A Fine Purchase-to-Pay Romance – Spend Matters Top Papers

In the run up to Christmas and my passing over the Spend Matters UK/Europe reins, we’ve been featuring some of the briefing papers I’ve written over the past eight years. We’ll leave those published in 2018 – we will run through those again in the first week of January to get you back into work mode and thinking about serious matters again.

Today, have the best-designed paper we ever published – nothing to do with us, we should say, but thanks to Basware’s marketing and design people for coming up with the brilliant comic book approach to “Procurement & Finance – A Fine Purchase-to-Pay Romance Or The Best Of Enemies”?  You can download it via that link – and this is what we said about it in 2017.


Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. Samson and Delilah. Kermit and Miss Piggy. Perhaps you have been in that situation personally - you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.

And that’s how it often is with procurement and finance functions and management. We’re essential to each other – so why is it so difficult sometimes to be friends?

In the paper, we look at the purchase-to-pay (P2P) process, which every single organisation that buys anything from external suppliers must execute in some manner. In most organisations, both the procurement and the finance functions have an interest and involvement in P2P, which runs from initial contact with the supplier and ordering of goods or services, through to invoicing and payment.

We look at the areas of common interest between the two parties, which are many. But perhaps it is even more interesting to look at why procurement and finance can sometimes disagree or work in less than perfect harmony! So, we dive into three key issues that can make even a beautiful relationship run into trouble. What is it in the P2P world that can make even the most collaborative procurement or finance executive start to regard their colleagues in the other function as unhelpful, not strategically aligned – or just plain ‘difficult’?

For each of these three areas of tension we suggest some ideas to resolve or minimise any disagreement. Then the paper concludes as you might expect with some general steps we’d suggest that either party can take to make the relationship one of harmony rather than discord; it may not come as any great surprise to learn that better communication and understanding of each other’s issues comes high on that list.

You can download the paper now, free on registration here, and we hope you will find it useful and interesting – and enjoy the great graphics!



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