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Thirteen qualities to look for when recruiting a purchase to pay process owner

BlogSusie West04.09.2012 Comments (0)

Purchase to pay


Should your purchase to pay process owner have the qualities and experience of an accountant or a change manager?

Thirteen qualities to look when recruiting a P2P process owner

A question similar to this was widely asked when companies started recruiting shared services managers in the days when the notion of shared services was still in a fledgling state.

Being a P2P process owner usually means: Some organisations look at this role and its aims and think their current Head of Accounts Payable could do it. But thinking about the intentions of this role, how viable is this approach?

  1. Having the ability to scrutinise the current purchase-to-pay process
  2. Having the analytical mind that enables them to quickly see the source of the problem leading to poor performance
  3. Understanding how to approach the business areas causing the problem in a sensitive yet effective manner
  4. Planning, and actioning, and then monitoring the change in behaviour within the respective business areas

The skill set required for points 1 and 2 are in abundance within most Heads of Accounts 


For points 3 and 4 to be excellently managed, a shared services organisation needs an individual who has skills which are more akin to those of sales managers.Payable. But points 3 and 4 require skills that are more commonly found in the ‘front office’ than the back.

This means recruiting someone who:

  1. Has a mind which understands process
  2. Is aware of the ramifications of non-compliance on the business and can convey this to different stakeholders in a way that engages them
  3. Understands how different business areas liaise with others and reporting lines
  4. Understands what drives these business areas, and what is important to them in the next 12 months (therefore understanding how an improved process can help them meet their business goals)
  5. Can read different personality types and appreciate how each type may respond to change
  6. Can work with senior management, selling them the idea of improved P2P so they back your methods
  7. Can educate senior management on the cost of being undermined
  8. Can meet with HR to see that business unit managers’ appraisals and bonuses include targets concerning purchase-to-pay metrics
  9. Comfortably meets with business unit heads and sells them the vision of a business with a better purchase-to-pay process, and translate how this would benefit them and their lives
  10. Is fluent in seeing and selling the value of a highly automated, standardised P2P process
  11. Can speak the language of procurement
  12. Can set KPIs so that they drive the right behaviour
  13. Has the ability and personality to change the behaviour of senior people in a sustainable way

You get the picture – this person needs to be relatively persuasive and is charged with securing buy in from a whole portfolio of stakeholders. And this ability is arguably more important to improving the purchase-to-pay process owner than having purchase to pay knowledge.

Read my article on what to look out for when recruiting a purchase-to-pay process owner.

 

Photo credit: Procsila

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