Reprinted by permission of CloudTrade
A traditional paper-based purchase invoice process consists of multiple manual activities: the supplier raises the invoice in their finance application; they print it out, place it into an envelope and send it on its way in the mail. Their customer receives the mail, opens and sorts the items and enters the invoice details into their accounting system.
The manual activities don’t always stop there, as the invoice is often photocopied or scanned, with the copy invoice sent round the organisation for approval for payment. It often takes days – or even weeks – from invoice generation, through to it being approved and ready for payment, and is a manually intensive process prone to errors and delays.
The problem with paper-based invoice processing
- It is costly for the customer receiving paper (mailroom, handling, registration, storage, destruction etc.)
- It is costly for the supplier sending paper (printing, handling, postage)
- There is a lack of visibility and control for both supplier and customer
- It is slow, manually intensive and prone to error (invoices getting lost, delayed, duplicated and data entry issues)
The benefits of E-invoicing
In addition to removing manual activities and cost savings delivered, e-invoicing also enables greater control and visibility within the finance function and increases the ability for the buyer to pay on time and take advantage of supplier discounts.
For an organisation to realise those benefits, it is clear they must convert suppliers from paper to electronic.