What is P2P and what do P2P professionals do?

P2P is an abbreviation often used for the term purchase to pay or procure to pay. It refers to the process from point of order to payment, spanning the activities of requesting (requisitioning), purchasing, receiving, paying for and accounting for, goods and services.

P2P can be complex and may consist of a large number of individual processes that take place across different parts of the organisation. Integrated P2P software solutions, which map and automate entire processes seamlessly, are integral to the efficient management of P2P activity at scale.

P2P professionals are responsible for all P2P related activities and ensure that all transactional purchasing and support services are delivered efficiently and to the highest standard. They are also tasked with proactively driving the improvement of the P2P process. Professionals may also specialise in the implementation of P2P systems and will be responsible for managing the full project of implementation from beginning to end.

Key responsibilities

Responsibilities will vary, but examples include:

  • Monitoring, co-ordinating and proactively driving the execution of the entire purchase to pay process.
  • Ensuring that all processes are as per the agreed governance.
  • Proposing and supporting improvement of the purchase to pay process, policies and procedures in collaboration with key stakeholders (e.g. finance).
  • Assuming subject matter expert role of P2P processes and systems with the goal to understand each business unit and any challenges they have with managing operations and P2P activity.
  • Acting as first point of contact for P2P related questions.
  • Investigating and resolving problems associated with processing of invoices and purchase orders.
  • Maintaining accurate P2P records and producing regular reports.
  • Analysing and documenting the P2P system.

Why are they important?

A well-executed and managed P2P process can increase control as well as financial and procurement visibility. The integrated system results in significant process efficiencies, saves costs and reduces risk.

Skills needed for this role

Excellent IT skills are required for a career in P2P. Professionals should be self-motivated and results-oriented, as well as having strong analytical and problem-solving skills. Good project management abilities will also be required.

Strategic Professional Options examinations linked to this role

Advanced Financial Management

Career opportunities presented by this role

P2P professionals can work in a variety of different organisations, so career opportunities are varied. Roles may also exist in shared service centres or outsourcing organisations.

Competencies

High level competencies required include:

  • Advisory and consultancy

    A. Gathers and understands financial and non-financial information to develop complete knowledge of the client business and the environment in which it operates.

    B. Provides expert advice that will add value to the business and gain advantage.

    C. Identify and advise on business partnering to develop strategic relationships to create opportunities, improve performance and solve business problems.

    D. Prepare and present business plans and advise on the actions to implement these plans.

     

  • Data, digital and technology

    A. Identifies strategic options to add value, using data and technology.

    B. Analyses and evaluates data using appropriate technologies and tools.

    C. Applies technologies to visualise data clearly and effectively.

    D. Applies scepticism and ethical judgement to the use of data and data technology.

     

  • Stakeholder relationship management

    A - Positively develops relationships with internal and external stakeholders.

    B - Communicates and gains commitment from internal and external stakeholder.

    C - Uses emerging technologies to collaborate and communicate effectively with stakeholders.

    D - Applies professional and ethical judgement when engaging with stakeholders.

    E - Aligns organisational strategic objectives with stakeholder needs and manages expectations.
     

  • Strategy and innovation

    A. Applies business acumen and commercial awareness to deliver business objectives.

    B. Recommends a range of suitable strategic options from which to develop sustainable plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluates, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

    D. Adopts and applies innovative methods to implement strategy and manages change.