Purchase to pay (P2P) is the complete purchasing life cycle within a business. P2P includes ordering, purchasing, receiving, paying for and accounting for goods and services required by an organisation.

In large organisations the P2P function is often found in:

  • shared service centres 
  • outsourcing centres. 

Analyst roles include:

  • working with members of the P2P team on functionality and capability 
  • analysing and documenting the P2P system 
  • using ERP systems effectively. 

The role will make a valuable contribution to the effective and efficient implementation of an organisations strategy.

Entry and progression

Fulfilling a key role within the procurement function of large organisations, P2P analysts work in:

  • corporates
  • public sector
  • financial services
  • shared service organisations.

These sectors provide many entry points for those who wish to become a P2P analyst. ACCA develops the skills and knowledge required by forward thinking professional accountants, including P2P analysts.

For those who work as a P2P analyst employers will employ candidates with ACCA CAT or Advanced Diploma for more junior roles.

Exam options

As analysts progress the most relevant exam options are:

Performance objectives

Remember it’s not just about exams. You need to have the right experience so that you are competent – you have the experience and knowledge – to start and continue your P2P analyst career.

Performance Objectives (PO) which would provide great experience and must be signed off as part of the Practical Experience Requirement (PER) could include:


High level competencies required by P2P analysts include:

  • Strategy, Technology 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 plans and objectives.

    C. Evaluate, justifies and implements suitable strategic options.

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

  • Ethics and Professionalism

    A. Develops advanced ethical values and professional skills in the promotion of public interest and the profession.

    B. Demonstrates personal effectiveness in fast changing environments.

    C. Encourages innovative thinking within the context of professional scepticism.

    D. Thinks proactively about the future, applying professional judgement and commercial intelligence and seeks specialist input when needed.

    E. Communicates effectively and influences others.