Automation in Procurement

This is a guest blog by Paul Giese. Paul is the founder of intheBlk software, a firm that specializes in long-range planning and ASC606 revenue recognition for biotech organizations. When he isn’t working on financial models, Paul enjoys spending time with his wife and one-year-old son. You can find more thoughts by Paul on Twitter (@intheBlkData) and at his blog.

An Ernst & Young study found that finance departments are 80% ready for automation. Practically, this is converting a report built in Excel from three sources to a report that an ERP system generates automatically. The benefits of automation include more accurate financial data, more thorough financial reporting capabilities, and time savings from more efficient processes. Biotech organizations can achieve these benefits in the purchasing and payables process through the use of an optimized system such as Prendio. Below are a few benefits of automating the procurement process:

  1. Maintain one list of financial source data: data such as GL accounts, vendor lists, departments, and programs can be synchronized between systems, allowing users to maintain this data in one system instead of multiple systems. When finance departments have to maintain this data in multiple systems, time is wasted entering data multiple times.
  2. Approvals completed electronically: process owners can approve invoices electronically at their convenience, benefitting both accounts payable and process owners. Avoid wasted time chasing process owners and remove the risk of lost invoices on someone’s desk. With an electronic signing process, there will always be a record of the status of every invoice. In addition, keep an electronic audit trail of approvals for internal control testing.
  3. Electronic documentation of the three-way match: keep electronic copies of the PO, packing list, invoice and check in the ERP system. Access these source records remotely without needing to dig through paper files. Save time by easily sharing accounts payable audit selections electronically instead of tracking paper copies.
  4. Better visibility into financial results: If systems are optimized to share data, data can be reviewed in both systems. You can know if an invoice was paid in your procurement tool and you can review the requisition related to a check in your ERP. Avoid needing to toggle between two systems to track down if an invoice has been paid or not.

As finance teams are asked to do more with less, finding opportunities to automate processes will be critical. To find out how Prendio can help your finance organization gain automation benefits in your purchasing and payables process, please contact the BioProcure team.

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