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What does the Procure to Pay process look like for property management

Join us here at Cloudfox as we explore the various stages, the benefits, and even the unique aspects of Procure to Pay specific to property management.


The Procure to Pay (P2P) process is the lifeblood of property management operations. It represents the journey from identifying a need to source necessary goods or services to making payments while maintaining financial accuracy.

In the context of property management, P2P becomes a critical component. The system ensures you have the necessary supplies, services, and maintenance to keep your properties in top-notch condition. It also means you only pay for the goods and services you order, which keeps your cash flowing.

Join us here at Cloudfox as we explore the various stages, the benefits, and even the unique aspects of P2P specific to property management. 


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Why procure to pay process matters 

Understanding the P2P process is not just about jargon; it's about ensuring cost-effective operations, maintaining relationships with suppliers, and ensuring the smooth day-to-day functioning of your properties.

Now, let's take a closer look at each stage of the P2P process, starting with sourcing and procurement. 

 

The critical stages of procure to pay 

The Procure to Pay (P2P) process can be broken down into several key stages, each playing a role in the overall efficiency of property management operations. 

 

Sourcing and procurement 

In property management, sourcing and procurement are the first steps in the P2P journey. This stage involves identifying the needs of your properties, whether it's maintenance supplies, equipment, or services, and then finding suitable suppliers or vendors.

Here are some strategies to optimise this stage: 

  • Supplier selection - Carefully choose suppliers who offer quality products and services at competitive prices. 
  • Vendor negotiation - Negotiate contracts and terms that benefit both parties, ensuring cost efficiency. 
  • Supplier relationship management - Cultivate strong supplier relationships for better collaboration and reliability. 

 

Purchase order management 

Once you've identified your needs and selected suppliers, the next step is managing purchase orders. This stage involves creating and tracking purchase orders to ensure that the right items are ordered, quantities are correct, and delivery is on time.

Through purchase order efficiency, the approvals you need are easier to acquire and less likely to face delays.

Efficiency is key in purchase order management: 

  • Use digital systems - Utilise software solutions like Xero for automated purchase order creation and tracking. 
  • Standardise procedures - Develop standardised procedures for purchase order approval and validation. Use ApprovalMax to help automate and speed up your in-house approval stages. 
  • Inventory integration - Integrate purchase orders with your property's inventory management system for better control. 

 

Invoice processing 

Invoices are the financial record of the goods or services received. Proper invoice processing ensures accurate payments and transparency in financial transactions. 

When designing your system, ensure you account for who is involved in your account management and how they interact with invoices and their data. That will help you refine your system for maximum efficiency. 

 

Payment and reconciliation 

This final stage involves making payments to suppliers and reconciling these payments with the invoices. It's where financial accuracy and compliance take centre stage. Here are some things to consider:

  • Timely payments - Make payments promptly to maintain supplier trust and avoid late fees. 
  • Reconciliation - Regularly reconcile payments with invoices to spot discrepancies and address them promptly. 
  • Improved cash flow - paying only for what you ordered means your cash flow is free for other investments.

Remember, at Cloudfox, we can set up your property management solutions and do all of your accounting - so if this all sounds like a headache, let us do the heavy lifting! 

Contact us here. 

 

The benefits of an effective procure to pay process 

An effective procure to pay (P2P) process can yield a wide range of benefits for property management, making it a crucial aspect of your operations. 

 

Cost savings 

Efficient P2P processes help in controlling costs across the board. Streamlining sourcing, procurement, and invoice management lets you identify cost savings and negotiate better terms with suppliers.

Further cost-saving opportunities: 

  • Bulk purchasing - Consolidate orders for bulk purchasing, often resulting in discounts. 
  • Budget control - Better control over expenses through transparent financial tracking. 
  • Reduced errors - Minimise costly errors in invoicing and payment processing. 

 

Improved supplier relationships 

A smooth P2P process fosters strong relationships with suppliers. That can lead to better terms, priority service, and more reliable partnerships.

  • Prompt payments build trust and can lead to preferential treatment. 
  • Collaboration with suppliers identifies mutual efficiencies and cost-saving strategies. 
  • Establishing long-term partnerships can lead to better pricing and service. 

 

Improved interdepartmental interactions 

Your P2P covers many departments – operations, marketing, IT, and finance so clear processes are important.

  • Better workflows allow teams to efficiently process procurements. 
  • Efficient system setups reduce approval bottlenecks. 
  • Open communications make for happier teams. 

 

Enhanced visibility and control 

Effective P2P processes provide a clear view of your property management finances and operations. This transparency is vital for making informed decisions.

P2P helps you: 

  • Access real-time financial data for quick decision-making. 
  • Identify and mitigate financial risks early in the process. 
  • Utilise data analytics to make strategic decisions. 

 

Compliance and risk mitigation 

Property management involves adhering to regulations and compliance standards. A well-structured P2P process helps ensure you meet these requirements, whether regulatory, fraud prevention or audit readiness.

With these benefits in mind, let's explore the core principles of procure to pay, often called the "3 Cs." 

 

What are the 3 Cs in procure to pay? And is it an easy way to remember what P2P is? 

The "3 Cs" are a concise way to remember the fundamental principles within the procure to pay process. Because it is concise, it is often the most preferred way to explain and remember what P2P means. 

 

1. Compliance: Upholding regulatory standards

  • Legal adherence - Ensure all procurement activities adhere to local and national regulations. 
  • Ethical practices - Promote ethical sourcing and procurement practices. 
  • Contract compliance - Monitor contracts to ensure terms are met, reducing legal risks. 

 

2. Control: Exercising financial oversight

  • Budget adherence - Maintain control over budgets to prevent overspending. 
  • Approval processes - Implement approval workflows to maintain financial discipline. 
  • Supplier management - Exercise control over supplier relationships to ensure consistency and reliability. 

 

3. Cost reduction: Driving efficiency for savings

  • Strategic sourcing - Seek cost-effective suppliers and negotiate favourable terms. 
  • Streamlined processes - Eliminate unnecessary steps and bottlenecks in P2P operations. 
  • Data-driven decisions - Utilise data and analytics to identify opportunities for cost reduction. 

As we've explored the "3 Cs," it's essential to understand another set of guiding principles in P2P, often called the "6 Rs." 

 

What are the 6 Rs in procure to pay? 

The "6 Rs" or P2P are another way to consider the "3 Cs" above. Some prefer to think of the P2P process as a more detailed stepped process - the 6 Rs give us that. 

 

1. Request: Initiating the procurement journey

  • Identifying needs - Determine the specific requirements for your property management operations. 
  • Authorisation - Obtain necessary approvals for procurement requests to maintain control. 
  • Supplier engagement - Begin the process of sourcing suitable suppliers for your needs. 

 

2. Review: Assessing the relevance and viability

  • Evaluation - Review procurement requests to ensure they align with your property management goals. 
  • Cost analysis - Assess the financial implications of each request, considering budget constraints. 
  • Alternatives - Explore alternative solutions or suppliers to optimise value. 

 

3. Requisition: Formalising the procurement request

  • Documentation - Create formal requisition documents outlining the requested items or services. 
  • Compliance check - Ensure that all requisitions meet regulatory and company standards. 
  • Approval workflow - Implement a structured approval process for requisitions. 

 

4. Receive: Managing goods or services receipt

  • Verification - Confirm the receipt of goods or services per the purchase order. 
  • Quality inspection - Ensure the received items meet the required quality standards. 
  • Accurate records - Maintain detailed records of received items and services. 

 

5. Report: Tracking and documentation

  • Documentation - Keep comprehensive records of all P2P transactions. 
  • Reporting tools - Utilise software for generating reports on procurement activities. 
  • Data analysis - Analyse reports to identify trends, opportunities, and areas for improvement. 

 

6. Reconcile: Ensuring financial accuracy

  • Financial alignment - Ensure that invoices match the purchase orders and receipts. 
  • Discrepancy resolution - Promptly address any discrepancies to maintain financial accuracy. 
  • Supplier payments - Initiate payments only after reconciliation to avoid errors. 
     

Understanding these "6 Rs" empowers property management professionals to navigate the P2P process effectively.

Let's address another common question: the difference between procure to pay (P2P) and purchase to pay (P2P) in property management. 
 

What's the difference between procure to pay and purchase to pay in property management? 

Procure to pay (P2P) and purchase to pay (P2P) are often used interchangeably, but they have different meanings and implications in property management. 

 

Procure to pay (P2P): Emphasising the procurement process 

In this case, we are looking at the process from a procurement focus, from identifying needs to supplier selection. It places significant importance on building strong supplier relationships for cost-effective and reliable sourcing. 

 

Purchase to pay (P2P): Emphasising the payment process 

When you use the term to focus on payment, you concentrate on invoice processing to reconciliation. It strongly emphasises financial control, accuracy, and accounting and budgeting standards compliance. 

 

Understanding the intersection 

In property management, these two processes often intersect, forming a comprehensive approach to managing the financial aspects of operations. It gives you a clearer picture of managing supply alongside your budget. 
 

Conclusion: Setting up your accounting solution for procure to pay success 

It would help if you had a robust accounting solution to ensure that your procure to pay procedure operates effectively. We always recommend Xero. With strategic integration partners like ApprovalMax, you can have a system that helps you automate much of your P2P workflow while delivering high-touch reporting.

If you need a trusted Xero partner to help you set up, fill in the contact form below.

Your day-to-day bookkeeping process will also need some refining. Let's handle all that for you for a fixed monthly fee!

We are Cloudfox. We offer specialist systems and finance expertise for operational property businesses of scale. 

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