Everything about e-invoicing is compelling. Companies don't just save money on printing and postage; they also profit from the benefits of automating the processes for all invoice-related tasks. Benefits include error reduction, improved compliance and controls, better visibility of liabilities, and better understanding and control of expenditures. Case studies from Gartner and the Aberdeen Group indicate that companies adopting e-invoicing can reduce accounts payable processing costs and processing time by more than half while reducing errors.
In the absence of single market standard, adoption of e-invoicing used to be difficult. But improved interoperability between systems and widespread broadband access has changed that. A variety of new technologies now allow invoices and requisitions to be sent from one company to another using agreed-upon conversion protocols—even if they maintain different systems. There are also e-invoice brokerages, which act as a hub between partners and convert received documents into the format preferred by the partner, enabling suppliers and customers to outsource the conversion burden. These factors—and in Europe, strong support from the E.U.—have made e-invoicing implementation much easier.
With all these benefits, why is there still a reliance on paper and the postal service well into the 21st century? We believe the real impediment to more widespread adoption concerns issues surrounding implementation—developing a strategy that delivers specific benefits and functionality, alignment with third-party collaborators, alignment with internal business processes, efficient process design, and effective implementation.
Read more about e-invoicing, including how to address implementation concerns, in my white paper, 'E-Invoicing: Fulfilling the Promise of Collaboration.' Has your business had experience with e-Invoicing? Are you familiar with the experience other companies have had? Share your experience.