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We completed our Financial Year end recently, and while most departments spent the day watching sports or organizing team outings, some of us, namely those  in procurement, finance and marketing had the pleasure of spending 11 hours looking at series of excel sheets and hoping that somehow everything matches .

Why is it so I often wonder, that most functions are so much better prepared for the year end than procurement? A natural reply to this statement is the word “Audit”: procurement needs to check, tally and finally approve all spends, POs etc. before the FY ends to ensure compliance.

But that is not necessarily the only reason, as if a procurement department works diligently and uses a good quality procurement management platform; they must already be ready for the financial year end.

The reasons for sleepless nights and excel-phobia which grips every procurement department at Financial Year end is mainly two-fold .Firstly year end is a fairly busy time as a lot of yearly contracts are re-negotiated and signed off at this stage.

Secondly this is the only time of the year that procurement self-evaluates their contribution to the business and that means a 100 different excels to be looked at, past emails to be tracked and analysis to be done. Traditionally this contribution was looked at only in terms of cost savings. However nowadays companies are looking at innovation as a major deliverable from the procurement department. Industry experts will be discussing this in the panel discussion “The Agility Agenda:  Balancing Procurement’s Cost Savings and Innovation Imperatives” in the upcoming CPO Connect New York, and I will be back soon with excerpts from the discussion. Till then do let us know your take on this.

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