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Best Practice

Top Tips from Award Winning Teams

vision-success-paidWith the UK economy still struggling its way out of recession, it’s no surprise that more than 50% of finance professionals have highlighted difficulties in achieving their targets - pointing to a lack of time or resources available to deliver them. For many “doing more with less” presents itself as a tough reality with a very precise impact on daily activities and results. Yet, despite broad variations in industry and organisation size, many of the teams who were winners and finalists in the APN 2013 AP awards were able to achieve success by following a similar set of processes. Here are some of their top tips:

Performance analysis - often ignored but important addition to P2P

By Matthew Pike This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Recently, I was asked to review a business case for a procure-to-pay implementation, and I found myself reaching for the ‘Insert-New Comment’ icon the moment I opened the document entitled: “Business case for the implementation of a Procure-to-Pay system”. Somewhat glibly, I added the comment ‘Consider changing to “Business case for achieving world-class performance across all Procure-to-Pay activities”’.

T&E expenses - plenty of blame if you get it wrong

T&E expenses are still an area beset with problems – from lost receipts, accusations of favouritism to outright fraud.  On top of this, there’s the added issue of employees claiming that they simply "didn't know" whether they were able to claim for certain items or not, so just included them amongst their other receipts and hoped for the best, or didn't include anything at all.  Clear knowledge on what is a legitimate expense claim and what isn't is common across many organisations. The issue was confirmed in a recent report by Capital One, where it found that up to 45% fail to make any claims, at an average personal cost of more than £350.

Is your AP department still operating in isolation?

The accounts payable function can find itself operating within a bubble; cut off to some extent from the rest of the organisation in a constantly evolving environment where time is in short supply. The effect of this can be for the department to become insular, where the only measures are against past performance, and the only metrics used are the ones which were considered useful to that organisation at some point in the past.

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