How to de-risk e-invoicing

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Last year, around the world, 55 billion invoices were exchanged electronically. This is likely to explode in the next decade and a half, with a projected 2.2 trillion e-invoices to be exchanged by 2035. [1] Businesses must embrace this part of digital disruption or risk being unable to compete in the digital marketplace. However, some businesses are concerned about what they perceive to be the risks of einvoicing, which is holding them back from achieving the cost savings and efficiency improvements on offer, according to MessageXchange.

John Delaney, managing director, MessageXchange, said, “Einvoicing can save businesses significant amounts of money. For example, according to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), an e-invoice costs around one-third of the cost of a paper or PDF invoice. [1] Multiplying this by the number of invoices a company processes each month and each year and the costs or savings can mount up very quickly. Unfortunately, some organisations remain reluctant to embrace einvoicing due to the perceived risks. However, it’s important to be aware that the benefits far outweigh the risks and, with a strategic approach, it’s possible to derisk einvoicing.”

MessageXchange has identified five perceived risks around einvoicing as well as ways to overcome those risks:

1. Disruption
Invoicing is such a highly valuable business function that any disruption, error, or delay can cause significant issues and costs. Many business decision-makers worry that any disruption in the process could be costly. However, by working with an expert partner, it’s possible to get an einvoicing system up and running in just days, with benefits following almost immediately. Einvoicing can help organisations get paid sooner by reducing the manual processes associated with generating and sending invoices, chasing payments, and recording completed transactions.

2. Manual processes
When einvoicing becomes compulsory or mandated by customers or governments, organisations that are slow to adopt digital systems may find their accounts receivable teams manually entering information into buyers’ systems. This takes time, which costs money, and opens the process up to significant risk due to the possibility of human error.

3. Customer service
If an organisation adopts einvoicing to the exclusion of other methods, it could preclude some customers from doing business with that organisation. Therefore, it’s essential to bring customers along with the change. This means demonstrating the value of the solution to them and making it as easy as possible for them to get on board. The user experience in einvoicing is strong for customers, who can self-serve and connect more strongly with the brand. Getting einvoicing wrong, however, could potentially damage customers’ view of the brand, so it’s important to consider this risk and mitigate it. A knowledgeable einvoicing partner can help ensure the customer experience is positive.

4. IT burden
An IT department without experience in einvoicing could potentially create a roadblock to successful use of einvoicing. Therefore, it’s important to work with a partner that can deliver solutions that are reliable and comply with global standards. For example, compliance with the PEPPOL standard that has been adopted around the world is essential to reduce the risk posed by non-compliant systems.

5. Local knowledge
Einvoicing solution providers located outside of Australia may not have a clear understanding of the Australian marketplace such as ATO requirements. It’s important to choose a provider that is located in Australia and understands the Australian marketplace, provides strong security, and can set up a comprehensive einvoicing solution in less than a day, minimising disruption and delivering faster time to value.

John Delaney said, “Einvoicing is a digital transformation initiative that companies need to embrace sooner rather than later. Very soon, organisations that don’t offer einvoicing could begin to struggle to build strong customer relationships. By contrast, organisations with a strong einvoicing solution can leverage it to create better relationships with their customers, growing their business and thriving well into the future.”

About Author

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PASA (Procurement and Supply Australasia) is the leading provider of information, education and networking opportunities to procurement professionals throughout Australia and New Zealand. PASA supports the largest community of engaged procurement stakeholders in the region, through its renowned series of events, publications, training, awards and PASA CONNECT membership network. PASA is a trading name of BTTB Marketing Pty Ltd. BTTB Marketing has operated under the BTTB, CIPSA Conferences and PASA names for over twenty years. https://procurementandsupply.com/

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