Procurement & Finance – A Fine Purchase-to-Pay Romance?

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?

Yes, we have a brand new Spend Matters briefing / best practice paper to tell you about, and one thing is beyond argument – it has the most striking front cover of anything we’ve written in recent years!  (You can see part of it in the picture with this article). That’s thanks to the folk at leading eProcurement solution providers Basware, our partners for the paper. They have done a great job on the design (not my strong point) of “Procurement & Finance – A Fine Purchase-to-Pay Romance Or The Best Of Enemies?” It’s not just the cover, either – the graphics continue inside…

We just hope our content and thinking lives up to the standard of the design work!

Anyway, 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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