It is dangerous to rely on the AP department for contract renewal notifications.

Supplier contracts are critical for most businesses. Some come to rely on them to the extent that even a temporary discontinuation can be fatal. Consider having no email for a week due to a lapsed contract.

The importance of these contracts make it advantageous, if not mandatory, to track contract expiry yourself rather than depending on the supplier to notify you. One way to do that is to rely on you accounts payable (AP) department, however, this frequently leads to notification windows that are too short for meaningful renegotiation, or even lapsed contracts, resulting in unfavourable deals signed just to prevent business interruption.

This can be very frustrating considering that your AP department has all the information necessary to notify contract owners well in advance about upcoming expiration dates. It helps to understand their role in the company and then to find a suitable alternative.

In most companies the AP department’s main, or sole, purpose is to ensure that all payments due are made on time. They often have a very short term perspective on contracts and upcoming payments which makes it difficult to provide a multitude of relationship owners with irregular notifications at variable intervals.

The best way to ensure that you have ample notification on contracts needing review is to track the expiration dates yourself using either some kind of self-made solution or a dedicated contract tracking tool.

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