This time I out I’d like to explain the importance of getting the correct degree of alignment between different arms of the automated e-invoicing system.
Rule 6: Make sure you’re aligned where it counts
With something as far-reaching as invoicing, which transcends multiple stakeholders in the organization – be it Accounts Payable, Accounts Receivable, Treasury, Procurement or Sales, each will have an opinion on how it should support their specific function.
The danger here is that each function will have a specific agenda that may not align.
For instance, the finance department will often be focused on improving operational efficiency, ensuring invoice data integrity and looking to improve working capital by pushing out payment terms. Procurement, meanwhile, will want headline savings targets and assurance of supply (often to the detriment of total cost and working capital optimization).
Getting the right degree of alignment is critical.
It’s vital to have executive sponsors with the influence and power to bring disparate groups together and forge a common consensus (or else mandate a way forward). Importantly, the buyer-side sponsor should be clearly visible to suppliers. This communicates the importance of complying with the strategy.
Without this alignment, an e-invoicing initiative is likely to stall and, at best, take a lot longer to deliver value to the organization.
At worst, it could lead to its failure altogether.