Interesting post today by our friend Jason Busch over on Spend Matters arguing that Finance should really be the owner of P2P solutions, rather than Procurement, which has been historically and is most often currently the owner.

 

http://www.spendmatters.com/index.cfm/2010/3/26/Friday-Rant-Should-Finance-Own-P2P

 

A couple of points stuck out to me in particular (granted, I bias toward thinking from a finance/working capital perspective):

 

    • Working Capital Management "is a giant concern for companies and their suppliers. Procurement  organizations sit entirely in the wrong seat when it comes to  understanding internal working capital strategies and requirements".
    • "Procurement does not focus on payment or contract management. The  function focuses on sourcing, buying and supplier management"
    • Forecasting payment obligations and cash flow is critical to finance, not procurement, and P2P/eInvoicing is critical to forecasting payment obligations.

 

As the Solution Manager at Ariba responsible for our Working Capital Management Solution suite (tied into the Ariba Network and utilized by P2P), I have had the pleasure of working with both Procurement and Finance as the purchasers of my product in conjunction with eInvoicing and P2P, and have seen how both sides can have a vested interest in owning the products.  Probably the best practice I have seen in just a couple of what I would consider to be leading edge companies, is a specifically commissioned "working capital council" that has seats at the table for Procurement, Finance/AP, and Treasury...all of which need to have some input into a successful P2P/Working Capital strategy.

 

So my question to the group is this:  Who do you think should own P2P and why?  If you currently own Ariba's (or some other lesser ) P2P solution, who owns it in your company & why?  If you are in Finance, what do you see your role in P2P being?

 

I am very curious to understand better your reactions to and thoughts on this issue (and Jason's blog post).  So if you have an opinion and a few moments to capture it here, please respond with a comment.

 

Thanks.

 

Drew Hofler

Sr. Solutions Manager, Working Capital Solutions