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Digitizing the procure-to-pay process

May 21, 2020
Too many companies found out just how hard it was to bill customers, pay vendors and track spending when many people transitioned to working from home. Having an automated process will be beneficial, even when business gets back to normal.

COVID-19 has made many businesses re-evaluate their operations. In fact, in one of my recent blogs I talked about the current need to evaluate everything possible in order to find hidden cash to help you operate during this difficult time.

Corcentric quickly identified the difficulties in processing payments with a remote workforce. We found that not only were our customers experiencing problems issuing payments due to offices being closed, but our banking partners were having the same problems in processing payments.

I spoke with Dan Andrew, Corentric’s senior vice president of enterprise sales. He commented that now is the perfect time to make automating procurement from end-to-end a priority.

Too many companies found out just how hard it was to bill customers, pay vendors and track spending when many people transitioned to working from home. Having an automated process will serve you well, even when business gets back to normal, especially if you operate out of multiple locations.

Automation gives you visibility into the AP process so that the finance team can see every time a purchase is made, invoiced and paid. With people working remotely without an automated set-up, it can be difficult to keep track of who is making purchases, how much they are spending and what they are buying. With automation, you are able to see if people are purchasing through your GPO and/or using approved vendors long before you get an invoice for purchases.

A digitized procure-to pay-process makes it easier to reconcile purchase orders, bills of lading and invoices so that all three align. When you have an automated process, you can bill customers and pay suppliers no matter where your finance department employees are working from.

Digitization is about connectedness, and now, more than ever, businesses are aware of the need to stay connected.

Andrew said that chief financial officers have been trying for years to get their companies to focus on digitization; even before COVID-19 they believed it needed to happen for their companies to continue to be more efficient and profitable.

The pandemic has shined a light on weaknesses in the source-to-pay process at many companies and the crisis is accelerating the vision. If digitization was not in your short-term plans, now might be a good time to start looking into it to determine how it can enhance your current processes and help you avoid business interruptions in the event of another unprecedented crisis.

About the Author

Patrick Gaskins | Senior vice president, Fleet Solutions

Patrick Gaskins is a financial services professional serving the transportation industry for over 30 years. Gaskins earned his BBA in Finance from the University of Miami, FL in 1989, and received his CTP certification from the National Private Truck Council in 2002. He has held positions with GE Capital, TCF Equipment Finance, and various small independent lessors. 

He began his career with Corcentric in 2010 as Vice President of Financial Services, was promoted to Senior Vice President of Sales and Operations, and is now taking the role of Senior Vice President, Fleet Solutions.  In his new role he will lead Corcentric’s Captial Equipment Solutions, Fleet Procurement, Supply Management, and Remarketing teams. Gaskins will bring to the Fleet practice his expertise in developing data driven solutions to complex transportation transactions, driving efficiencies, and reducing expenses for Corcentric’s customers.

The Fleet Solutions practice leverages technology and the purchasing power of over 1,700 member fleets operating approximately 800,000 assets to provide its members with access to cost effective national account purchasing programs, fleet financing, asset management, and remarketing services.

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