Why Finance Leaders Ought to Care About Procurement and Finance Alignment

Why Finance Leaders Must Care About Procurement

In most corporations, finance and procurement have operated individually, with the 2 departments working in tandem solely when mandatory. This course of left higher administration similar to Chief Monetary Officers (CFOs) in the dead of night relating to purchases, leaving them to easily pay the payments at month-end. Regardless that the finance division is chargeable for all firm expenditures, in lots of circumstances they’ve been knowledgeable about bills after the actual fact, typically leading to overspending and out-of-control bills.

What Is Procurement Accountable For?

Procurement is chargeable for discovering and managing the correct outdoors sources for a enterprise. Deciding on the appropriate providers or distributors performs an necessary position in correctly managing your corporation.

For instance, on this enterprise case, Justin is the Chief Procurement Officer or CPO for a small firm that manufactures desks and tables. In his place, Justin and his staff are chargeable for procuring the supplies wanted to fabricate the furnishings together with wooden, glue, and ornamental gadgets. With out somebody to correctly supply these supplies and make buying choices primarily based on budgetary issues, the price of items bought would most likely rise, the corporate’s revenue margin would go down, and the way forward for the enterprise could be negatively impacted. However with Justin contemplating budgetary constraints when procuring constructing supplies, he can assist to make sure that the corporate stays inside its funds.

However Justin isn’t solely chargeable for procuring supplies. He additionally must supply a cleansing service that may clear the warehouse weekly, find a lodge chain that workers can keep at when touring for enterprise, and discover a telephone plan that works greatest for workers and matches inside the funds.

As well as, as soon as the suitable service or vendor has been positioned, Justin’s staff can also be chargeable for creating a purchase order order for the services or products bought, in addition to ensuring that the gadgets bought are acquired on time. Procurement can also be chargeable for approving invoices on a well timed foundation to make sure immediate cost.

Operations or Finance?

Although many organizations keep that procurement belongs within the operations camp, case research have proven that the most effective reply to the query of the place procurement lies someplace between.

On the floor, aligning with operations is sensible, since procurement entails strategic sourcing of every thing from the supplies, and gear wanted to function the enterprise, to contract administration. However in a bigger sense, the whole operations division should tie again to finance to function correctly.

This similar precept applies to the procurement division. Whereas the duty of procurement is to buy provides and supplies, it should talk with finance frequently. Not doing so can lead to overspending, decreased money movement, and a decrease revenue margin. When procurement is introduced into the finance realm, and are supplied with budgetary and money movement particulars, they’ll make extra knowledgeable buying choices. Regardless that procurement doesn’t immediately reply to the finance division, creating higher alignment between the 2 departments can assist each.

The Affect of Procurement on Companies

Procuring isn’t nearly buying provides or supplies. Procurement insurance policies also can influence the next areas:

  1. Journey and leisure: The price of touring and leisure is immediately tied to procurement. Involving the procurement division within the strategy of figuring out authorized lodges or most popular airways is a part of the procurement course of and needs to be handled as such. Most smaller corporations will depend on procurement to deal with these transactions, although bigger corporations might have a separate division that may deal with journey expense administration.
  2. Companies: Should you make the most of skilled providers in your corporation, you’ll need to contain the procurement division. Whether or not it’s accounting, authorized, or different skilled providers, utilizing the procurement division when trying to safe these providers for your corporation is important.
  3. The Approvals Course of: Whereas every division is chargeable for guaranteeing the spending limits should not exceeded, the procurement division must play an lively position in creating these processes and serving to different departments adhere to them.

Aligning Procurement With Finance

Finance and procurement working collectively holistically is a significantly better administration technique than persevering with to function individually. In lots of circumstances, the finance division has disregarded the influence of procurement on enterprise funds, leaving the buying choices to be made by the buying division. By aligning the 2 departments, procurement will acquire a extra thorough understanding of finance, whereas the finance division will keep higher management of the shopping for course of, and the underside line.

What Are the Advantages of Aligning Procurement With Finance for Your Enterprise?

Alignment might be useful for each departments. These are just some of the advantages of aligning finance and procurement.

  • Shared targets: On the floor, finance and procurement might appear to have two very completely different targets. In spite of everything, the finance division is in control of sustaining the underside line and maintaining the corporate worthwhile, whereas procurement is about buying the products and supplies wanted to maintain the enterprise operating. However in the event you look past the apparent, the 2 departments are mandatory for each other, since with out the supplies bought by the procurement division, the enterprise couldn’t be worthwhile.
  • Higher procurement methods: With out steering from the finance division, the procurement division will make its buying choices independently. However with construction and tips in place that may should be adopted, the procurement division could make extra knowledgeable choices on the products and supplies bought.
  • Higher understanding of the finance course of: Buying items and supplies for the enterprise is an amazing duty. That’s why having a greater understanding of firm budgets, potential value financial savings, and money movement is so necessary.

By aligning the 2 departments, procurement will acquire a extra thorough understanding of finance, whereas the finance division will keep higher management of the shopping for course of, and the underside line.

Higher Alignment Can Produce Higher Outcomes

Finance and procurement are maybe the 2 most necessary departments in any enterprise, tasked with managing money movement whereas additionally spending the suitable amount of cash to maintain the enterprise working successfully.

Whereas the finance division is in control of creating budgets, monitoring bills, and creating spend administration reviews, it’s not possible to handle spending ranges with out the correct steering and enter from procurement groups.

It’s additionally not possible to correctly handle threat, notably provide chain threat if procurement and finance don’t work collectively. In a historically hands-off strategy, procurement could be chargeable for coping with provide chain points. Sadly, with out a good threat plan in place, tens of millions of companies have been left unprepared to deal with surprising product and supplies scarcity as a consequence of international provide chain points. And since the provision chain points immediately influence each enterprise operations and profitability, it’s extra necessary than ever earlier than that finance and procurement work collectively to discover a resolution that works.

One of many ways in which enterprise house owners are coping with procurement is by using Procure-to-Pay (P2P) options. The procure-to-pay course of provides full automation options for requisitioning items, providers, and supplies that the enterprise must function effectively. However P2P options additionally embody the accounts payable course of, which is historically a part of the finance division. Due to this overlap, it’s extra necessary than ever that procurement and finance groups work collectively.

Ideally in a P2P atmosphere, the next could be thought of procurement features:


A part of procurement’s duty is to seek for, determine, and choose the suppliers that may work greatest for your corporation. This could embody every thing from the wooden it’s essential supply to construct customized furnishings, to the lodge chain that your workers keep at throughout enterprise journeys. If it’s a recurring buy, procurement ought to take the lead.

Setting Spending Limits

That is the place it’s necessary that procurement and finance work collectively. A part of the procurement course of wants to incorporate adherence to spending limits. It’s additionally very important that an approvals course of be constructed into the procurement course of.

Buy Orders

Buy orders are an necessary a part of the procurement course of. Buy orders assist streamline the whole ordering course of from preliminary buy requisition to authorized buy order. Buy orders additionally root out inefficiencies, by serving to to make clear what has been ordered, and might even specify the supply date. Buy orders additionally present a body of reference when it’s time for bill processing, which is often a finance operate.

Subsequent Provider Administration

As soon as a provider has accomplished onboarding, sustaining and managing a provider relationship is essential. Are your present suppliers delivering merchandise as promised or are they incessantly late? Have they raised their costs considerably or modified cost phrases unexpectedly? By correctly managing your suppliers, you’ll be significantly better outfitted to deal with any points which will come up.

Prepared To Make Some Adjustments?

If you’re able to carry finance and procurement collectively, take a while to do the next.

  1. Determine areas the place finance and procurement can work collectively. This might embody creating a value discount plan, working collectively to determine and make the most of completely different suppliers, and bettering your present threat administration plan.
  2. Create a set of KPIs for your corporation that features procurement and use these metrics to measure your value financial savings. Your organization CFO is tasked with making a viable monetary plan. But it surely’s not possible to create an correct plan in case your CPO or procurement staff is just not actively concerned in its creation.
  3. So long as finance and procurement proceed to function independently, alignment will probably be not possible. Collaboration with finance and procurement, working collectively, makes the decision-making course of that a lot simpler, clearing the trail to shared targets.
  4. An absence of communication can improve errors, result in a number of sad employees, and might undermine the progress of each departments. Protecting colleagues knowledgeable in real-time will probably be useful each short-term and long-term.

Enterprise companions and stakeholders alike will recognize the quite a few methods procurement can influence your corporation’ long-term sustainability.   Whether or not you’re operating an ERP system or commonplace accounting software program, take into account implementing a procure-to-pay resolution for your corporation immediately.


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