Blockchain brings particular value to financial services firms. In particular, it offers transparency, efficiency and security for financial transactions—but these benefits also extend to Anti-Money Laundering processes and to global financial market trades.
Accenture believes blockchain can lend its security and efficiency benefits to other areas as well, including procure-to-pay processes. Blockchain can allow authentication around stakeholders, budgeting, service provision, invoicing and payment settlement. But blockchain also has the potential to disrupt procure to pay as we know it.
What are some of the advantages to using blockchain for procure-to-pay processes? Blockchain can add value in these ways:
A front-end system can be added on, or leveraged through existing procurement systems.
Blockchain could accelerate purchase order management.
Invoice processing can be reshaped.
Settlements can be accelerated.
Blockchain could reshape invoice processing.
Blockchain also could accelerate settlements.
Enquiries management might be streamlined.
The risk of money laundering could be reduced.
Blockchain might foster greater trust among stakeholders.
A strong audit trail could be generated.
Transactions could be more secure.
Digital-age crypto currencies could come into play.
Blockchain can speed execution.
Accenture has outlined a full blockchain procure-to-pay process map, highlighting the many potential advantages that blockchain can bring to the table, as well as the level of impact each element might bring.
Adopting blockchain potentially can bring dramatic change to procure-to-pay processes. But before financial institutions dive in, the steps and decisions that follow are encouraged.
For example, anyone considering blockchain for procure to pay may want to build the full business case first. The assessment should include existing procure-to-payment assets and processes, and it should balance cost considerations.
Additionally, institutions will have to choose between a private or public blockchain. Each offers distinct advantages, but should be evaluated based on a business’s particular needs.
Can your financial business successfully adopt blockchain for procure to pay? For more information, see our paper.