The procure-to-pay, or P2P, process is a series of organized and coordinated activities and steps performed to meet a need for products or services cost-effectively at reasonable prices. It entails a series of steps, beginning with identifying a requirement and ending with invoice approval and vendor payment.
Procure to Pay Process
Steps involved in a procure-to-pay process from start to end are mentioned below:
- Identification of Needs
Identifying and describing the business requirements is the first stage in the procure-to-pay process. Procurement teams create high specifications for goods/products, Terms of Reference (TOR) for services, and statements of work (SOW) once a genuine requirement has been determined.
A formal purchase requisition is created after the specifications/TOR/SOW are finalized. After verifying that all essential administrative requirements are met, the requester submits the completed purchase requisition form.
- Approval of Purchase Requisition
The appropriate approving manager thoroughly examines the requirement and weighs the cost consequences and purchasing justifications.
- Creation of a Purchase Order
For the validated purchase requirement, the purchasing team now receives a formal Purchase Order (PO) as well as budget projections.
- Purchase Order Approval
To ensure the legality and accuracy of specifications, purchase orders are now passed through an approval loop. Purchase orders that have been approved are subsequently sent to vendors. Vendors can approve, reject, or initiate a negotiation after examining the purchase order. A legally binding contract is activated when an officer approves a purchase order.
- Goods Receipt
The buyer inspects the supplied goods or services to confirm that they comply with the contract requirements after the provider delivers the promised goods or services. The goods receipt is then accepted or denied depending on the purchasing contract or purchase order’s specifications.
- Approval of Invoice
A three-way matching between the purchase order, the vendor invoice, and the receipt of the goods is performed once a goods receipt is accepted. The invoice is authorized and forwarded to the finance team for payment distribution if no problems are discovered. In the event of inaccuracies, the invoice is denied and returned to the seller with a reason.
- Payment to the Vendor
Once an invoice has been accepted, the finance team will process payments in accordance with the contract terms. Any revisions to contracts or assessments of liquidated financial security will be considered. The procure-to-pay cycle is completed when the vendor is paid according to the terms of the invoice.
Some Challenges of Traditional Procure To Pay Processes
The complete P2P process comprises a number of separate processes that occur in various regions of the organization and involve several employees. This adds complexity and, at times, confusion to the process, especially if it’s manual and paper-based. Following are the challenges that traditional P2P processes face:
- Difficulties in Communication
Multiple stakeholders are involved in the procure-to-pay cycle, including requisitioners, approvers, buying managers, vendors, and accounts payable workers. For the procure-to-pay cycle to be completed on time and smoothly, communication between all of these people must be fluid and prompt.
Different stakeholders remain segregated in the absence of a sophisticated cloud-based application, forcing them to rely on phone calls and emails to get things done. Such methods of communication result in the loss of vital information and accountability.
- Difficulties in Compliance
The vendor and the enterprise exchange value throughout the procure-to-pay cycle. This is a monetary value that is objective. As a result, procure-to-pay systems are extremely vulnerable to fraud and unethical behavior.
The business loses money through the cracks if all of the document level details, financials, units of goods and services ordered, and so on are not monitored, cross-verified, or validated. Many times this gets overlooked.
As a result, you’ll need to keep track of documents at each stage in a centralized, standardized, and uniform manner so that everyone can access and understand them. This necessitates a user interface built on a SaaS platform.
- Time Consumption
For businesses, time is money. The faster your business gets its ideas and goods to market, the more money it makes. As a result, your procure-to-pay system serves as crucial infrastructure for your organization. (When you purchase quickly, you must sell quickly.)
Even the most business-critical projects might fall behind schedule if you don’t have world-class procure-to-pay systems.
- Visibility Issues
Companies that employ different systems frequently find themselves without access to information throughout the P2P cycle, and even when it is available, it may be incorrect. As a result, there is a lack of visibility across suppliers and spending, which influences the ability to make strategic business decisions.
- Differentiated Systems
Various departments within a company usually have their own methods, making data consolidation difficult. Separate departments are in charge of sourcing, procurement, and accounts payable, and each department optimizes the process for its own role. This lack of consistency might result in inefficiencies and inaccuracies.
Advantages of Procure to Pay automation
Here are a few advantages of digitizing Procure to Pay solutions:
- Cost-cutting and Direct Spending Reductions
Automation of P2P Solutions allows you to break down and analyze spending across multiple purchasing categories while keeping track of your budgets and savings. Automated approvals and criteria for specific quantities can be used to regulate purchasing. Companies can use a digital P2P system to spot early payment chances and bulk order discounts, pointing out the prospect of better negotiations and cost savings.
- Increase in Visibility That Helps in Better Decision Making
A digital procure-to-pay system reduces risk at every stage of the procurement lifecycle while lowering wasteful expenses in manual procurement processes. In addition, it improves transparency, compliance, and speed. Both buyers and suppliers benefit from automation since it allows them to receive real-time, reliable data to make informed decisions. By eliminating paper from the equation, it enhances processing efficiency.
To guarantee that items have been received properly before releasing payment, an automated system enables end-to-end visibility between Purchase Orders, invoices, and goods receipt documentation. As a result, it guards against making cash-flow decisions based on inadequate information.
- Simplification of Processes
By removing time-consuming and error-prone human processes from procure-to-pay operations, P2P automation generates cost savings and processing efficiencies. You can capture 100% of your financial data and gain the highest levels of insight across the supply chain when you fully automate your procurement and payables procedures.
- Helps in Enhancing Your Supplier Relationships
You can connect with your suppliers in an automated and simplified manner using automation. You may connect to all of your suppliers, from the largest to the smallest, using various techniques to communicate with them and share data and documents. In addition, P2P automation improves supplier relations and collaboration by increasing on-time payment performance and providing real-time visibility into transaction status.
- Access to Records is Simple and Easy
All of your data on suppliers is digitally and conveniently saved in a single repository when you use procure-to-pay software, making them immediately available at the time of sourcing. Buyers can quickly access online catalogs from existing or new suppliers, review and approve purchase orders, and track shipping status using electronic forms.
The benefits of automating the entire Procure-to-Pay cycle are numerous. Procurement Partners can help you automate the process and save money.