Accounting policies and procedures are not one and the same thing, though workers in an office often confuse the two. Accounting policies represent the guidelines or rules that define what the accounting department expects in a given situation. By creating policies, the accounting department ensures that company rules and standards are maintained and adhered to in a consistent manner by all those affected. The procedure represents the how-side of the equation by defining the individual steps that ensure the company's accounting policies are maintained and internal controls are in place. When coming up with the accounting policy and procedure handbook used by accountants and others in the company, you must first define each rule or guideline as an individual policy that you want people to follow. Do not mix policies together, because it is too confusing.
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Last Updated: April 26, References Approved. This article was co-authored by our trained team of editors and researchers who validated it for accuracy and comprehensiveness. There are 17 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed , times. Learn more Written policies and procedures integrate the guidelines, rules, focus, and principles of an organization.
Put It in Writing: Your Office Policies and Procedures
This page provides an example of how to document company policies and procedures by making a standard operating procedure template. Company and corporate policies and procedures prescribe how an entity will function and be administered. They are the rules and methods of conducting business and often reference the entities internal controls and best practices. Internal controls refer to processes that help ensure efficiency of operations, including the safeguarding of assets, achievement of goals, the reliability of information reporting and compliance with laws and regulations. Proper internal controls must be incorporated into business policy and procedure documents.
Too often, however, this manual is written in a way that makes it difficult to find or overly complicated for front-line staff to adequately leverage. These 10 tips can help you write policies and procedures so that they are as useful as possible to the people who need them most, your front-line customer or member service team. One of the problems, historically, with maintaining and updating bank policies and procedures , is that there is no one role or department assigned to manage this process. In short, nobody is held accountable. As a result, anyone can add or edit content, which leads to inconsistent content structure and information, not to mention duplication of content.