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Businesses currently face challenges to remain compliant with official procurement processes when purchasing and reconciling items that are outside their usual B2B spending patterns, such as one-time or emergency purchases.

To address this problem, American Express and SAP Ariba will collaborate to simplify the accounts payable process and financial statement reconciliation. By automatically matching transaction data on American Express commercial accounts to purchase order data from Ariba Spot Buy, which enables businesses to find and immediately buy non-contracted items in accordance with their procurement policies and procedures.

Ariba Spot Buy is available to all American Express Global Corporate Payments customers who are using Ariba Procurement Software in the US.

“Visibility and control of supplier payments is a top concern raised by companies looking to gain predictability of cash flow and working capital needs to efficiently operate their business,” said David Desharnais, SVP and general manager, B2B digital and commercial platforms, American Express.

“To effectively manage company spend, procurement departments need a clear view into what is being bought and from whom, especially on spend that is off-contract.  Off-contract spend can cost our customers as much as $9 million per $1 billion in spend. And to accurately reconcile purchases, accounts payable (AP) teams need to know that order and transaction information match,” said Joe Fox, senior vice president, business development and strategy, SAP Ariba. “In teaming with American Express, we can deliver these insights and effectively change the game for our customers.”

Tony Alvarez, vice president, SAP Ariba Customer Management organisation, said SAP Ariba is looking at expanding the collaboration to other regions for both Spot Buy and SAP Ariba more broadly, but could not comment on the timeline for this expansion.

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