Procure to pay is the process of integrating accounts payable systems with purchasing systems, and with the right technology, it has the potential to completely improve the efficiency of your organization. Procure to pay exists in the broader context of procurement management, and can be thought of as unfolding in four main stages: choosing the goods and services to purchase, ensuring compliance and ordering the products, receiving the products and reconciling your order, and finally, invoicing and payment.
Many companies have followed the same procurement strategies and processes for years, if not decades, but if you want to operate more efficiently, you need better procure to pay software to improve your efficiency. Digitizing your procure to pay system can help you in several key ways.
How Procure to Pay Tech Improves Efficiency
Let’s look at how a good procure to pay system can improve your efficiency—not just in your procurement department, but also in your entire organization:
- Less manual paperwork to complete. First and foremost, there will be less paperwork for your employees to complete and send. Selecting items in a digital form is much faster than writing them out, which your employees will appreciate, and you won’t have to front the costs of physical paper, either. If your system is many years behind, you might be traditionally mailing much of your orders; upgrading to digital can save you money on postage as well.
- Organization and searchability. If you’re organizing all your paperwork in filing cabinets, you’re overdue for an upgrade. Procure to pay software will help you keep track of everything, from choosing your goods and services to managing invoices. With built-in search capabilities and intuitive organization, any employee can track down any form or any order, and quickly retrieve details about it. Ultimately, this can save you hours of time—and simultaneously ensure that none of your records get lost.
- Automated processes. Automation is one of the best ways to improve the efficiency of your organization, and most modern procure to pay platforms offer at least some automation. The general idea is to take processes that ordinarily must be completed manually by a person, step-by-step, and have them done automatically, in the background. This is important for two big reasons. First, it decreases the number of man-hours you have to spend on any cluster of responsibilities; when automated, a person has to spend no time on a task. Second, it decreases the possibility of error; since the process is programmed and executed by a machine, it’s much less likely to carry mistakes.
- Tighter spending controls. You have a budget to stick to, but it can be difficult to oversee that budget in an efficient way, or make sure that it isn’t exceeded. Procure to pay software is designed to make it easier to stay well within these limits, without taking hours of extra time to do it.
- Supplier approval improvements. It’s important to have a scrutinizing and thorough supplier approval process if you want your company to continue operating efficiently, but sometimes, this process can get slowed down by manual processes and clunky execution. The right procure to pay software platform can practically eliminate this headache, making it faster and easier to approve new suppliers.
Key Considerations When Choosing Procure to Pay Platforms
There are many procure to pay software platforms to choose from, but not all of them are equally helpful. When choosing a tech solution provider, make sure you keep these key points in mind:
- Capabilities and features. Every procure to pay platform is going to have a slightly different assortment of features. Make sure you choose the one best able to meet your business’s needs.
- Price point. Obviously, you’ll also need to think about price. Some platforms are purchasable as one-time assets, but others have adopted a subscription model. Just make sure you’re getting what you pay for.
- UI and learnability. A procure to pay platform is only efficient if your employees understand how to use it efficiently (and are willing to use it). Accordingly, your platform should sport an intuitive UI, allowing your employees to learn the platform quickly and make good use of it.
- Online reviews. Check out what other people are saying about this product. Do they seem satisfied with it? How does it compare to other procure to pay providers?
- Developer support. It’s ideal to choose a product with ongoing developer support. Developers will often commit new updates, with extra features, higher security, and bug fixes to make their products better.
If you can find a procure to pay platform that works well and suits your needs, it can completely revolutionize the efficiency of your procurement department. The sooner you digitize and streamline this area, the better.