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Blog February 26, 2016

Purchase to payment: −why pay more than you need to?

P2P (Purchase to Payment) tends to be a company's most costly financial administration process. That's also where you find most potential for streamlining financial administration. But it's worth going outside for help in doing so.

Even in the digital era, running a business is all about achieving profitable growth while preventing the resulting costs from getting out of hand.

Of course, there is no simple answer to this question. Profitability and growth make a challenging combination, particularly when service quality is important to competitiveness.

Profitability and growth

Service quality is based on taking an uncompromising approach to every aspect of a company's activities. But this does not mean holding onto everything that a company has been doing. Why try to do everything yourself? Someone else may be much better at it, as well as more cost-effective.

The purchase to payment process is a typical example of the kind of cost which every company would do well to trim, but investing in this would hurt the bottom line.

This is about a non-core, financial administration support process which can be cumbersome to manage. Many SMES are finding it difficult to boost process efficiency without lowering quality of service. So what can you do?

It's worth turning to a partner.

When you outsource a support function such as P2P to an expert and committed financial administration partner, the partner takes full responsibility for process development and automation, as well as process efficiency.

Based on a contract, an outsourcing partner can promise to hold costs down. In addition, costs can be converted from fixed to variable, with automatic flexing of costs.

For example, the partner can tie the cost of P2P to the number of purchase invoices and promise different rates for automatically tallied invoices and manually handled ones.

After this, alongside the partner you can streamline the process and make savings by increasing the number of automatically tallied invoices.

For every company's financial administration function, it is critical to map out current strengths and weaknesses using a well-functioning mapping service. An able partner can also provide information on the stage reached by peer companies in adopting digital financial administration solutions, compared to your company.

Financial administration is a company's key function and should not be left behind the development curve. Smart, automatic solutions can guarantee the smooth, unbroken flow between systems of information needed for financial process services.

The author, EVP Tero Kosunen, runs Enfo's Financial Process Service business area and has a big, digital heart. Enfo is a pioneer in the digitalization and automation of financial processes. We take total responsibility for the entire process, rather than just providing the customer with fancy new tools. That's what we call customer service.