Westpac has made the move anticipating the government’s increased focus on digitising procurement and adoption of the Australian Supplier Payment Code.

The bank has said it is the first in Australia to offer payables and purchasing through cloud-based procurements solutions.

Coupa’s platform, with $1.2 trillion of cumulative spend under management, has been deployed by more than 750 companies, including MGM Resorts International, Salesforce and Unilever.

The platform is said to allow organisations real-time visibility on budgets, increased purchasing power and more efficient processes.

The partnership, the bank said, will allow its customers to reduce risk, improve compliance, automate manual and inefficient tasks, and deliver cost savings by efficiently managing their spending.

Di Challenor, Westpac Institutional Bank general manager, global transaction services, said corporates have invested heavily in improving the way they receive payments from customers, however the same advancements have not been made in how payments are made to suppliers.

“In many cases, the payables process remains inefficient, paper-based and prone to errors,” she said.

“Our partnership with Coupa is the first major step towards frictionless supplier payments and delivering end-to-end automation across the working capital cycle.

“By combining the Coupa BSM Platform with Westpac’s e-invoicing, payments and reconciliation solutions; CFOs have real-time oversight into their organisations’ spending behaviour, allowing them to proactively identify and address small problems before they turn into big issues.”

Coupa is also looking to leverage new technology in AI and machine learning to deliver real-time prescriptive insights and benchmarks to its customers.

It is aiming to allow smarter spend decisions, through increased days payable outstanding, real-time payments, and e-invoicing when the Australian and New Zealand governments’ electronic invoicing standards are adopted.

According to Ms Challenor, the Coupa platform also offers benefits for SMEs supplying to large organisations.

“Unlike some other e-procurement platforms, suppliers get access to the Coupa Supplier Portal for free,” Ms Challenor noted.

“The digitisation of purchase orders, invoicing and payments can’t come fast enough for many smaller suppliers who have no visibility over when they will get paid and struggle to manage cash flow due to today’s inefficient paper-based processes.”

Roger Goulart, senior vice president, business development and alliances at Coupa, commented, “This partnership means we’re in a strong position to help CFOs and finance teams get full visibility and control to drive real value across the business and the bottom line.

“This will result in some exciting procurement innovations for our mutual customers.”