Rule 4: e-invoicing should be central to business priorities

Director, Center of Excellence, Global Sales

Welcome to the fourth post in the series – dispelling the common myths around e-invoicing.

Last time out I dispelled the myth that multiple file formats is a hurdle too high to overcome for e-invoicing to be viable, available here, in case you missed it.

As always, look out for further announcements on future Basware blog posts by following us on Twitter.

Rule 4: The adoption of e-invoicing should be central to a business’ priorities, not a secondary consideration

What this means is that for e-invoicing to work, and for businesses to reap the rewards of an automated system, they must strive for a wholehearted uptake of these services across the business.

While many businesses are striving to move to 80% or 90% of invoices being electronic in the near future, this still falls short of the full adoption it needed to succeed, and, in a way, is doomed to backfire.

Pareto’s principle is a nice way of explaining why. If a business automates 80% of its e-invoices – you can pretty much count on the fact that issues will be encountered with the 20% of invoices which are still paper-based. There’s a reason for that too – paper is laborious and inefficient. The 20% that has gone wrong could account for significant problems in accounting processes.

What’s more, a good invoicing operator will make sure that your system is 100% automated and know the importance of bringing both suppliers and customers up to speed with the change as quickly as possible. That means enabling e-invoicing for all customer and supplier invoices, allowing them to enter the e-invoicing system as seamlessly as possible.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach, but an effective solution will involve:

• Invoice printing allowing you to send e.g. PDFs (and which extracts the correct data you need to support your customers’ invoice processing)
• Scan and capture capabilities to convert incoming paper invoices into electronic ones and automatically route them into your processing system
• Supplier portals allowing your low volume suppliers to enter invoices directly via a web interface
• Email sending options for your suppliers enabling them to send invoices as PDFs (with your operator extracting the data you need)
• Integrated systems that offer true system-to-system e-invoicing with both customers and suppliers

 

These are important elements of the wider e-invoicing system, and all of them should be present to maximize the potential that e-invoicing can bring to businesses, as well as supplier and customer relationships.

Category: E-Invoicing