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100% Supplier Payment Accuracy Over a Decade

Over the past decade, Pinnacle has achieved 100.0% supplier payment accuracy within our MSP programs.  Collectively, these programs represent tens of billions of dollars in payments and thousands of suppliers.  This case study addresses the critical design principles and execution that have contributed to this decade of success. 

The Challenge

Achieving Perfection, Speed, and Consistency Simultaneously
  1. Invoice Matching:  Pinnacle matches each unique supplier invoice to each unique client payment.  While this may sound standard, other MSPs may pay supplier invoices on a First In, First Out (FIFO) methodology, pay based on what the MSP “expects” was included in the payment, or not match each line item to the penny.  This can result in disputes between clients, MSPs and suppliers regarding which invoices remain unpaid and can affect the calculation of volume discounts or other rebates. 
  2. Sequestered Funds:  Pinnacle utilizes separate, standalone bank accounts for all supplier funds.  We never co-mingle supplier funds with our general operating funds.  In this model, Pinnacle pays itself in the same manner as every other supplier.  While this creates additional complexity in terms of managing multiple bank accounts, it ensures that each penny of client funds is accounted for with each payment and provides greater transparency and auditability. 
  3. Rigorous Controls:  Pinnacle employs several key controls to ensure accuracy including segregation of duties, dual approval for all payments, use of direct integrations between our ERP and bank to eliminate human error in bank entry, and an approval checklist that ensures every penny of the payment is tied back to client invoices, supplier invoices, and the VMS records. 
  4. 5-Day Turnaround:  Invoice reconciliation is typically performed on Days 1-2, with payment application occurring on Days 3-4.  An extra business day ensures that any delays do not impact the process. 
  5. Culture:  Pinnacle’s culture insists on high standards and empowers employees to act to ensure those standards are met. In the context of payment accuracy, each member of the client accounting team is empowered to stop the payment process at any time if anything seems unusual or out of order. Our standards are clear – accuracy 1st. 

          Best Practices

          Invest in Technology, Process, People, and Culture!

          There is little mystery in how to achieve operational and financial excellence over so many years, suppliers, clients, and payments.  It requires an ongoing commitment to invest in the three pillars of success. 

          1. Technology:  Pinnacle invests in technology and constantly improves our footprint. We focus on scalability, security, automation, and data transparency. We leverage major market-leading platforms such as Workday (HCM and financials), UiPath (robotics & automation), and Tableau (data visualization). 
          2. Process:  Scalability and excellence require processes to be well defined and documented, but flexible enough to grow with the business. Pinnacle leverages best practices in process management such as SOPs, checklists, SLAs/KPIs, and lean operating principles while relying on our people and culture to maintain flexibility, speed, and critical thinking. 
          3. People:  Even with the best technology and process, it is ultimately people who ensure that it all works.  Talented and hard-working people with strong attention to detail are critical. Pinnacle continually invests in our people; we hire skilled professionals that understand the why behind the Pinnacle way of operating. 
          4. Culture:  A culture of transparency and limited hierarchy facilitates an environment where people are willing to ask questions and admit to not knowing how to do certain things.  This ensures that problems aren’t simply swept under the rug, only to appear down the road as payment errors or delays.   


                Client and supplier confidence leads to zero distractions
                By consistently achieving 100% accuracy and timeliness of supplier payments, clients, suppliers, and MSPs are free to focus their attention on achieving truly strategic objectives such as customer satisfaction, program adoption, improved performance metrics, and other critical goalsIn addition, suppliers feel respected and well-managed by the MSP, leading to more productive interactions and improved overall results. 

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