E-invoicing and its future global role

E-invoicing and its future global role

04/15/2019

Electronic (e-)invoicing is adopted by many enterprises to simplify and speed up the invoicing process and bring funds back into the business faster. Manual, paper-based invoicing is time-consuming, can be error-prone and places a strain on limited resources.  

This can be most keenly felt by small and medium sized companies but it’s a drain on public sector departments too. So much so, that the United States Treasury has reportedly estimated e-invoicing could help cut costs by 50% and save $450 million a year. 

Worldwide, e-invoicing is on the rise with one estimate putting the global e-invoice and enablement market worth at 16.1bn euros by 2024. Latin America is a proponent of the approach, as are many countries in Europe.  

In fact, April 18 is a European Union deadline for public sector contracting authorities to receive and process e-invoices, with a view to bringing about a common standard and reducing the complexity of invoicing across borders. 

Gain A Competitive Edge 

Such developments mean mandatory change for some, but enterprises not currently impacted would nevertheless be wise to consider making the move to digital. Government-led initiatives pave the way for wider change, by getting on board now companies will be prepared as e-invoicing becomes standard.  

What’s more, companies that work with suppliers that do invoice the public sector may find those companies want to use the same digital system for all their business.   

Whatever the drive to making the transition, companies that do, can gain a competitive edge through the twin benefits of shortening payment times and improving operational efficiency. This can free up staff time to devote to activities that add value to the business. 

See Improvements in Productivity, Efficiency and Cost Reduction  

Digitizing invoicing end-to-end streamlines invoice creation and distribution to:   

  • Increase productivity for finance and procurement teams with a digital record of invoices sent and received, status and notifications when action is required. For accounting teams, this can mean time saved that would have been spent following up on other matters. 
  • Increase efficiency as incoming and outgoing digital invoice management minimizes manual data re-entry into systems. Time that would have been spent printing invoices and preparing them for mailing can be spent doing more important tasks. 
  • Reduce costs because every stage of the invoicing process incurs a cost. Some of these are easily calculated, such as the cost of mailing printed invoices, while others are associated with the cost of staff time. By minimizing the stages involved in invoice management, and cutting time spent on invoicing, considerable cost savings can be made. 

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