Electronic invoices are gaining in popularity because they are convenient, can be turned
around in minutes rather than days and are significantly cheaper than conventional methods
of delivery such as post. Deutsche Bank has estimated that the entire cost of issuing a
paper invoice at over €11.10 (CAD $15.10) and the cost to the recipient of processing a
paper invoice can range anywhere from €17.60 (CAD $23.95)upwards. Additionally,
there are numerous benefits to both suppliers and buyers.
Suppliers now have the ability to alert their customers via email to let them know that there is
activity on their account. Reminders can then be issued to customers automatically using a number
of methods to encourage them to pay within the agreed terms. Administrative errors such as mislaid
invoices can become costly to suppliers who are looking to reduce their debtor days. Errors
such as these are completely removed. The basic characteristics of e-invoicing mean that the
entire billing process speeds up, this in turn improves cash flow for the supplier.
E-Invoicing provides Accounts Payable Departments with the ability to achieve “Straight Through
Processing” (STP). This is the ‘Holy Grail’ of Accounts Payable Departments, as it allows computers
to screen inbound invoices for errors, and to ensure that invoices match purchase orders and
delivery information before being passed to the Purchase Ledger for payment.
Computers are far more effective, as well as being much faster, at inspecting invoices and when
discrepancies are identified by the automated screening process, they are sent to appropriate
staff for manual review and approval. Customers also have the capability of issuing queries
on invoices 24/7, in real time.
7 Reasons to Implement E-invoicing
- Remove the barriers associated with conventional paper based invoicing
- Improve processes through automation
- Streamline office administration
- Increase cash management and cash flow visibility
- Contribute positively to the environment
- Comply with Government Directives
- Focus staff and other assets on business priorities