Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Electronic / e-invoicing?
- What is e-billing?
- What are the key challenges when implementing e-invoicing into my organisation?
- Some of my customers will only accept paper invoices; can I still use your service?
- Is there a high cost when implementing e-invoicing into my organisation?
- We have put a hold on all IT project spending for the immediate future, surely this rules us out of a project such as this?
- What are the key benefits to e-invoicing?
- How do I know that my business is going to benefit from converting to e-invoicing?
- What about Security?
- Is e-invoicing recognised throughout the E.U?
- My IT department tells me we can be compliant with all countries by following compliance regulations for one country?
- What if I only need e-invoicing compliance for one country?
- Doesn’t our ERP or tax system handle all of our VAT issues?
What is Electronic / e-invoicing?
Electronic/e-invoicing is an alternative means in which suppliers and buyers can send, receive, view, manage and store invoices in electronic format through a cloud platform.
What is e-billing?
Simply put, e-billing is a type of e-invoicing. Its characteristics are the same and it uses the same electronic platforms and technology as e-invoicing. Generally speaking, suppliers send bills to their customers via electronic format. The term e-billing is usually associated with businesses selling to customers, i.e. a telecoms company sending you a bill electronically over the internet.
What are the key challenges when implementing e-invoicing into my organisation?
There are a number of challenges that you need to be aware of when implementing e-invoicing into your organisation, some relate to technology and others relate to changes to your current business process, however these changes are well understood and can be easily overcome with the right solutions provider and technology platform.
Some of my customers will only accept paper invoices, can I still use e-invoicing?
Yes you can, you are still free to send out invoices by post to your customers that wish to receive the invoices in the conventional way, whilst using e-invoicing to send out your invoices to companies that wish to receive them electronically. This will still cut costs and free up some resources for your company.
Is there a high cost when implementing e-invoicing into my organisation?
Not at all, we are fully aware of the constraints on businesses in the current economic climate. We know there are many cost cutting opportunities available to companies, but often they do not have the resources available to commit the upfront costs before savings can be enjoyed. This is why we have devised an implementation costing strategy that allows you to connect to e-invoicing without affecting current budgetary constraints. E-invoicing companies can offer a pay-as-you-use service.
We have put a hold on all IT project spending for the immediate future, surely this rules us out of a project such as this?
There are many cost cutting opportunities available to companies, but often they do not have the resources available to commit the upfront costs before savings can be enjoyed. This is why with e-invoicing you can also use a pay-as-you-use service which does not affect your current budgetary constraints.
What are the key benefits to e-invoicing?
- Debtor day reduction
- Customers receive invoices online 3-4 days earlier than they would receive them by post meaning that they are in the queue for payment sooner. The problem of missing invoices is eliminated.
- Cost reduction
- E-invoicing costs significantly less than what companies are currently spending on sending invoices by conventional post.
- High rate of customer acceptance
- E-invoicing companies regularly achieve a conversion from post to online of 50% of a customer base within six months.
- You don't have to handle paper
- All of the hassle of printing, folding, stuffing, and posting invoices is eliminated, particularly at busy periods such as month end or even the end of the week. This frees staff to focus on other more productive activities.
VAT compliance: Unlike email invoices, invoices distributed online via e-invoicing are fully VAT
compliant. In addition, E-invoicing companies store invoices for a minimum of six years to comply with regulatory requirements. Both your customers and your business will have access to these invoices at any time for the six year period.
How do I know that my business is going to benefit from converting to e-invoicing?
Highly skilled team members can carry out an audit on behalf of your organisation, identifying issues and reporting on their findings/recommendations. They will offer practical advice relating to setup and implementation, along with bringing to light future barriers.
What about Security?
E-invoicing systems operate on a highly secure environment, just like electronic banking. All communications from your systems to the data centre operate over secure links, just like credit card payments. Within the data centre, data is stored securely and comprehensive security measures are in place to prevent unauthorised access to information.
Is e-invoicing recognised throughout the E.U?
Yes, The E.U has set in place a mandatory target that aims to have all E.U countries accepting and dealing in electronic invoices by 2013. Currently South American countries such as Mexico, Argentina, Columbia and Chile along with Scandinavian countries have the world’s highest adoption rates regarding e-invoicing and are currently in phase 4. This is due to Governments making e-invoicing mandatory.
My IT department tells me we can be compliant with all countries by following compliance regulations for one country?
This is not true. Although many compliance regulations are based on EU directives many countries also have their own unique requirements that must be met. Also non-EU countries have a completely separate set of regulations.
What if I only need e-invoicing compliance for one country?
Although implementing compliance for one country is possible most customers realise that the benefits and reductions on TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of implementing e-invoicing on a global scale. Once implemented this system offers you the flexibility to standardise your processes across your entire customer base.
Doesn’t our ERP or tax system handle all of our VAT issues?
The ability to implement all of the required rules governing VAT on country by country bases ensures that you are compliant to the required rules and regulations without the need to have all members of your Finance Department specialised in each countries Tax and VAT requirements.