Transforming Payables Through Shared Services: Achieving Real Business Intelligence and Productivity Gains

May 21, 2014 Shared Services Susan


Shared Services Susan here! You might have seen me as part of the P2P Superheroes dream team, where I increased early payment discounts and streamlined scattered and non-synced data across my organization. But how did I become a superhero? The first step was transforming payables, and here's the why and how of it.

In today’s global business environment, businesses need to standardize and improve visibility throughout their Accounts Payable (AP) processes.  If not, we risk errors, which can prove to be costly – both to an organization’s reputation and through lost time and revenue.

Deploying shared services center plays an important role in the transformation of the payables process; with the right solutions you will have deeper insights into valuable business intelligence, the ability to see productivity gains, and a better position to leverage the expertise of the Accounts Payable staff.  

In fact, one of the benefits of a shared services organization is that it fosters important knowledge transfer, as AP experts come together with the common goal of improving efficiencies.  Plus, integrating data and standardizing processes allows efficient access to real-time AP reports, invoices and financial data.

In my journey to becoming a Shared Services Superhero, I discovered that a comprehensive P2P platform  was crucial to streamlining processes, reducing costs, adding discount savings to the bottom line and strengthening the supply chain. We were able to effortlessly streamline multiple payables processes all over the globe into one unified system.   Without a shared services solution, this can seem like a near to impossible task, especially when dealing with large organizations that not only have multiple locations, but also, different AP processes for each location.   

We realized a number of key benefits and productivity gains:

  • Reduced cycle times through automated, touchless processing, early payment discounts, and reduction in duplicate invoicing
  • Electronic invoices that eliminated manual processes and reduced errors while saving company time in approval and payment processes
  • Improved productivity by standardizing AP and all technology platforms -Increased savings in early payment discounts (adding up to millions!)

But remember, a P2P solution doesn’t stop at just streamlining processes

Yes, going paperless and switching to eInvoicing will save your organization on operational costs and inefficiencies, but all Shared Services superheroes would agree that however important, this isn’t the most exciting win.

Shared Services superheroes understand that the true value of these programs can be found by leveraging eInvoicing technology to turn your supply chain into a profit center, empower your supply chain and value to the entire organization.

1. Strengthen our balance sheets from dynamic discounting. With Dynamic Discounting, we can easily metricize our AP processes and tie a monetary value to the efficiencies that we’ve created. There’s no better way we can prove ourselves as effective Shared Services professionals than a report to management about how much we’ve saved the company - simply by paying approved invoices sooner. 

2. Give our suppliers control and visibility. Self-service is the true form of efficiency, and with a supplier portal, we allow them to see when to fix an invoice, let them decide if they want to be paid early, or find out a due date or how much is outstanding.  They can also submit messages through the portal and update their vendor master information. We give this to them for free because we know that having 24/7 access to these services strengthens their business, and therefore our supply chain!

3. Align departments in your organization. Treasury has a risk-free investment opportunity, Accounts Payable has more strategic relationships with their suppliers, Procurement has a more compelling business case for sourcing new supplier. Now we finally have visibility into the entire payables process, all while adding millions to the bottom line!

By bringing together best practices and leading technologies, we gained transparency in the procure-to-pay process.  And with a standardized process in place, we were able to see increases in AP efficiencies, which meant cost reductions, elimination of redundancies, and consolidated accountability throughout the organization.  

To become a Shared Services Superhero and learn more about Taulia’s solutions, contact us.

Hear from my fellow P2P Supeheroes: 

Accounts Payable Adam
Procurement Peter

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