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What Is Procure to Pay (P2P)?

Leanne Strickler
Published August 29, 2023

Have you ever wondered how businesses can streamline their payment processes? The solution is procure-to-pay or P2P. P2P is an automated system that handles everything from the initial purchase request to making a payment. For you, this means eliminating inefficient and time-consuming manual processes. No more chasing down invoices or cutting checks by hand.

With P2P software, you can automate purchasing, invoice processing, and payment approvals. Requisitions, POs, and invoices are all digitized and routed for approval electronically. Payments are issued automatically on their due dates. Not only does this save you time, but it also reduces errors and ensures you capture early payment discounts. If reducing costs and boosting productivity sounds good to you, it’s time to learn more about how P2P can benefit your business. In just a few clicks, you’ll be on your way to payment nirvana.

What Is Procure to Pay (P2P)?

Procure to pay, or P2P, is the end-to-end process of purchasing goods and services, from requesting and ordering them to processing invoices and payments. For any business, it’s a crucial cycle that if optimized, can significantly reduce costs and improve efficiency.

What exactly does P2P involve? First, requisitioning – when employees request materials or services they need to do their jobs. Next comes purchasing, where buyers research options, compare quotes, and place orders with suppliers.

Once the goods or services are received, the receiving process verifies that what was ordered matches what was delivered. Only then are invoices from suppliers processed and approved for payment.

By integrating systems for purchasing, accounts payable, and more, P2P streamlines this entire workflow. It eliminates time wasted on manual data entry, searching for information in different systems, and chasing down approvals.

With P2P automation, requestors have a simple online portal to order commonly used items. Buyers get alerts about requests that need their review and can approve with one click. Supplier invoices are matched to purchase orders and receipts automatically before being routed for payment approval.

Finance teams gain visibility into spend data to better forecast cash flow needs and negotiate volume discounts. And by paying suppliers on time, businesses can build goodwill and loyalty.

For growing companies, P2P solutions are a must. They accelerate purchasing cycles, reduce overhead costs, and allow staff to shift their focus from tedious tasks to strategic initiatives. If you’re still managing P2P with spreadsheets and paperwork, it may be time to explore how automation can transform this critical business process for your organization.

The Procurement Process Before P2P

Before procure-to-pay (P2P) solutions, the procurement process was inefficient and time-consuming. Departments would handle purchasing individually, requiring multiple approval levels for requisitions and purchase orders.

The Old Way

In the past, the steps to purchase goods involved a cumbersome paper trail. Purchasing agents had to create requisitions manually, get approvals, issue purchase orders, receive hard-copy invoices, and process payments. This decentralized system lacked spend visibility and control.

This time-consuming and tedious procurement process resulted in high costs, limited spend under management, and poor visibility into budgets and cash flow. There had to be a better way! And that better way was procure-to-pay.

How P2P Streamlines Procurement

Streamlining procurement tasks with a procure-to-pay (P2P) system can significantly improve operational efficiency in your business. P2P integrates all steps in the purchasing process, from requesting items to making payments, creating an automated procurement cycle.

Reduced Costs

Implementing P2P cuts costs in several ways. It minimizes paperwork by digitizing purchase requisitions, approvals, and invoices. This reduces the time spent processing each transaction. P2P also leverages your company’s bulk buying power through strategic sourcing to negotiate the best prices from vendors. With P2P monitoring spending in real-time, you can easily spot opportunities to save, whether by consolidating purchases or choosing more affordable alternatives.

Increased Visibility

P2P gives you visibility into your company’s spending at every stage. You’ll gain insight into not just what is being purchased but who is making the purchases and how much is being spent with each vendor. This data helps identify purchasing inefficiencies to optimize your procurement operations. It also ensures policy compliance as all purchases go through proper review and authorization.

Improved Supplier Relationships

Streamlining the P2P process benefits both buyers and suppliers. Suppliers receive quick, accurate payments, leading to better relationships built on trust and reliability. For buyers, this means securing the best prices and service. P2P also allows you to efficiently manage vendor contracts, catalogs, and performance evaluations in a centralized system.

In summary, implementing a P2P solution leads to a win-win outcome for your business and its suppliers. Cost savings, increased visibility, and improved supplier relationships all contribute to a streamlined, optimized procurement function.

Benefits of Implementing a P2P System

According to Gartner, a procure-to-pay system is “a fully integrated solution designed to support an end-to-end process that begins with goods and services requisitioning and ends with ready-to-pay files for upload into an accounts payable system.” Implementing a procure-to-pay (P2P) system in your organization can streamline the entire purchasing process, from requesting materials to paying suppliers. Here are some of the major benefits you’ll gain:

Cost Savings

A P2P system automates many manual tasks, reducing the amount of time your team spends on repetitive work like data entry, filing paperwork, and chasing down approvals. This improved efficiency can lower overhead costs and free up the budget for other priorities.

Enhanced Visibility

With a centralized P2P system, you’ll have real-time visibility into your organization’s spending. You can track expenses, monitor budgets, and look for ways to optimize purchasing. This level of insight helps ensure you have enough cash on hand to pay suppliers on time.

Improved Compliance

A sound P2P system incorporates approval workflows, authorization limits, and other controls that help your organization follow policy and regulatory compliance. It provides an audit trail for every transaction so you can easily pull reports to monitor compliance.

Streamlined Processes

By automating steps in the purchasing cycle such as requesting, approving, ordering and paying for goods and services, a P2P system accelerates the flow of information between departments. This can improve relationships with suppliers through on-time payments, consolidated invoicing, and efficient issue resolution.

Strategic Purchasing

With full visibility into your spending patterns, budgets, and contracts, you can make data-driven purchasing decisions that maximize value for your organization. You may find ways to consolidate suppliers, renegotiate contracts, or shift more spending to preferred vendors.

Implementing a P2P system is a strategic move that pays dividends through operational efficiencies, cost savings, and data-driven insights. While the initial set-up requires time and resources, the long-term benefits to your purchasing processes and bottom line are well worth the investment. Does your organization have plans to implement P2P automation? It could be a game-changer.

Key Features to Look for in a P2P Solution

A procure-to-pay (P2P) solution like SupplierGATEWAY’s can greatly benefit your business by automating and streamlining the entire purchasing process. Some key features to look for in a P2P solution include:

Automated purchase orders

Automated purchase orders eliminate time-consuming manual entry and approvals. P2P solutions can automatically generate POs based on requisitions, saving your team hours of work.

Configurable options

Look for a solution that lets you customize workflows, reporting, and other features to match your unique needs. The system should adapt to your processes, not the other way around.

Built-in reporting

Robust reporting capabilities provide visibility into KPIs like spend under management, process cycle times, and compliance metrics. Reporting allows you to optimize your P2P processes and better manage costs.


An e-procurement module gives buyers a centralized place to shop for approved suppliers and items. Guided buying helps ensure they choose preferred products at the best-negotiated prices.

Invoice automation

Automated invoice processing including matching and routing for approvals cuts down on manual data entry and speeds up the payment process. Your solution should be able to receive invoices in multiple formats (email, EDI, web, paper) and automatically match them to the corresponding POs and receipts.

RFQ for tactical bidding

For high-volume or repetitive purchases, a request for quotation (RFQ) tool allows you to solicit competitive bids from multiple suppliers. Award the order to the supplier offering the best combination of price, quality, and delivery.

A robust P2P solution incorporates all these key features and more to streamline your purchasing operations from requisition to payment. By automating repetitive tasks, enforcing policies, and providing visibility into metrics, P2P software helps procurement become a strategic driver of cost savings and compliance.


By streamlining everything from purchasing all the way through paying suppliers, P2P enables your business to save time, cut costs, gain visibility, minimize errors, and strengthen relationships. If you want to free up resources, reduce waste, and improve the bottom line, it’s time to reach out to one of our experts and ask about implementing a procure-to-pay solution. The rewards of optimizing your payments and maximizing working capital far outweigh any costs. Join the wave of modern businesses benefiting from automated P2P and start reaping the rewards today. The future of efficient, cost-effective payments is here.