Automating invoice management processes can transform the way your Accounts Payable team operates and there has never been a better time to adopt an electronic invoicing software solution. According to the latest research by Billentis, 550 billion invoices are processed annually and only 10% of these are paperless. Eliminating paper invoices and choosing electronic invoicing will help increase your internal productivity, decrease operational costs and reduce your carbon footprint. By choosing to streamline the invoicing process with automation, you are choosing to optimize your business.
About the author
Vincent Beerman, Senior Director of Product – Platform, AI and Data Insights at Taulia.
An electronic invoice is the digital vision of a paper invoice. While most suppliers create their invoices in a digital format and most buyers approve the invoice in a digital format, there is often a gap in between where the invoices are either printed and mailed or saved as a PDF document and sent by email.
The key to improving efficiency is to keep the invoice in a machine-readable, digital format from start to finish throughout the invoice-to-cash process. Traditionally, the processing of paper or PDF invoices has been done manually by Accounts Payable (AP) professionals resulting in significant labor expenses, long approval cycles and costing the business money in lost early payments.
AP staff typically receive a paper invoice, review the data and manually input it into their accounting system. By choosing to implement an electronic invoicing solution into your business operations, you will revolutionize the way your AP team operates, providing improved transparency for your suppliers and optimizing your financial supply chain.
Benefits of invoice automation to your business
From increasing the opportunity for early payments to shrinking your operational costs, electronic invoicing is clearly a better option for invoice processing.
Reduce late payments – Adopting an electronic invoicing solution minimizes the possibility of paying your suppliers late. Getting rid of snail-mailed paper invoices means that the invoice won’t be lost in the mail or trapped in your processing queue, leading to delayed payments. Delayed payments jeopardize your critical supplier relationships and can lead to disruptions in your supply chain. Eliminating late payments improves cash flow for you and your suppliers and allows both parties to distribute that working capital into other areas, such as investment into future products, business process optimization projects, etc.
Creates the opportunity for early payments – Processing invoices faster accelerates the whole payment process and gives suppliers the ability to request early payments, should their business require it. With early payments, you can minimize cash flow gaps, increase payment predictability and drive working capital to the most effective points in your supply chain to help fuel your business growth.
Enhance productivity – Eliminating manual data entry processes will allow staff time to prioritize more meaningful tasks, such as building customer relationships, improving internal processes and ensuring invoices are paid on-time. Should there be any problems with an invoice, the supplier or buyer staff can quickly and easily locate the invoice within a portal and fix the issue. Through automation, many of the processes associated with creating and paying an invoice are accelerated and simplified, boosting employee morale and promoting better business operations.
Reduce cost – Research conducted by Ardent Partners revealed it costs $10 to process a single invoice, with the average invoice taking 8.3 days to fully process. Many companies are already implementing measures to reduce their invoice processing costs and time; those that aren’t should review why given the immediate value this can deliver to the business.
Be environmentally conscious – Banishing paper and adopting electronic invoices will help you to save your time and money but will also do plenty of good for the environment. Drawing a comparison to receipts, in America alone, paper receipts use up 10 million trees and create 12 billion pounds of CO2. Billentis claims that 495 billion paper invoices are processed globally, with this volume, it’s likely that paper invoices will have a similar impact on the environment.
Increase visibility and control – Having total visibility into the invoice process will provide great benefits for all stakeholders. Electronic invoicing solutions enable senior management to have a more holistic view of corporate spending and help them make better decisions for the business. With a centralized location for electronic invoices, you never have to worry about losing an invoice, and you can quickly find an invoice to verify the payment. The ability to locate invoices in a portal helps all parties identify which invoices have been paid and which are outstanding, providing peace of mind for everyone.
Invoice automation to supercharge success
Businesses worldwide are looking for processes to help them become more efficient, drive growth and increase supply chain collaboration to propel success. Implementing an electronic invoicing solution can help your business accelerate growth and automate manual processes. The advantages of adopting electronic invoicing for accounting are too great to ignore. You should choose an electronic invoicing solution to help you save time, make more money, and increase business efficiency and productivity.