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When implementing Purchase to Pay, the strength of the objections to change can be surprising. People prefer paper. They don't want to change. They want things immediately and they refuse to follow new processes. They think they can get a better deal themselves compared to the prices offered on a supplier catalog. It's been the same for years - decades even - and it's that last objection: "I can get a better deal myself" that can be the most difficult because it is - or more precisely appears to be - a valid objection. So how do you overcome it?

Today, another post from Richard Manson from CloudTrade Let’s start at the beginning. What do we know about 26? Wikipedia - the font of all knowledge - tells me that 26 is ‘the natural number following 25 and preceding 27’. OK, I can go with this. That’s pretty accurate I guess. But I know it is more than that. So what else? Apparently a shape with 26 faces is a rhombicuboctahedron. But, hey, my 2 year old could have told me that... (Note to self, remember that for the next pub quiz). It is the atomic number for Iron (also useful for the pub quiz). But moving away from impressive ways to win £50 on a Thursday night... What else do we know? The 26th letter and the last letter of the English alphabet is Z. It is the length of a marathon (26 miles and 385 yards to be exact). The human foot and ankle has 26 bones. 26 is the total number of cases on the US version of Deal or No Deal. ....OK, I feel we are now slipping back to the realms of the pub quiz. So we can see there are many interesting instances of the number 26. Yet the most important (in our eyes at least!) seems to be missing. And without wishing to question the accuracy of Wikipedia, I feel it my duty to reveal the most important, yet missing, reference.

What links the P2P Summit in Vegas later this month and the entrepreneur of the year award? The P2P Summit, (which by the way you should attend – see here) is one of the most important dates in the calendar but, being very honest, I struggled to see the connection between Las Vegas and P2P until I saw the announcement today about the London AIM market entrepreneur of the year award.

This week I had the pleasure to support a seminar session run by Canon promoting their P2P offering. This is the transcript of my presentation P2P has always been important - important in the sense that it has always been important to ensure that the correct approval is given before something is bought. It’s important in the sense that it has always been important to ensure that suppliers are paid according to contractual terms - and important in the sense that it’s important to ensure that the details on an invoice sent by a supplier match what was asked for and what was delivered. But P2P has taken on a greater importance in recent years and there are three things that have put P2P in the spotlight
  • Visibility
  • Accountability
  • Automation

Yesterday, Tradeshift celebrated the opening of their new London offices with a reception in the heart of the financial district of Canary Wharf in London.  Set in Level39, the Fintech community in 1 Canada Square it was an opportunity to see the Tradeshift vision of the future of P2P – and, I have to say the vision is as exciting as it is dramatic which was matched by the magnificent view of the river Thames and the rapidly evolving skyline of London. London Skyline   Christian Lanng’s presentation was actually superb, it really was, but there was one part of it when he made a claim that I suspect - just suspect - may not have been quite 100% based entirely in the broad realm of factuality - if you know what I mean - but more of that later.

This is how the thought process goes for AP automation: "Electronic invoicing could save us lots of time. We could automate accounts payable." "Wait - this could be to be complicated. We'd need a project manager and an expert. We may have to buy in some software or work with a third party. Actually this stuff doesn't come free. It could cost a fortune." "$1 per invoice must be cheaper than the cost of a paper and manual process but at 1 million invoices per year, we'll never justify that. Let's make an incremental step toward automation. We can scan our invoices and handle them digitally." Yeah, right!

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