Time is Running Out for Shared Services Organizations to Automate their P2P Processes

May 15, 2018

By Mark Brousseau, Analyst and Researcher in Business Process Automation, Brousseau & Associates

Shared services organizations that drag their feet on automating their procure-to-pay function will put their business at a competitive disadvantage within the next two years.

That’s the key takeaway from the results of a study of shared services leaders conducted by SharedServicesLink and sponsored by Canon Information and Imaging Solutions.

Seventy-six percent of the shared services leaders surveyed by SharedServicesLink anticipate that the procure-to-pay function will become strategically more important to their business within the next two years. That’s a big change from the long-held perception that procure-to-pay is a tactical back-office function. The rising strategic importance of procure-to-pay can be attributed to more businesses recognizing the positive impact that procure-to-pay data can have on financial operations, working capital management, and compliance and fraud mitigation. Seventy-seven percent of shared services leaders expect greater use of procure-to-pay data across the enterprise within two years.

To prepare, shared services organizations have a set a goal of providing better analytical insights. Two-thirds of shared services organizations expect to be using data analytics as part of their procure-to-pay process within the next two years. In fact, 31 percent of shared services organizations believe that data analytics will be the most important technology to the future of procure-to-pay processing – topping hot-button technologies such as artificial intelligence, mobile and the blockchain. Analytics helps organizations manage and interpret the voluminous data that flows through their operations.

These survey results serve as a warning for shared services organizations that have put off automating their procure-to-pay processes. The procure-to-pay function can play a big part in helping organizations achieve its strategic objectives for operational efficiency, cash management, and risk mitigation. But that’s only if organizations automate their procure-to-pay process to make the function more digital and data-driven. Shared services organizations that don’t automate within the next two years risk putting their business at a significant competitive disadvantage.

To find out more about the results of the study, click here to download the infographic.