Yesterday’s Budget provided limited cheer for public sector finance chiefs grappling with unprecedented funding pressures and continued directives to do more with less.

Despite confirmation from Mr. Hammond of £10bn capital investment in frontline NHS services over the course of this parliament and £2.8bn of extra funding specifically for the NHS in England, public spending as a whole will continue to fall as a proportion of GDP.

Ultimately, this will only intensify increasing pressure on public sector finance departments to maximise limited funds – most likely achieved through a combination of efficiencies, process streamlining and adopting innovative technology to eradicate unnecessary wastage.

One particular area where the public sector is already driving impressive change is in procurement, where there is enormous potential to deliver both improved efficiency and bottom line savings across the board.

The most forward-thinking local authorities are already taking steps to streamline their processes, as well as embracing early payment programmes to deliver significant savings and an additional revenue stream.

Quite apart from the obvious bottom line benefits for budget holders, working to pay suppliers more promptly delivers myriad benefits down the supply chain.

As public sector finance chiefs come to terms with the prospect of another year of careful budget juggling ahead, tackling the inefficiencies present in their procurement operations is one immediate strategy they can implement to further lighten the load.