Accounting Forms: New Vendor Data Sheet

Know thy vendors

Developing a great relationship with your vendors includes knowing all of the people involved and how each of them contributes to an efficient purchase experience. Some of this information will come from other departments within your company; the rest will be up to you.

Creating a Vendor Data Sheet will make it easy to collect and share essential information. Whether you use an ERP system or other shared resource, it is advisable to have it all in one place.

Here is a sample Vendor Data Sheet:

Circulate your Data Sheet to everyone who has had contact with a vendor through the purchasing process.  Note any contract terms or non-standard provisions agreed upon.  When the form is complete, enter all relevant data into your accounting software and store the form in an easily accessible location.  Make sure that any subsequent modifications to the information are re-circulated to all invested parties.

Give the vendor every opportunity to provide you with excellent service

Whether you are buying from a large company or a sole proprietor, there may be multiple levels of personnel involved in handling your purchase.  To insure you get the best service, I recommend an initial contact as soon as the purchase order is signed.  Introduce yourself to the sales person and get delivery specifics and contacts for follow-up.  Inquire about any particular internal procedures the vendor has that you need to be aware of.  If delivery is not made on time, call immediately to discover why and set new timelines.  The goal is for all of the vendor contacts to get to know you, a person, not just an order number.

Prepare for smooth year-end processing

If this vendor provides any type of service to your company, be proactive and send them a Form W-9 with your information pre-printed as soon as the agreement is signed.  Give them brief instructions on how to complete Parts I and II and let them know (in a tactful way) that payments will not be issued until the completed form has been received.  This may be the only leverage you have to secure proper tax ID for year-end 1099 filings.

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