Given all the technology that is available today, it is mind-boggling that there are still companies sending out invoices in paper form. Yet survey after survey shows that many businesses still adhere to this inefficient and unnecessary process “at least some of the time.”
But businesses that have turned to e-invoicing report faster processing time, reduction in paper use and the ability to take advantage of early payment discounts.
Is e-invoicing right for your company? The volume of purchase orders, the number of invoices and the dollar amount of those invoices will help you determine if you should switch from manual invoicing to an electronic method.
When making the switch to electronic invoicing, you will need to create business rules surrounding the invoice.
If, for example, one of your rules is that the invoice must match the amount of the original purchase order, any invoice that falls outside that parameter will be kicked out by the system and sent back to the person issuing the invoice.
That person is then tasked with correcting the invoice so that it complies with terms laid out in the business rules. Once the invoice is corrected, it is resubmitted and can be paid. With the proper business rules in place, all invoices come in 100% correct. This relieves staff of having to track down disparities between purchase orders and invoices.
Faster processing is an obvious incentive for switching to electronic invoicing. Think about the time your accounting staff spends opening invoices that have been sent by mail and then transferring the information into your ERP system. Electronic invoicing is so much more efficient, allowing you to either reduce head count or better utilize the people currently working in your accounts payable department.
Consider partnering with an outside supplier that can handle e-invoicing for you. When selecting that partner, look for one that has some longevity in the space and also has experience with your ERP system. Ask for a list of references and ask those references how their supplier tailored the program for their specific operations.
When it comes to invoicing, it's time to cut out the paper.