What is ‘Accounts Payable’?

accountant-with-penAccounts payable (AP) refers to money owed by a business to its suppliers. In other words, it is an accounting entry which represents a company’s commitment to pay-off any short-term debt to its creditors. The accounts payable entry is entered in the balance sheet under the current liabilities section.

When a business orders goods or services without paying for them upfront, we say that the business is buying the goods on account or on credit. The person or entity which supplies the goods on credit is the creditor. If the company takes the goods and does not sign a promissory note, the supplier’s bill will be recorded by the company in its liability account as Accounts Payable or Trade Payable.

Since Accounts Payable is a liability account, it will typically have a credit balance. Therefore, when the supplier’s invoice or bill is recorded, AP will be credited, which also means another account will have to be debited as is the norm in double-entry accounting. When debt is settled, Accounts Payable will be debited and Cash will then be credited. Therefore, credit balance in Accounts Payable will be equal to the amount of supplier invoices that have been entered in the books but are yet to be paid.

In the accrual method of accounting, the entity that receives goods or services on credit must report the liability on the same day that they were received. This date will be used to record the debit entry in an expense or asset account as appropriate, hence the saying that “expenses are reported when they are incurred”, and not when they are paid.

Accounts payable can also be used to refer to the person or member of staff who processes supplier invoices and pays the bills of the company. This is why a supplier who is yet to be paid usually makes a phone call to the company asking to speak to “accounts payable”.

Tracking Accounts Payable

The accounts payable process entails reviewing a lot of detail or information to make sure that only the legitimate amounts are recorded in the accounting system. Most of this information will be found in the following documents:

  • Invoices from the company’s vendors
  • Purchase orders that are issued by the company
  • Receiving reports that are issued by the company
  • Contracts and other agreements

The accuracy of a company’s financial statements depends on the accounts payable process. Legitimate vendor invoices must be processed accurately without much delay. The persons responsible for the recording must be careful to record the correct information in the appropriate general ledger accounts.

The effectiveness of the accounts payable process can also affect a company’s tax position. If you are not up to date with your ledger you may incur more tax at year end than you should, as expenses that could be taken into consideration are not on the books. If you’re in the Belfast area and need tax advice, these Belfast Accountants can help. If you’re Dublin based try this link.

Ultimately, the effectiveness and efficiency of this process will affect the cash position and credit rating of the business, and also its relationships with suppliers.

To ensure that the process runs well without hiccups, it is always advisable to work from the original invoice. When the invoice is sent electronically, print it, and then file a copy of the email to reduce confusion. Every invoice should be entered individually, and this includes multiple monthly invoices from the same vendor.

How Do Online Real Estate Videos Attract Buyers?

The marketing for real estate has changed massively over the past decade. In the modern world, most of the people do their real estate research online. It has been observed that, more than ninety percent people, who are looking to invest in real estate conduct an online research at different stages while searching for the perfect home. 

According to the data, there is a fair amount of gap between how the sellers are marketing their real estate online and how the buyers are searching them. This gap is very much prominent in case of online video real estate marketing. Only fourteen percent of the real estate marketers use videos for online marketing, while more than fifty percent of buyers search for online videos during their hunt for real estate.

Importance of using video production for selling your house

Generally, selling a property can be quite a tedious procedure, even during the good times. During the recession periods, when the real estate markets are down, the task gets even more difficult. Thus, one requires to look for ways in which he can better attract the potential buyers and restructure the sales process.

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If a seller uses online videos for marketing his house for sale, he can introduce his home to his potential buyers and walk them through it. He can present the property from his our own prospective and highlight his own favorite sections. Real estate videos will help the viewers get a better imagination about what they would do with the available space. As it will make the viewer feel more attached to the house, it will improve the chances that they will book a physical inspection of the property.

If a person upload a video, he will no longer have to find time for attending each of the prospective buyer, as hundreds of viewers will get to see the video at a time. Thus, the online videos can give much more exposure compared to the traditional marketing media. This also helps to boost the rank of the website in the search engine. As people will stay on the websites for longer span, it will significantly improve the chances of SEO.

The viewers will get to see the house at any time of the day, as they are getting a 24X7 accessibility.

This online viewing also diminishes the chances of wasted viewing, i.e. those people who are really interested in investing in that property would contact the real estate agents. Thus, it reduces the hassle for the agents.

One can consider posting the online video on YouTube and categorize and tag them properly, so that, they get listed under the relevant search results. The real estate agents do not want other people’s property listing to get listed, once their own video stops playing. Thus, they will require a more professional video hosting provider, which will ensure that their website videos gets embedded in the list. So, more and more property sellers should make use of this medium as a part of their real estate marketing strategy.

Resources used in research of this article:

Virtual Tours – http://homebuying.about.com/od/sellingahouse/qt/Virtualtours.htm

Dublin Video Company – http://www.visualnarrative.tv/

Youtube – Real Estate Video Tours – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcX3IdXzZWs

Business Ireland News – Click Here

Information on Deed Storage, Retrieval and Shredding in Ireland

Property deeds are among the most important documents for an individual as well as a business which everyone wants to keep safe throughout his ownership of the property. So to protect these crucial documents they seek the services of a reliable deed storage service which can use various tools to keep them safe for long time as well as easily approachable whenever needed. Some the document management service providers offer document storage services in Dublin, Ireland along with shredding services for the owners of property deeds. They can not only keep these documents safe and easily retrievable until you own the property but also destroy them safely when they become obsolete for you.

Storage of deeds

title-deed-storage-in-dublinWhile storing your property deeds most of the document management service providers, who are experienced in storing legal documents safely, put a unique barcode on the box in which the document is stored safely so that you can track and locate them easily whenever you want to retrieve them for any purpose. They can also barcode individually each and every deed, if you want so for their better security. They use flexible storage options for your deeds including hard copy storage, electronic storage and media storage to provide 24 hour security through customized and easily traceable bar codes as well as advance grade fire protection systems. Many service providers also scan high quality images of the documents stored with them to provide their copy to their clients through DVD, CD or FTP for retaining with them as a proof. They offer effective storage service for you deeds for one year with 24×7 accessibility for all the 365 days.

Retrieval of stored deeds

They allow you to access your deeds stored with them whenever you want to see them for any reason. They offer unbroken chain of security regarding storage, processing and retrieval of your important documents including property deeds through their GPS tracking and alarm system to make their retrieval easy and quick. Most of them return your deed on the same day or at the most next day off applying for returning them. You also allow you to monitor your stored deed with them online while adding new deeds with them or requesting to retrieve them. In this way these storage service providers save your valuable space and time required to manage your important documents safely, regardless of their format. Oasis Group operate in Ireland and provide a secure and reliable service of records management and storage.

Tailor-made shredding service for stored deeds

Some of the document management service providers offer wide range of document destruction services to meet up you occasional or daily needs of disposing of the outdated or unwanted confidential documents including any kind of deeds safely so that they may not be misused by anyone. The document shredding services of most of these service providers include safe delivery of the documents to be shredded in locked consoles in your office and destroy them using cross-cut shredding technique for their safe destruction. They also issue certification of destruction for each shredded document to be used for any legal requirement.

Thus many document management service providers offer deed storage, retrieval and shredding services in a very safe and reliable environment.

Further Resources on Records management are available here, arma

Posted in RIM

Document Storage for Medical Practices and Other Healthcare Institutions

Document Storage for Medical Practices and Other Healthcare Institutions

The medical record is a powerful instrument that gives the treating physician the ability to track the medical history of the patient and identify patterns and other problems which may assist in determining the course of treatment.

doctor with medical recordThe major aim of the medical record is to improve the quality of health care administered to a patient. It is therefore a living document which details the chronological story of patients and facilitates each encounter or meeting with the health professionals that are involved in their care.

Document management for a medical practice is therefore very important. In fact, it could be the difference between life and death for some patients. The various documents which are usually handled in a healthcare facility include patient records, laboratory reports, hospital records, research reports, MRIs and CT scans, X-Rays and more. Such documents need to be kept in a safe and secure site so as to ensure physical and logical integrity as well as confidentiality, which is an absolute necessity.

Storage

Therefore, physicians, working with record managers, must ensure that the appropriate record management protocols which regulate access to documents are put in place. Access should be contingent on role, responsibilities and authority of the users. At the very least, these protocols should ensure that medical records, whether in paper or electronic form, are easily and readily available and producible when required.

Clear steps must be taken to protect all documents from theft, misplacement/loss, unauthorized disclosure, copying, alteration and disposal. This requirement should apply on all the information stored on site, regardless of whether it is in the control of the physician or not. What is reasonable in terms of the record management protocols largely depends on the risks and dangers to which the data is exposed, the sensitivity off the information and to what extent that information can be linked or associated with an individual.

Physicians and record managers are encouraged to stay abreast of the latest developments in industry standards as well as government regulations to ensure they are fully compliant.

Security

It is inevitable that sharing of medical information among established physicians and healthcare organizations will have to take place at one point or another. Data sharing agreements and procedures must therefore be adequately outlined in the records management policy. This is of great importance for doctors and medical practitioners who share records with other facilities or those that permit multiple health workers to make entries into a given record. It is the responsibility of the physicians to be fully aware of people within this chain who can access such records.

Those that have accessibility rights much be bound by strong confidentiality agreements. When it comes to electronic systems, a functional audit trail must be in place to record anyone who has accessed a given document and what modifications, entries or edits have been made over time.

Encryption mechanisms must be put in place for Electronic Medical Records (EMRs). Strong encryption is especially important if information has to be shared over insecure networks and various devices. If information has to be communicated via mails, email encryption must be available.

Maintaining integrity of information

All medical records and data has to be stored in restricted access areas such as locked filing cabinets which cannot be burglarized, tampered with or damaged by fire. This is for the purpose of protecting information from damage and loss of integrity. Some files contain an almost lifelong account of a patient’s medical story. Misplacement or damage would be a big, big loss.

Electronic records need to be backed up regularly to ensure redundancy. The backup copies should be stored in a separate location from where the parent data is stored. One must also remember that medical information is very private, sensitive and confidential. All the necessary measures must be taken to ensure it stays that way.

Document Destruction

Every company or organization has information that needs to be securely destroyed. Document destruction is the systematic process of properly destroying and disposing confidential information to prevent security breaches. Customer lists, purchasing records, confidential client data, credit card data, payroll records and sales receipts are just some of the important information that needs to be kept secure. The law makes it very clear that customers and empDocument shredding destructionloyees have a right to have their information protected.

Implementing secure procedures and protocols to protect information is not only a company’s responsibility but also a legal obligation. If sensitive information ends up in a dumping site, it legally becomes fair game to any person who finds it.

Document destruction is especially critical in the face of increasing security threats globally. Identity theft is now a multibillion industry that funds organized crime, authorities say. Criminals have become very savvy and sophisticated, using specialized equipment and advanced methods to create fake identities. A piece or two of your personal information from your dumpster is all that is needed to steal your identity.

Here are the important aspects of document destruction:

Privacy concerns: Protecting your personal information as well as that of your employees and clients is extremely important. There are laid down procedures and protocols on how this can be done, and document destruction is a very apt method of doing it. Any paper that has names, contact information, financial details, medical history and legal documentation should be secured. These guidelines are not just for companies, but also for learning institutions, examiners and other organizations that keep internal and external data. Once somebody’s information comes to you, it becomes your responsibility to ensure it is protected.

Business and corporate concerns: All documents pertaining to company transactions are confidential. These transactions could be between a company and another, a company and a supplier, a company and a buyer and/or a company and the customers. For the security of both parties, all documents containing important information must be properly destroyed before being discarded. Security breaches can cause serious trouble for a company. They erode public trust and confidence meaning that profits can be affected. Add the heavy legal fines and you may just never recover.

Environmental concerns: Document destruction does not only protect individuals; it also helps to conserve the environment. Lessen the degradation caused by dumping by ensuring that your documents are shredded and recycled. Get a company that can guarantee total shredding before sending the waste to a recycling company or a paper mill.

What to look for in a document destruction company

Ensure that the company specializes in security shredding, whose sole aim is to protect all important documents and materials. Conduct some due diligence to see how they shred them, and whether they do it onsite or offsite. The company must provide a certificate that everything entrusted to them has been fully destroyed before being disposed.

Such firms are required by law to take all the reasonable and necessary steps to ensure complete destruction so that privacy is protected. At the end of the day, all organizations must take proactive measures so as to avoid risk.

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