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Best Practice

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.

What Happens when Best Practice is Ignored?

Most organisations know that they should be aiming towards best practice processes - but what does it really mean - and can something as diverse as accounts payable ever be constrained to a simple set of rules across all organisations? If we're talking about specifics, the answer is probably no - but the general framework and methods of working can be aligned in a way that can be translated across AP departments regardless of size, to some extent industry and internal culture.

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