Have you ever wondered what happens after creating a PO? I purchase all kinds of products and services for my team and always try to follow the proper requisition protocols. But it wasn't until I read the story about Arlene, a fictional company’s AR person, that the reality of that process came home. I work for Ariba, and I can assure you that we have some very rigorous systems on our side to track invoice and POs. But yes, even I have vendors for which things aren’t always as simple as it seems—and it isn’t just for service vendors.


Seeing in print Arlene’s struggle to reduce the number of Days Sales Outstanding (DSO’s), I finally realized that she and her colleagues were making collection calls to ME! Ok, I can be one of those people who just by sheer nature of inbound volume, doesn’t always jump on things that are, you know, done.


So for all those AR and collections people out there, let me extend my humble apology. What I will say is that having a rigorous electronic PO and invoicing process really does make a difference. I know how much I buy, and how few of those invoices actually come my way—usually,  those ones where I went outside of the process—so I can say something must be working. If you haven’t already read Arlene’s story on reducing DSO with electronic invoicing, check it out. It really has some interesting tips that can help you improve DSO and manage cash flow more effectively.


Enjoy! And may your DSO always be low!