Why is accounts payable wagged by procurement?

Procure-to-pay (P2P) is supposed to be an end-to-end process… So why is it that Accounts Payable (AP) seem to get wagged by procurement?

By definition, the concept of P2P is that it should be a joined-up process. Within P2P, procurement and payment are supposedly part of the same workflow, right? So, it follows that there has got to be a global process owner. But the two ends are disconnected, and there seems to be a need for more communication between them.

Many who head up the AP function and lead the accounts payable teams responsible for invoice processing and payments would agree. If we dig a little deeper and perform Root Cause Analysis (RCA) on the issues that AP departments contend with continually, it’s not unfair to sum it up by saying: “AP has to deal with P2P problems, but they’re not the ones that cause them.”

This is all rather unfortunate for AP teams, yet it’s pretty much an inevitable side effect of the compartmentalized organizational structure that goes with managing enterprise-scale businesses.

Fixing Disconnections In The P2P Process

One obvious way to try to rectify the problem is to fix the communication issue. But there are many moving parts across procurement, fulfilment and supplier delivery. Checking that the right items and quantities are received, Is pricing as agreed? Does it include the application of discounts and any negotiated deals detailed on purchase orders?

It’s also a fact that not every problem that winds up on AP’s plate is because of a disconnected buy-side process. Even when procurement is executed perfectly, suppliers may send duplicate or incorrect invoices because of flaws in sales order processing and invoice generation. This might be due to problems such as weak vendor invoicing controls, vendor processing errors, the use of multiple channels for invoicing, and even the intentional submission of duplicate invoices.

With so many variables and some beyond the direct control of the business, the basic problems of accuracy within invoices and invoice duplication, that causes AP to be wagged as the tail of P2P, seems to be something of an immovable object.

Bring The P2P Dog Under Control With APMatching

APMatching is a cloud-based platform that simplifies the processing of high volumes of invoices and statements. Integrated with ERP or S2P platforms, some existing customers are processing up to 1,500,000 documents annually. The platform provides three online tools:

  • Invoice-Matching automates the processing of invoices. It identifies and resolves issues with invoices before posting invoices to the ledger without any manual intervention.
  • Statement-Matching automates the reconciliation of supplier statements in all digital formats, including Excel and PDF, as well as paper hard copies.
  • Duplicate-Matching automates the identification of duplicate invoices. It generates customized reports to help businesses better manage the prevention and recovery of duplicate invoices.

These powerful automation tools improve efficiency, save time, reduce errors and improve compliance with regulatory frameworks. This allows enterprise AP departments to attain hitherto unachievable performance in eliminating the serious financial mismanagement risks that stem from the overpayment of invoices.

Take a personalised demo with one of our representatives, and we’ll show you how the software eliminates the tedious, time-consuming manual process that is widely practised to match invoices.

If you like what you see, we’ll give you full support so that you can more fully evaluate APMatching with a Proof of Concept (PoC), demonstrating how effective it is using your own data.