42

3 19 Eliminate Cash Advances for Employee Travel 44

3 20 Link Corporate Travel Policies to an Automated Expense Reporting System 45

3 21 Match Travel Bookings to Expenses 46

3 22 Centralize the Accounts Payable Function 46

3 23 Store Late Fees in a Separate General Ledger Account 48

3 24 Issue Standard Account Code List 48

3 25 Link Supplier Requests to the Accounts Payable Database 49

3 26 Shrink the Supplier Base 50

3 27 Withhold First Payment until W-9 Form Is Received 51

3 28 Automate Payments for Repetitive Invoicing 52

3 29 Install a Payment Factory 52

3 30 Eliminate Manual Checks 53

3 31 Eliminate Wire Transfers 54

3 32 Increase the Frequency of Check Runs 55

3 33 Settle Foreign Intercompany Payables 55

3 34 Have Regularly Scheduled Check-Signing Meetings 56

3 35 Implement Positive Pay 56

3 36 Incorporate Copy Protection Features into Checks 57

3 37 Avoid Acronym Payees on Checks 59

3 38 Revise Payment Terms for Electronic Payments 59

3 39 Install Advanced ACH Debit Blocking 60

3 40 Use a Signature Stamp 60

3 41 Notify Purchasing of Lower Invoiced Prices or Terms 61

3 42 Create Direct Purchase Interfaces to Suppliers 62

3 43 Install a Low-Cost Spend Management System 63

3 44 Use Blanket Purchase Orders 64

3 45 Issue a Welcome Packet to New Suppliers 65

3 46 Clean Up the Supplier Master File 66

3 47 Adopt a Supplier Naming Procedure 67

3 48 Assign Payables Staff to Specific Suppliers 68

3 49 Create Different Supplier Accounts for Different Terms 68

3 50 Review Supplier Statements for Open Credits 69

3 51 Issue Standard Adjustment Letters to Suppliers 69

Summary 69

Chapter 4 Billing Best Practices 71

Implementation Issues for Billing Best Practices 71

4 1 Avoid Missed Billings 73

4 2 Remove Unnecessary Information from Invoices 74

4 3 Mark Envelopes with Address Correction Requested 75

4 4 Do Early Billing of Recurring Invoices 75

4 5 Have the Sales Staff Review Contact Information for Recurring Invoices 76

4 6 Review Billed Hours Early 76

4 7 Issue Electronic Invoices 77

4 8 Issue Single, Summarized Invoices Each Period 78

4 9 Print Separate Invoices for Each Line Item 79

4 10 Enhance the Invoice Layout 80

4 11 Add Receipt Signature to Invoice 81

4 12 Automatically Check Errors during Invoice Data Entry 81

4 13 Proofread Invoices 82

4 14 Have Delivery Person Create the Invoice 83

4 15 Computerize the Shipping Log 85

4 16 Track Exceptions between the Shipping Log and the Invoice Register 86

4 17 Eliminate Month-End Statements 87

4 18 Reduce Number of Parts in Multipart Invoices 87

Summary 88

Chapter 5 Budgeting Best Practices 91

Implementation Issues for Budgeting Best Practices 91

5 1 Link the Budget to Key Business Drivers 93

5 2 Clearly Define All Assumptions 93

5 3 Clearly Define All Capacity Levels 94

5 4 Establish Project Ranking Criteria 95

5 5 Apply Throughput Analysis to Capital Budgeting 96

5 6 Establish the Upper Limit of Available Funding 97

5 7 Identify Step-Costing Change Points 98

5 8 Budget for Attrition 99

5 9 Budget by Groups of Staff Positions 99

5 10 Create a Summarized Budget Model for Use by Upper Management 100

5 11 Include a Working Capital Analysis 101

5 12 Use Activity-Based Budgeting 102

5 13 Incorporate Target Costing into the Budgeting Process 103

5 14 Link a Bonus Sliding Scale to the Budget 103

5 15 Use Flex Budgeting 104

5 16 Incorporate Risk Analysis into Budget Modeling 105

5 17 Automatically Link the Budget to Purchase Orders 105

5 18 Issue a Budget Procedure and Timetable 106

5 19 Preload Budget Line Items 108

5 20 Adopt Two-Stage Capital Budgeting 109

5 21 Purchase Budgeting and Planning Software 110

5 22 Reduce the Number of Accounts 111

5 23 Revise Budgets on a Quarterly Basis 111

5 24 Simplify the Budget Model 112

5 25 Use Online Budget Updating 113

5 26 Operate without a Budget 115

Summary 116

Chapter 6 Cash Management Best Practices 117

Implementation Issues for Cash Management Best Practices 117

6 1 Access Bank Account Information on the Internet 118

6 2 Automatically Apply Cash 120

6 3 Avoid Delays in Check Posting 121

6 4 Require Mailings to Mailstop Number 122

6 5 Collect Receivables through Lockboxes 122

6 6 Install Remote Deposit Capture 124

6 7 Consolidate Bank Accounts 125

6 8 Implement Physical Cash Sweeping 126

6 9 Implement Notional Pooling 128

6 10 Charge Back Treasury Fees to Subsidiaries 129

6 11 Implement Controlled Disbursements 130

6 12 Negotiate Faster Deposited-Check Availability 131

6 13 Open Zero-Balance Accounts 131

Summary 132

Chapter 7 Collections Best Practices 135

Implementation Issues for Collections Best Practices 135

7 1 Accept Check Payments by Fax 137

7 2 Clearly Define Account Ownership 138

7 3 Optimize the Collections Staff 139

7 4 Designate a Skip Tracing Specialist 140

7 5 Utilize Collection Call Stratification 141

7 6 Structure the Workday Around Prime Calling Hours 142

7 7 Base Deduction Management on Transaction Volume 143

7 8 Set Up a Periodic Payment Schedule 144

7 9 Require Customer Billing of Marketing Deductions 144

7 10 Grant Percentage Discounts for Early Payment 145

7 11 Conduct Immediate Review of Unapplied Cash 146

7 12 Outsource Collections 147

7 13 Prepare a Customer Bankruptcy Action Plan 148

7 14 Sell Your Bankruptcy Creditor Claim 149

7 15 Simplify Pricing Structure 151

7 16 Write Off Small Balances with No Approval 152

7 17 Report on Bad Debts by Salesperson 152

7 18 Post Collection Results by Collector 153

7 19 Create an Accurate Bad-Debt Forecast 153

7 20 Use Automated Clearing House Debits 154

7 21 Lock Access to the Credit-Hold Flag 155

7 22 Maintain Customer Orders Database 156

7 23 Subscribe to Special Event Notifications 156

7 24 Set Up Automatic Fax of Overdue Invoices 157

7 25 Issue Dunning Letters Automatically 158

7 26 Automate E-Mail Delivery of Overdue Invoice Information 160

7 27 Use a Collection Call Database 160

7 28 Access Up-to-Date Collection

Agency Information 162

7 29 Implement Customer Order Exception Tracking System 163

7 30 Install a Dispute Tracking System 164

7 31 Report on Ongoing Customer Complaints 165

7 32 Link to Comprehensive Collections Software Package 166

7 33 Use Real-Time Cash Application Techniques 167

Summary 168

Chapter 8 Credit Best Practices 169

Implementation Issues for Credit Best Practices 169

8 1 Create a Credit Policy 171

8 2 Modify the Credit Policy Based on Product Margins 172

8 3 Modify the Credit Policy Based on Changing Economic Conditions 173

8 4 Modify the Credit Policy Based

on Potential Product Obsolescence 173

8 5 Centralize Credit Risk Analysis 174

8 6 Preapprove Customer Credit 174

8 7 Subscribe to a Credit Report Database 175

8 8 Create an Internal Credit Scoring System 176

8 9 Modify Credit Application Terms to Favor the Company 178

8 10 Create a Credit Application Guidebook 179

8 11 Create a Standardized Credit-Level Determination System 180

8 12 Incorporate Collections Information into Credit Decisions 181

8 13 Require a New Credit Application if Customers Have Not Ordered in Some Time 182

8 14 Review the Credit Levels of All Customers Who Stop Taking Cash Discounts 182

8 15 Call New Customers and Explain Credit Terms 183

8 16 Issue a Payment Procedure to Customers 183

8 17 Join an Industry Credit Group 184

8 18 Refer a Potential Customer to a Distributor 185

8 19 Require Intercorporate Guarantees 185

8 20 Obtain Check Verification and Guarantee Coverage 185

8 21 Obtain Credit Insurance 186

8 22 Obtain an Export Credit Guarantee 187

8 23 Shorten the Terms of Sale 188

8 24 Insist on Lien Rights 189

8 25 Offer a Financing Program 189

8 26 Combine COD Terms with a Surcharge 190

Summary 190

Chapter 9 Commissions Best Practices 191

Implementation Issues for Commissions Best Practices 191

9 1 Automatically Calculate Commissions

in the Computer System 192

9 2 Calculate Final Commissions from Actual Data 193

9 3 Construct a Standard Commission Terms Table 194

9 4 Periodically Issue a Summary of Commission Rates 195

9 5 Simplify the Commission Structure 195

9 6 Include Commission Payments in Payroll Payments 196

9 7 Lengthen the Interval between Commission Payments 197

9 8 Pay Commissions Only from Cash Received 197

9 9 Increase Commissions for Cash in Advance Payments 198

9 10 Periodically Audit Commissions Paid 199

9 11 Install Incentive Compensation Management Software 199

9 12 Post Commission Payments on the Company Intranet 200

9 13 Show Potential Commissions on Cash Register 201

Summary 202

Chapter 10 Costing Best Practices 203

Implementation Issues for Costing Best Practices 203

10 1 Audit Bills of Material 205

10 2 Audit Labor Routings 206

10 3 Eliminate High-Leverage Overhead Allocation Bases 207

10 4 Simplify Overhead Allocations 208

10 5 Assign Overhead Personnel to Specific Subplants 208

10 6 Use Perfect Standards for Material Variance Reporting 209

10 7 Eliminate Labor Variance Reporting 209

10 8 Follow a Schedule of Inventory Obsolescence Reviews 211

10 9 Eliminate the Tracking of Work-in-Process Inventory 212

10 10 Implement Activity-Based Costing 213

10 11 Implement Throughput Accounting 214

10 12 Implement Target Costing 215

10 13 Track Excess Capacity 216

10 14 Limit Access to Unit of Measure Changes 216

10 15 Report on Landed Cost Instead of Supplier Price 217

10 16 Report on Total Customer Price 218

10 17 Review Cost Trends 218

10 18 Review Material Scrap Levels 220

10 19 Revise Traditional Cost Accounting Reports 221

Summary 223

Chapter 11 Filing Best Practices 225

Implementation Issues for Filing Best Practices 225

11 1 Improve the Mailroom Interface 226

11 2 Reduce Keystroke Errors 227

11 3 Use Multiple OCR Engines for Data Capture 228

11 4 Add Digital Signatures to Electronic Documents 228

11 5 Archive Computer Files 230

11 6 Implement Document Imaging 230

11 7 Eliminate Stored Paper Documents if Already in Computer 232

11 8 Extend Time Period before Computer Records Are Purged 233

11 9 Extend Use of Existing Computer Database 234

11 10 Improve Computer System Reliability 236

11 11 Adopt a Document-Destruction Policy 238

11 12 Eliminate Attaching Back-up Materials to Checks for Signing 241

11 13 Eliminate Reports 241

11 14 Move Records Off-Site 243

11 15 Reduce Number of Form Copies to File 244

11 16 Use Carts for Portable File Storage 244

Summary 245

Chapter 12 Finance Best Practices 247

Implementation Issues for Finance Best Practices 247

12 1 Use an Investment Strategy for Short-Term Investments 249

12 2 Use Invoice Discounting 251

12 3 Sell Securities under the Regulation A Exemption 251

12 4 Sell Securities under the Regulation D Exemption 253

12 5 Set Up Supply Chain Financing 254

12 6 Obtain Cash through Crowdfunding 255

12 7 Join a Barter Network 256

12 8 Automate Option Tracking 256

12 9 Automate 401(k) Plan Enrollment 257

12 10 Grant Employees Immediate 401(k) Eligibility 258

12 11 Consolidate Insurance Policies 258

12 12 Obtain Advance Rating Assessments 259

12 13 Rent a Captive Insurance Company 259

12 14 Use Netting to Reduce Foreign Exchange Settlements 260

12 15 Install a Treasury Workstation 261

12 16 Connect to the SWIFT Network 263

12 17 Optimize the Organization of Treasury Operations 264

12 18 Hedge Foreign Exchange with Forward Exchange Contracts 265

12 19 Hedge Foreign Exchange with Currency Futures 266

12 20 Lock in Interest Rates with an Interest Rate Swap 267

Summary 269

Chapter 13 Financial Statements Best Practices 271

Implementation Issues for Financial Statements Best Practices 272

13 1 Move Operating Data to Other Reports 272

13 2 Restrict the Level of Reporting 274

13 3 Write Financial Statement Footnotes in Advance 275

13 4 Create a Disclosure Committee 275

13 5 Automate Recurring Journal Entries 276

13 6 Automate the Cutoff 277

13 7 Avoid the Bank Reconciliation 278

13 8 Defer Routine Work 279

13 9 Eliminate Multiple Approvals 279

13 10 Eliminate Small Accruals 281

13 11 Reduce Investigation Levels 282

13 12 Assign Closing Responsibilities 282

13 13 Compress Billing Activities 283

13 14 Conduct Transaction Training 284

13 15 Continually Review Wait Times 285

13 16 Convert Serial Activities to Parallel Ones 286

13 17 Create a Closing Schedule 287

13 18 Document the Process 289

13 19 Restrict the Use of Journal Entries 290

13 20 Train the Staff in Closing Procedures 291

13 21 Use Cycle Counting to Avoid Month-End Counts 292

13 22 Compress Public Company Closing Activities 293

13 23 Use Standard Journal Entry Forms 294

13 24 Complete Allocation Bases in Advance 295

13 25 Reconcile Intercompany Transactions in Advance 296

13 26 Conduct Daily Review of the Financial Statements 297

Summary 297

Chapter 14 General Best Practices 299

Implementation Issues for General Best Practices 299

14 1 Apply Run Charts to Accounting Processes 301

14 2 Apply Check Sheets to Accounting Processes 303

14 3 Apply Value Stream Mapping to Accounting Processes 304

14 4 Apply the Production Cell Layout to Accounting 305

14 5 Create a Best Practices Support Center 306

14 6 Consolidate All Accounting Functions 307

14 7 Continually Review Key Process Cycles 308

14 8 Create a Policies and Procedures Manual 310

14 9 Eliminate All Transaction Backlogs 314

14 10 Implement Process-Centering 314

14 11 Remove Clutter from the Accounting Workspace 315

14 12 Issue Activity Calendars to All

Accounting Positions 316

14 13 Switch to Online Reporting 317

14 14 Track Function Measurements 318

14 15 Discuss Major Accounting Decisions with Auditors 319

14 16 Create a Contract Terms Database 319

14 17 Install a Knowledge Management System 323

14 18 Monitor Fixed Assets with Wireless Sensors 323

14 19 Create an Online Tax Policy Listing 324

14 20 Designate a Tax Liaison for Each Government Jurisdiction 325

14 21 Assign Tax Staff to Business Units 325

14 22 Outsource Tax Form Preparation 326

14 23 Submit Electronic Tax Returns to the IRS 326

14 24 Pay Federal Taxes Online 327

14 25 Create Accounting Training Teams 328

14 26 Create an Ongoing Training Program for All Accounting Personnel 329

14 27 Implement Cross-Training for Mission-Critical Activities 332

Summary 333

Chapter 15 General Ledger Best Practices 335

Implementation Issues for General Ledger Best Practices 335

15 1 Eliminate Small-Balance Accounts 337

15 2 Modify Account Code Structure for Storage of ABC Information 337

15 3 Create Alphanumeric Department/Subsidiary Codes 338

15 4 Reduce the Chart of Accounts 339

15 5 Use Identical Chart of Accounts for Subsidiaries 340

15 6 Require Senior Approval to Add Accounts 343

15 7 Use Data Warehouse for Report Distribution 343

15 8 Use Forms/Rates Data Warehouse for Automated Tax Filings 344

15 9 Use the General Ledger as a Data Warehouse 345

15 10 Restrict Use of Journal Entries 346

15 11 Avoid General Ledger Posting Bottlenecks 347

15 12 Have Subsidiaries Update Their Own Data in the Central General Ledger 348

15 13 Prescreen Construction-in-Progress Entries 349

Summary 349

Chapter 16 Internal Auditing Best Practices 351

Implementation Issues for Internal Auditing Best Practices 351

16 1 Annually Update an Internal Control Assessment of Each Business Unit 353

16 2 Issue Self-Audit Guides to Business Units 354

16 3 Recommend Business Process Improvements to Business Units 354

16 4 Track Audit Results through Business Unit Surveys 355

16 5 Train Business Unit Staff on Control Issues 356

16 6 Train New Business Unit Managers on Control Issues 356

16 7 Avoid Overauditing of Internal Audits 357

16 8 Complete All Internal Audit Work Papers in the Field 358

16 9 Create a Control Standards Manual 358

16 10 Create an Online Internal Audit Library 359

16 11 Create and Disseminate Information from a Best Practices Database 359

16 12 Outsource the Internal Audit Function 360

16 13 Schedule Some Internal Audits on a Just-in-Time Basis 361

16 14 Schedule Internal Audits Based on Risk 361

16 15 Use Workflow Software for Internal Audits 362

16 16 Implement Continuous Controls Monitoring 363

16 17 Fill Internal Audit Positions from Operations on a Rotating Basis 364

16 18 Add Specialists to Audit Teams 364

16 19 Assign an Auditor to Be a Relationship Manager with Each Business Unit 365

16 20 Assign Internal Auditors to System Development Teams 366

16 21 Create an Auditor Skills Matrix 366

16 22 Use Excel for Continuous Auditing 367

16 23 Support the Outside Auditors 368

Summary 368

Chapter 17 Inventory Best Practices 369

Implementation Issues for Inventory Best Practices 369

17 1 Audit Bills of Material 372

17 2 Conduct a Configuration Audit 373

17 3 Modify the Bills of Material Based on Actual Scrap Levels 374

17 4 Review Inventory Returned to the Warehouse 374

17 5 Modify the Bills of Material for Temporary Substitutions 375

17 6 Use Bills of Material to Find Inventory Made Obsolete by Product Withdrawals 376

17 7 Compare Open Purchase Orders to Current Requirements 377

17 8 Reject Unplanned Receipts 377

17 9 Obtain Advance Shipping Notices for Inbound Deliveries 378

17 10 Eliminate the Receiving Function 379

17 11 Use Standard Containers to Move, Store, and Count Inventory 380

17 12 Use Different Storage Systems Based on Cubic Transactional Volume 381

17 13 Organize the Warehouse by Storage Zones 381

17 14 Optimize Inventory Storage through Periodic Location Changes 382

17 15 Maximize Vertical Storage Space 382

17 16 Use Narrow Aisles in Manual Putaway and Picking Zones 383

17 17 Eliminate the Warehouse 384

17 18 Audit All Inventory Transactions 385

17 19 Compare Recorded Inventory Activity to On-Hand Inventories 386

17 20 Eliminate the Physical Count Process 387

17 21 Cycle-Count Based on Usage Frequency 389

17 22 Lock Down the Warehouse Area 389

17 23 Move Inventory to Floor Stock 390

17 24 Segregate Customer-Owned Inventory 391

17 25 Streamline the Physical Count Process 392

17 26 Track Inventory Accuracy 394

17 27 Train the Warehouse and Accounting Staffs in Inventory Procedures 395

17 28 Initiate Warehouse Staff Self-Auditing 396

17 29 Verify That All Receipts Are Entered in the Computer at Once 396

17 30 Record Inventory Transactions with Bar Codes 397

17 31 Record Inventory Transactions with Radio Frequency Communications 398

17 32 Track Inventory with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) 399

17 33 Eliminate All Paper from Inventory Transactions 400

17 34 Install a Kanban System 401

17 35 Eliminate All Transaction Backlogs 402

17 36 Immediately Review All Negative Inventory Balances 403

17 37 Reduce the Number of Products 403

17 38 Reduce the Number of Product Options 404

17 39 Design Products with Lower Tolerances 404

17 40 Obtain Direct Links into Customer Inventory Planning Systems 405

17 41 Adopt Just-in-Time Purchasing 406

17 42 Shift Raw Materials Ownership to Suppliers 407

17 43 Drop Ship Inventory 408

17 44 Reduce Safety Stocks by Accelerating the Flow of Internal Information 408

17 45 Reduce Safety Stock by Shrinking Supplier Lead Times 409

17 46 Reduce Safety Stock with Risk Pooling 410

17 47 Use Variable Safety Stocks for Fluctuating Demand 410

17 48 Cross-Dock Inventory 411

17 49 Use Overnight Delivery from a Single Location for Selected Items 412

17 50 Focus Inventory Reduction Efforts on High-Usage Items 412

17 51 Eliminate Redundant Part Numbers 413

17 52 Standardize Parts 414

17 53 Identify Inactive Inventory in the Product Master File 415

Summary 415

Chapter 18 Payroll Best Practices 417

Implementation Issues for Payroll Best Practices 418

18 1 Disallow Prepayments 420

18 2 Create Employee Self-Service for Payroll Changes 421

18 3 Minimize Payroll Deductions 422

18 4 Prohibit Deductions for Employee Purchases 423

18 5 Post Forms on an Intranet Site 423

18 6 Avoid Job Costing through the Payroll System 424

18 7 Use Computerized Time Clocks 425

18 8 Use Exception Time Reporting 426

18 9 Install Automated Timesheet Reminders 427

18 10 Reduce the Number of Pay Codes 427

18 11 Use Biometric Time Clocks 428

18 12 Track Time with Mobile Phones 428

18 13 Install Additional Time Clocks 429

18 14 Issue Electronic W-2 Forms to Employees 429

18 15 Transfer Payroll to Debit Cards 430

18 16 Use Direct Deposit 432

18 17 Automate Vacation Accruals 434

18 18 Consolidate Payroll Systems 434

18 19 Create a Payroll Call Center for Employees 435

18 20 Eliminate Personal Leave Days 437

18 21 Link Payroll Changes to Employee Events 437

18 22 Install Manager Self-Service 438

18 23 Link the 401(k) Plan to the Payroll System 440

18 24 Link the Payroll and Human Resources Databases 440

18 25 Minimize Payroll Cycles 441

18 26 Minimize Off-Cycle Payrolls 442

18 27 Create a Year-End Payroll Processing Checklist 443

18 28 Electronically Verify Employee I-9 Information 444

18 29 Reduce Taxes with the Common Paymaster Rule 445

18 30 Outsource the Payroll Function 445

18 31 Post FAQ Answers and Issue a Payroll Orientation

Brochure 447

Summary 448

Appendix: Summary of Best Practices 449

About the Author 465

Index 467

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STEVEN M. BRAGG, CPA, has been the chief financial officer or controller of four companies, as well as a consulting manager at Ernst & Young and an auditor at Deloitte & Touche. He received a master's degree in finance from Bentley College, an MBA from Babson College, and a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Maine. He has been the two-time president of the Colorado Mountain Club, is an avid alpine skier and mountain biker, and is a certified master diver. Mr. Bragg resides in Centennial, Colorado. He is also the author of Accounting Control Best Practices and Accounting Policies and Procedures Manual (both published by Wiley).

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