Here at Yooz, we talk a lot about invoice payment processing, or AP, automation. It’s what we do, after all. And because our platform offers a complete, end-to-end, purchase-to-pay solution, we use the terms “procure-to-pay, or P2P,” and “payments” as well in conversations about automation with our prospective clients and in our thought-leadership content. As an Account Executive, I find that in my discovery calls with prospective clients those terms are interchangeable and there seems to be a lack of clarity about how to differentiate the three.
In this 2-part blog series, we’ll see if we can shed some light.
Before jumping right in to talking about the features and benefits of the Yooz solution, I always start by asking, “What is your primary goal in automating your AP workflow?” And from there, determine what the best solution would look like. In that conversation, the client may discover that what they actually need is different than what they originally thought. For example, our client Tim Carter with Salsarita’s Mexican food restaurants, came to Yooz in search of an automated document processing solution. What he discovered was that he really needed a complete invoice processing and payment (AP) automation solution, and Yooz was the perfect fit.
On the other hand, if a client wants to automate payments only, we may not be the best option. But many times, like with Salsarita’s, a client might think they only need one functionality like payments, and discover that a complete end-to-end solution is really what will help them achieve their business goals and gain the most efficiency.
So, what’s the difference?
Procurement Automation: Procurement (P.O./P.R.) is the first step in the P2P process. Automated solutions guide employees across the buying process. Another way to refer to it is “spend management.” It is a portal where all vendors and their products are listed in one place, so it is easy to compare prices and any promotional or volume discounts. It also provides comprehensive insight into spending and prevents rogue spending. That’s pretty much where this type of automation ends. These types of dedicated solutions typically require a several months long implementation and heavy IT involvement. It also requires heavy lifting from the vendor, such as entering the P.O. and generating the invoice. Procurement automation tends to make sense for large, decentralized companies.
In Part 2 of this blog series, we explore Payments Automation and wrap up the analysis with AP Automation.