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What Is the Impact of Purging Inactive Vendors in Accounts Payable?

Release Date: 8/9/2017

Q - Our accounting manager wants to purge certain vendors out of Elliott based on a list of criteria.  He wants to archive the information to another company in case they have to reference it again.  What are the ramifications of purging vendor numbers from the system?  Essentially, he wants to get rid of any customers that are in the vendor file, actual vendors without payments since 12/31/13, and any one-time vendors without payments since 12/31/16.  Could you give me your thoughts on this so I can relay them to him?

A - There are some potential pitfalls.  One main issue is referential integrity where other databases reference the vendor that was purged:
  1. In AP, you will not be able to use Vendor Account Inquiry for that vendor to view old invoices or payments.  It will affect certain reports, especially the check history reports.
  2. In PO, you will have difficulty bringing up the purchase orders for purged vendors.  Certain reports, like the Receiving Audit Trail reports, may be affected as well. I am not sure exactly how the reports will be impacted whey trying to print an entry of a related vendor that no longer exists. It might just print the previous vendor name, which can be confusing.
  3. There are a total of 166 programs in Elliott that reference Vendor Name. Some of them may not be an issue, but some of them might be. Without spending a lot of time, we can’t tell you the level of impact of these 166 programs.
Our general recommendation on purging old master records, like vendors and customers, is not to do it to avoid causing referential integrity issues. Instead of purging vendors, make them obsolete by:
  1. Changing the vendor name to contain the keywords “** DO NOT USE **”
  2. Set the field “15. Vendor Status” to “N” for No Purchases.
If you have miscellaneous vendors that you will not purchase from again, then you should consider adding the vendor through New A/P Trx Processing. At the “Vendor No” field, the system will offer you the option to enter “*” = Add Misc Vendor. See sample screen below:

This will cause the system to add a misc. vendor automatically by using the “*23456” format, where the “23456” is the last 5 digits of your voucher number. When the voucher is purged from history, the “*” misc. vendor will be purged too.


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