Our 2012 Global E-invoicing Study highlighted a number of positive trends for the e-invoicing industry. However, I find it hard to ignore an area of development that the research identified from existing invoice processing practices.
“The continued reliance on self-scanning and manual processes”
The study found that a remarkable 58% of respondents continue to receive invoices by PDF attachments, with a further 13% avoiding automated processes altogether. In addition to this, 53% of businesses still scan and capture physical invoices in-house, with a quarter not scanning invoices at all.
The challenges associated with rudimentary “electronic documents” and manual processes include delays in the invoice process, limited cash flow visibility, higher potential for invoice errors and time wasted scanning. In fact, 61% of businesses using e-invoice networks and XML e-invoices have seen a reduction in cost whilst only 43% of those using PDF invoices have seen the same. Even more interesting is that while fewer errors were seen by 45% of network/XML e-invoice users only 27% of PDF users saw the same. It is hard to understand why organizations continue to use these processes.
What this means is that too many businesses are losing out on potential savings. There is an easy solution to ensure this doesn’t happen, e-invoicing and automated payment processing.