PROACTIS Blog

Spend Control Processes – Typical Information Flows

Charlotte Sutton
Charlotte Sutton,
PROACTIS

(Continued from “Spend Control Processes Working with Your Core Financial Management Systems”)

PROACTIS can send, receive or share information with any system you have in place today, and do so in many different ways.

For instance, you will likely choose to maintain master information such as your general ledger account codes and tax codes within your ERP or financial system and pass that information to PROACTIS so you have a single point of control and don’t need to maintain that information within PROACTIS.

Depending on the technical structure of your financial system, you may have PROACTIS do real-time look-ups of budgets and validation of account codes within your financial system, or you may periodically pass those to PROACTIS.
 
You may choose to maintain supplier information within your ERP system and pass it to PROACTIS. Or, conversely, you may choose to establish the PROACTIS Supplier Directory as your central repository of supplier information and pass updates to your other systems from there. Either approach involves straightforward integration processes. 

In general the information that flows between PROACTIS and your other internal systems can be categorised as:

  • Master data
  • Transactional data
Information that flows between PROACTIS and your suppliers can be categorised as:
  • Supplier engagement information
  • Supplier commerce transactions
Examples of each category of information are described in more detail below. 

Information flow between PROACTIS and your internal business systems:

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Master Data
 
Common master data integration flows are as follows:
  • Chart of Accounts from ERP to PROACTIS: Account codes, descriptions and related information are typically loaded into PROACTIS from your existing ERP or financial system. Multiple Charts of Accounts can be held within the PROACTIS multi-company structure if needed. After the initial load, you may choose to automatically transfer the entire chart of accounts or only net changes to PROACTIS daily or as changes occur.
  • Tax codes, exchange rates, etc. from ERP to PROACTIS: Like account codes, this information can be easily loaded into PROACTIS from your ERP or financial system, or any external system. If exchange rates are used, they are usually imported daily.
  • Budget lookups and account code validation within PROACTIS: With most ERP and financial systems, you can enable PROACTIS to access your Chart of Accounts and budgets in real time. If, however, you operate PROACTIS using our cloud hosting services, you may wish to import budgets along with your Chart of Accounts as described above. Either way, current budgets can be accessed as part of the budget commitment checking process within PROACTIS P2P at purchase authorisation time, and any account codes input by users can be validated against your Chart of Accounts.
  • Suppliers from ERP to PROACTIS: If you choose to maintain your suppliers in your ERP or financial system, you can extract, transform and load that information from where it is currently maintained to PROACTIS. Depending on the capabilities of your existing system you may set up to pass additions, deletions and changes as they occur or at one or more scheduled times each day.
  • Suppliers from PROACTIS to ERP: If you choose to make the PROACTIS Supplier Directory your central repository of all supplier information, you can extract, transform and load that information from the directory to any number of other systems. Additions, deletions and changes are typically passed at one or more scheduled times a day.
  • Users to PROACTIS: In order to simplify maintenance of users in PROACTIS, you can automatically create and maintain users based on information in your internal Active Directory, LDAP or HR systems. Single Sign On (SSO) capabilities are supported using both Windows Authentication and SAML2 technologies. 
Transactional Data
 
Common transactional data integration flows are as follows:
  • Purchase orders from PROACTIS to ERP: When POs are created or approved in PROACTIS P2P, they are usually sent to ERP as ‘soft’ commitments. When PO changes or cancellations are done within PROACTIS, those too, are sent to ERP along with new allocations. Soft commitments are usually changed to ‘hard’ commitment accruals when receipts are made against the PO. The accruals are then removed once the invoice is received and approved for payment.
  • Purchase orders from other systems to PROACTIS: If you have direct material ordering systems and/or specialised systems that create POs for various reasons – e.g. maintenance management systems that automatically create orders for service parts – you can pass those orders to PROACTIS P2P as approved POs (changes, cancellations and receipts can also be passed). In that way, PROACTIS contains all POs, and can be used as your single system for invoice processing, as well as your consolidated source of purchase commitments and spend history.
  • Invoices and credit notes from PROACTIS to ERP: Once invoices are matched and approved within PROACTIS P2P, they are typically passed to your Accounts Payable system for check or EFT payment. These are usually passed at least daily regardless of the AP payment cycle. Credit notes can also be sent once they are registered in PROACTIS.
  • Employee expenses from PROACTIS to ERP: Similar to the way supplier invoices are handled, approved employee expense reports are usually sent from PROACTIS Employee Expenses to your Human Resources or Accounts Payable system for generation of reimbursement cheques.
  • Payments from ERP to PROACTIS: Once invoices or employee expenses are paid in your Accounts Payable system, a payment notice is usually sent to PROACTIS P2P so payment status is visible within PROACTIS. 
Supplier Engagement Information
 
Common supplier information flows are as follows:
  • Supplier profiles: With PROACTIS Supplier Management, suppliers can register on the cloud-based PROACTIS Supplier Network and request consideration as an approved supplier. They can also update their profile information online at any time. PROACTIS can be set up to periodically send notifications to suppliers to review and update their profiles as well.
  • RFX postings and responses: With PROACTIS Sourcing, you can post RFx requirements documents on your supplier network for access by either select suppliers or all suppliers. Suppliers can then upload RFx responses to the supplier network as well. eAuction and other sourcing activities are also enabled via the PROACTIS supplier network.
  • Contracts: With PROACTIS Contract Management, you can optionally post selected contract information for viewing by suppliers.
  • Supplier catalogues: With PROACTIS Content Management, suppliers can upload new or revised electronic catalogues to the PROACTIS Supplier Network at any time. This will trigger a review and approval process within your organisation before exposing that catalogue to users within your PROACTIS P2P system. 
Supplier Commerce Transactions
  • Supplier website purchases: With PROACTIS P2P, you can deploy ‘Punch-outs’ that enable users to access supplier websites within PROACTIS P2P as part of the purchase request process. Depending on how you set up your system, employees may go to individual supplier websites and/or certain supplier websites may be included in the PROACTIS multi-source search process. Once an item is selected, the request is processed through your established authorisation rules and may be automatically approved or may be passed to a manager for approval. Once approved a PO is generated using one of the methods outlined next.
  • Purchase orders from PROACTIS to suppliers: PROACTIS P2P provides a lot of flexibility for sending POs to suppliers. Approved POs can be automatically communicated to suppliers in several different ways. You can set up PROACTIS P2P to:
    • Send individual POs as PDF attachments via email
    • Send a file with multiple POs in XML or other standard formats (e.g. all POs once a day)
    • Post individual POs to the supplier’s system using a Web service
    • Post POs on the PROACTIS Supplier Portal for secure online access by the supplier
    • Print or auto-fax individual POs when necessary The method can be set per individual supplier
  • Invoices from suppliers to PROACTIS: PROACTIS provides a wide range of ways for suppliers to send you electronic invoices. Suppliers can:
    • Submit invoices online using the Supplier Network (either direct entry or using a ‘PO Flip’ function to make it even easier)
    • Send individual or multiple invoices as an XML or other standard format attachment via email
    • Send multiple invoices in XML or other standard format via secure FTP
​As an alternative for suppliers without the capability to submit or send invoices electronically, the PROACTIS Document and Data Capture service turns paper and PDF invoices sent by mail or email into electronic invoices that can be imported directly into PROACTIS P2P for processing.
 
Even if you have specialised applications not described here, it is very likely that they fit a similar mould, and that they need to pass similar information. Whatever your situation, we’re confident we can handle it.
 
PROACTIS Spend Control and eProcurement solutions are all built with integration in mind. When you implement any part of the PROACTIS solution suite, we will work closely with you to put in place a seamless flow of information between your PROACTIS applications and your existing internal systems as well as your suppliers and their systems. The integration methods used will be highly reliable, easy to manage, and easy to adjust as your information systems environment evolves over time.
 
Learn more about the PROACTIS Integration Framework
 
 
 
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