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Digitising payment processes – Benefits of e-invoicing

by | January 30, 2019

These days the benefits of digital automation are increasingly well-recognised. When so much of our business and personal lives are digitised, it seems almost ancient to still have teams of people handling paper invoices.

One of the most important steps in bringing a company into the 21st century is digitalisation.The P2P landscape is changing rapidly and we have all been observing its evolution into the Cloud over the past decade.

Most companies already have in place some form of digital technology or digital strategy. Organisations also tend to deploy several forms of core procurement technologies. These platforms usually include a combination of spend analytics, eSourcing, contract management and eProcurement (eCatalogs, eInvoicing) among others.

There have been numerous recent discussions around paper waste and a lot of debates around how to go paperless and the inefficiency of different existing payment structures. The general consensus is that there are a lot more benefits in digitising your payments when switching to e-invoices.

From our experience of implementing and supporting P2P systems such as Coupa, SAP Ariba and Jagger, we often encounter apprehension when it comes to e-invoicing, causing clients to miss out on realising all the benefits of their systems. This concern is often based on the unknown and an assumption that a high percentage of suppliers will say ‘no’.

Whether you have a P2P system already in place or are in the process of going live, e-invoicing will likely be an area that could still do with improving.

Benefits of e-invoicing

Increased efficiency – entering data into a payment system is time consuming and can involve taking some risks such as entering incorrect data. Also, having an efficient e-invoicing system in place means that a person can process as many as four times the number of invoices.

Improved supplier relationships – the most persistent challenge that suppliers are facing is that they do not know the progress of payments and they are not getting paid on time. With e-invoicing, once you submit your invoice, it can be tracked straight away and the supplier can see when it has been paid or it is due to be paid.

Better working capital management – early payment discounts can be obtained from the accelerated payment cycle provided by an e-invoicing system. With more control over the payment time and freed-up resources, proactive decisions can be made over early payment discounts.

Reduced environmental impact – less paper means a lower carbon footprint which not only can improve company image, but also provides a cost saving through reduced storage needs.

Recent studies have shown that real-time payment delivery is important to 76% of consumers and 72% would be interested in getting alerts that a bill is due to avoid late payments. If it is important for consumers that payments are digitised, it should also be important for companies.

Digitising the payment process is a key ingredient in digital transformation, organisations have started embracing these benefits and even some governments are trying to eliminate paper based invoicing from their entire systems.

The digitisation of invoicing systems also allows more precise forecasting of supply, demand and delivery of goods and services. So why not start your own journey to paperless payments today?

For more information on this subject read our latest whitepaper: It’s time to face your e-invoicing fears!