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As we go through the procure-to-pay process, the products and services are delivered to the business, and an invoice is sent by the supplier and received by the business. This invoice is then approved and sent to the accounting department, where it is paid out to the vendor. Thus, a need was identified, supplies were secured, and the transaction was completed when the delivered material was paid for. This is a simple description of the procure-to-pay process. It is one of the most important operations in the business world. It is also very similar to the source-to-pay process.
When it comes to source-to-pay vs procure-to-pay, there are both similarities and differences. However, source-to-pay goes one step further and takes into account the sourcing process. Sourcing comes before procurement and consists of the process of identifying the best vendors, as well as negotiating with them to find the vendor with the best price. Both of these processes are very important to any business, which is why many companies utilize various forms of P2P automation software as well as source-to-pay software.
These software systems facilitate different aspects of these processes. Fortunately, there are many procure-to-pay companies that provide various software platforms. For example, procure-to-pay is supported in ERP systems like SAP, but source-to-pay SAP features are somewhat lacking. If you were to look at a source-to-pay process flow chart, you would see accounts payable near the end of the flowchart as one of the most important subprocesses. One example of software that provides automation to this subprocess of P2P is AvidXchange. Our system can streamline your entire accounts payable process, from the moment an invoice arrives to the method in which it is paid.
What is procure-to-pay software? A simple definition could be any software that is beneficial to any aspect of the procure-to-pay process. Top procure-to-pay software improves elements of the procure-to-pay process by bringing automation and digitization to the table. For example, the best procurement software would make it easier for you to manage the procurement process. It should provide a unified platform to be able to get full visibility into each stage and aspect of procurement. Ideally, it is also cloud-based, so that remote work is supported, and you can always know what is happening with your business processes.
A great accounts payable software could also be considered procure-to-pay software. The receiving and processing of invoices is a crucial part of the procure-to-pay process. Unfortunately, most businesses still rely on paper-based accounts payable processes, which can be costly and inefficient. Has your accounts payable team ever struggled with paying vendors on time because of lost or missing invoices? Has bad weather or slow mail couriers ever slowed down a payment or invoice delivery at your company? These are just some of the issues that can arise when traditional, paper-based processes are used. Fortunately, there is a solution. AvidXchange provides a suite of software solutions that make it easy to digitize invoices, create customized digital approval workflows, and pay vendors electronically with their preferred payment method. This computerization means that you can be far more efficient in your accounts payable and improve your entire procure-to-pay workflow.
Procure-to-pay software like AvidXchange can increase the speed and efficiency with which you complete your procure-to-pay cycle by making it simpler and easier to manage and pay invoices. When you rely on paper, your employees are often buried under the tedium of having to manually code and process large numbers of invoices. These processes can demotivate your team and could cause some employees to leave. Plus, paper-based processes are not scalable. This means that when your business experiences growth, you could end up struggling to keep up with all the paperwork. That’s where a procure-to-pay example software product like AvidXchange can be so helpful.
With AvidInvoice, invoices can be processed with just a few clicks, making accounts payable more scalable and more enjoyable. This efficiency means that you and your team will have more time to put into the higher-value tasks that can actually grow your business. Plus, AvidInvoice relies on optical character recognition (OCR) technology to scan each invoice for errors before entering it into the system. Digitizing the invoice process eliminates the need for large amounts of paperwork. You may be concerned, however, that utilizing an automated system could result in you having less control over your workflow. Fortunately, AvidXchange lets you maintain the workflow that works best for you, thanks to our custom approval workflow feature.
Procure-to-pay is a core process of any sizable business. Often, there will be several kinds of software that are recognized as some of the top procure-to-pay systems. If you were to look at any procure-to-pay software list, you’d most likely see a pretty wide variety of programs, from ERP systems to comprehensive systems designed to encompass the entire procure-to-pay process. For instance, there are several kinds of purchasing software solutions that focus on streamlining the procurement process. We have already discussed how AvidXchange is a procure-to-pay example that focuses more on invoice management and the payment at the end of the cycle. However, these specific steps are vital.
For every single product or service a business purchases, there is an invoice that must be filled out and paid. This can lead to a lot of manual labor if you do not have the power of automation to help you. Plus, as the costs of consumer products continue to rise, the costs of managing paper documents continue to increase as well. Automation software like AvidXchange lets you avoid these costs and automate many portions of the accounts payable process. This, in turn, will speed up your entire procure-to-pay cycle. Also, AvidXchange will easily integrate with your existing accounting system, which remains your trusted system of record.
AvidXchange is an example of a software that can bring procure-to-pay (P2P) automation to your business processes, meaning that it is an example of a kind of software that brings any amount of automation to a piece or part of the P2P cycle. The P2P cycle begins with procurement, so any kind of automation software that helps with procurement would fall under the heading of P2P automation software. When we talk about the P2P cycle in accounts payable context, we are talking more about the latter part of the procure-to-pay journey. Once the procurement process is complete, the invoice is sent, and that begins the payment process.
AvidXchange brings the power of e-payment to the accounts payable world, allowing you to make payments to your vendors instantly and electronically. Moreover, AvidXchange increases the security of your accounts payable by allowing you to move your transactions to a digital space. Research shows it is far easier and more common to commit fraud on paper documents and paper checks than it is to do the same thing with an electronic payment. Despite the high-profile stories of hacking you may hear about in the news, electronic payments remain a far more secure method of payment than paper-based payment methods. This is one example of procure-to-pay automation benefits that your business could experience.
One of the most important procure-to-pay best practices is to implement comprehensive procure-to-pay software. This gives you the ability to have completely digital vendor management, as well as implement specific procure-to-pay controls over different elements of the procure-to-pay cycle. What is SAP procure to pay? An effective SAP P2P solution provides automation to portions or the entirety of your procure-to-pay cycle. It’s all about integrating and digitizing the entire process, from identifying a need for a good or service all the way through to receiving the invoice for that good and then approving it and paying the vendor. A broader view of the way your business operates makes it easier for you to implement good supply chain management as well, because it provides you with a clearer picture of what your business really depends on.
When it comes to source-to-pay best practices, many of the same principles apply. One way to strengthen your source-to-pay cycle is to ensure that you improve your hiring strategy so that you are only working with the best team members in each phase of the cycle. Using cloud-based software is another best practice. AvidXchange is a great example of a cloud-based accounts payable automation system that would integrate well into your overall source-to-pay cycle. By automating your accounts payable, you will also gain the ability to strengthen your relationship with your suppliers. They will appreciate your new consistency and efficiency in paying invoices. This stronger relationship can then feed back into your sourcing processes, thus improving your entire source-to-pay cycle.