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Detailed guidelines for how to pay bills

A financial institution’s law department has prepared a four-page summary of the steps administrative staff should take to assure proper and prompt payment of outside counsel bills. The exhortation at the start, urging timely processing, states that “late bills can incur interest charges, which the [Company] does not want to pay.”

One section covers obtaining approval to pay the bill, including stamping it and filling in the correct information for accounts payable. Another section describes how to look up information about a bill on the invoice database. The third and final section explains step-by-step how to make sure accounts payable has sent the check.

Law departments that document their administrative processes not only improve quality and consistency, they also can train backups and replacements more easily, and can scrutinize the steps of the processes for opportunities to streamline them.

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