When it comes to procurement, businesses should be worry free of risk, waste little time and company dollars, and should have complete control of payments. Mishaps happen, and when they do, companies realize the need for a change. A recent internal audit of city procurement card transactions made by elected officials from the City of El Paso and the city manager’s office found a few issues regarding improperly maintained records, travel requests and unauthorized staff approving expenditures.
In the report by the Chief Internal Auditor, Edmundo Calderon, several expenditures were discovered to be authorized by the administrative assistant for the city manager, executive level employees and management level employees. What was found in this report included documents pertaining to expenses and travel request forms not being properly kept in a central location for the mayor and the council, and that those without authority were enforcing procurement card policies and procedures. With instances of misplaced receipts in different departments, reports not being filed properly, and instances of purchase order approvals, recommendations for improving compliance with procurement and expense management are a necessity.
So how can such mishaps be avoided? According to a report by Technavio, there are four factors driving the need for the Procure-to-Pay market. One of the factors includes managing risk and automation, as well as modernizing indirect procurement processes. With modernization, businesses can increase visibility. By automating the Procure-to-Pay process, risk is reduced and invoice management as well as other parts of the process are more seamless and less open for mistakes.
With a fully integrated procure-to-pay solution, purchasing and invoicing becomes automated to create seamless, efficient processes. With an automated Procure-to-Pay solution, companies have the ability to:
- Eliminate guesswork by gaining transparency across departments
- Reduce superfluous spending with analysis and reporting for payables, expenditures and suppliers
- Increase working capital through start-to-finish automated processing, self-service and structured vendor communications