Transforming Our Professional Services


Key findings from the Finance Transformer - Purchase to Pay

29 April 2019

Eleanor Morrissey, Head of Accounts Payable, recently presented the findings from the analysis of purchasing activity.

Photo of a calculator

Purchase to Pay is the second service that has been focused on as part of the Finance Transformer. 

Purchase to Pay includes all purchasing activity from requesting through to paying for goods and services. While some aspects of this service are specific to colleagues working in finance, others such as the way we process invoices and expenses will affect staff across UCL. 

As the design phase for the Purchase to Pay project is coming to an end, we shared some of the key findings and emerging ideas for transforming the service with the Finance User Group. 

Watch Eleanor’s presentation (opens in Microsoft Stream)

Key findings 

Our findings and ideas for transforming the service covered all stages of the Purchase to Pay process including; purchasing decisions, supplier selection, the over £50 order process, payables management, expenses and support. 

Within these areas we identified a number of specific issues such as:

  • A lack of clarity around purchasing decisions and supplier selection
  • A slow and confusing paper based new supplier process
  • A slow, paper based over £50k purchase order process
  • Invoice payments can be delayed
  • A lack of training and on boarding for new staff
  • Difficulties in claiming expenses for both staff and non-staff claims 


We then worked with the Finance User Group to consolidate these key findings into five work streams. 

These five workstreams focus on how we could improve the systems and processes to provide the best service for UCL as well as the training and support needed. The five workstreams are:

  • Supplier Management
  • Purchasing Platform Optimisation
  • P-Card Review
  • Expenses Platform Optimisation
  • Payables Management

Next steps

We will be working with ISD and Oracle, our finance service providers, to look at how we can make the best of what we’ve got now, what we could add onto the system and what other solutions we could bring in. 

Once we have finished the design phase for Record to Report (the third service the Finance Transformer is focussing on), we need to consolidate and agree the priorities and recommendations for the next stage of the project. 

Once we have a better understanding of the solutions available, we will present the findings and opportunities to the Project Board before beginning the next stage of implementation planning. 

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Watch Eleanor’s presentation (opens in Microsoft Stream)