Purchase to Pay

I was excited to read about Alusta last week – the end-to-end framework or platform that Basware have developed for their procure to pay offerings and I was keen to understand a bit more about it when I hooked up with Juha Häkämies VP Market Development, Rowan Lemley, product Marketing Manager and John Webster, VP Global Product Marketing What is Alusta exactly? Is it the purchase to pay panacea or simply vaporware – a new marketing spin on an old set of products?  Actually a bit of both – but in a good way.

Basware have just made a very interesting announcement and launched Alusta, a “cloud-based platform for business-to-business transaction collaboration." According to their announcement yesterday, Alusta (Finnish for "platform") provides "open, centralized access to all Basware services via a scalable, secure, open collaborative commerce ecosystem for buying and supplying organizations of every size and location." If it lives up to half of the hype, this will be a truly impressive platform. Alusta isn’t ground breaking. It isn’t even new thinking but what it promises is to bring together a wide set of leading edge tools technologies and techniques to create a purchase to pay platform that could be world beating. That’s the promise anyway. So what’s it got that’s so impressive?

Purchase to pay process, SOX controls, segregation of responsibilities - to a business they can, and are, seen as obstacles to just getting things do. But they are a necessary evil. Without them fraud would be rife. So what are the most common purchase to pay frauds? We can't know for certain which are employed most often but based on common knowledge and a bit of personal experience we think these are good candidates for the top six.

Ready for the new year, Patrick Harbin has published and amazing 50 ways to reduce costs in accounts payable.  They say about new year’s resolutions that you should ensure they are achievable so for those that think 50 major change management  programs in one year - that’s 1 per week – is a little too much, you might want to consider the first 5 because we think the first 5 are the best 5.

This is how it will be read. When the European regulators produced guidelines on how bent a banana could be, there was a media frenzy. Headlines like "Europe Bans Bent Bananas" and "It's Official - Bananas Banned by Brussels". It was a Euromyth of course but it sells newspapers and I can feel the same thing is going to happen when the CEN get's its hands on e-invoicing standards.

OB10 can make some great claims. They might like to claim to be the biggest and they'd certainly want to claim best. I think they can legitimately claim to be the first. But these superlatives are very much double edged. "First" also means oldest and "biggest" can mean least agile. So how can OB10 maintain their leading position? Last week I had the great pleasure of meeting Luke McKeever, their new CEO, who told me.

We’ve all seen it at the airport check-in. Mr. More-Important-Than-Everyone-Else complaining about something or other. He’s late to board and they won’t let him on. Maybe he’s exceeded his luggage allowance, or, best of all, because he’s a frequent flyer, he wants an upgrade. “I fly with you all the time.” “ I’m a personal friend of your CEO.” ” Do you know who I am?!” I was once given a master class in how to get upgraded on a flight. It was from a colleague, a professional buyer,  who bet me he could get his sister a business class seat on a coach class ticket. I paraphrase the conversation for brevity but this is how he approached the check in.