Getting the scope right for your procure to pay solution
- Posted by: David Watters
- Category: Best Practices
We believe in sharing our expertise to help businesses of all sizes automate and optimise their finance and procurement operations to drive measurable value. We know that by following the right steps organisations can go from $0 to at least $250K a year in savings utilising a procure to pay solution. In the first part of our new series, we’ll be stepping you through the whole process, focussing in on how we see businesses traditionally approaching finance and procurement optimisation and automation, why this causes more problems than it solves and how businesses should be approaching this to get it right.
Getting the scope right
Looking past your burning issue to review your whole source to pay process enables the ability to unlock cost savings and business benefits far greater than just FTE savings whilst also delivering a more predictable result
These are stories we seen all too often:
- Your business finds a series of invoice duplication and data quality issues. This naturally leads you to look at how you can improve your invoice data entry processes and you end up paying for a new OCR platform to automate the data collection off your invoices. Sounds great? Except you’ve shelled out a lot of money to try and get more efficiency out of a broken process and ignoring the root cause of your problem.
- A compliance audit highlights that your businesses spend is not pre-approved and needs to be rectified. This naturally leads you to look at how you can workflow purchase orders and you end paying for a consultant to build out a purchase order workflow process in your SharePoint site. Problem solved? Not a chance, you’ve added a whole new workflow to your process without getting any downstream benefits of spend visibility, purchase order matching or budgetary checks.
- Your business identifies its paid a fraudulent invoice, your CEO is livid. You realise that the reason the invoice got paid was that there isn’t a check to make sure that bank account details match your master data records. This leads you to changing your process to manually check bank records of each invoice – risk averted? Not really, fraudulent invoices come in all different shapes and sizes and you’re only mitigating for that one area. Time and effort wasted.
We usually see these ‘compelling events’ being the driving force behind finance and procurement projects. Whatever fire is burning the most determines what should be fixed.
How is scoping typically done in businesses?
Siloed, reactionary approach drives a very limited scope focussed on just ‘fixing the immediate problem’
What result does this usually drive for the business?
The tactical and narrow scope only addresses the burning issue, resulting in HUGE missed cost savings opportunities and typically only provides FTE savings. The work starts a whack-a-mole domino effect of fixing one problem which highlights another
So, what should businesses be doing differently?
There is a huge amount of measurable value to be unlocked in your finance and procurement process, so use your compelling event as the trigger to review your whole process to drive huge cost savings and reduce your corporate risk profile.
How should scoping be approached in businesses?
Utilise the opportunity to strategically review your whole Source to pay process
What result will this drive for your business?
A strategic scope looking at the whole value chain enables measurable and significant cost savings to be achieved whilst dramatically reducing the risk profile around your source to pay processes.
With the scope correctly defined, in part two we will look at how you can review and understand your existing processes to get a strong idea of what is working, what is not working and ultimately where the automation, optimisation and cost saving opportunities are.