Lessons Learned from the Corporate perspective

Since my days at Booz & Company (when I worked there it was known as Booz Allen & Hamilton and the Aussies used to say Booz, what, are you sure?!) I always find discussions around Best Practices interesting.   While I think the concept is useful in that push for excellence, supply chains are unique ecosystems.   So when my esteemed colleague Jason Busch leads with a headline Trade Financing in Practice: Best Practices From a Top Performer, I take notice.

I think there are some really good lessons learned in this piece from a corporate user who has been around enough business cycles to have seen the start of e-invoicing.   I have found in various payable finance programs there are usually so many discussion points that need to be addressed between different departments that having outside “Best Practices” is valuable.

For example, some of the areas to address are:

  • Governance – What internal conflicts need to be managed? 
  • Program Objectives – Why are these programs implemented?
  • Counterparty analysis- Why is it critical to segment suppliers into different categories to tailor solutions
  • Deductions / Chargebacks / Discounts – How do these programs impact their accounting and why is that important?  How does program implementation impact Receivable, Payable, Cash, etc reporting?
  • Jurisdiction of program – what countries are suppliers domiciled and what regulatory and compliance issues do we face?

Getting corporate users to share their experience is extremely helpful.  Many of us go to conferences to have those offline discussions precisely to compare notes and what is the real story.  With the pace of structural change and technology happening so fast in both the Purchase to Pay and Order to Cash space, these experiences will become even more valuable.

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