E-invoicing products have become extremely popular among businesses and public sector organizations in the past few years, largely driven by demand for more comprehensively automated tools that streamline certain core functions of corporate operations. Automation has already had a massive and positive impact on the private sector, while the opportunities for companies to continue expanding upon their use of these tools have proven to be relatively boundless.
In many ways, the best functions to target with automation solutions at first are the most repetitive, mundane and time-draining, which means that firms can essentially remove these responsibilities from employees and instead use software to get the job done. This has a profound effect on employee engagement almost right from the start, as the tasks that simply no one wants to do are managed almost entirely by automated solutions, freeing staff members up for more strategic matters.
The advantages of automation software do not stop there either, as companies have also enjoyed fewer inaccuracies in reporting and an eradication of waste and inefficiency that tend to sprout up when staff members are responsible for manual data entry and similar tasks. At the end of the day, one would be hard-pressed to find an organization that could not at least partially benefit from e-invoicing and other automation technologies.
Certain industries have been noticeably more aggressive in their deployments of automation tools, while others are starting to wise up to the benefits – from both financial and operational perspectives – that come with these investments, further sending the market on an upward track. Likewise, while North American countries and many in Europe have already fully embraced e-invoicing software, other nations are doing so this year.
PYMNTS.com recently reported that several major players in the newspaper industry are beginning to leverage e-invoicing solutions and that they have already started to see improvements in the ebb and flow of accounts payable as a result. As a note, the source pointed out that these two newspapers have a combined 65,000 invoices from suppliers that they need to process each year, and this made both of them strong candidates for automated solutions.
The same types of advantages that have been well-known for years, including a reduction in reliance upon paper products that leads to more eco-friendliness, are already helping to boost the reception of these products among a wealth of different organizations. According to the news provider, some companies end up seeing roughly 50 percent reductions in the cost of processing invoices through these pieces of software, making for very high returns on investment.
Furthermore, a previous report from PYMNTS.com highlighted just how quickly e-invoicing investments are going up around the globe, citing research from Research and Markets that called for a compound annual growth rate of 23.3 percent between this year and 2018.
"The emergence of cloud-based solutions has enabled organizations to increase their efficiency and reduce the cost of setting up valuable IT infrastructure," the analysts wrote, as cited by the news provider. "The cloud-based model for e-invoicing offers a pay-per-use model, which provides cost-effective access to e-invoicing solutions to multiple users without any time and location constraints."
In the end, it has become clear that e-invoicing is stepping forward as the next generation of accounts payable and receivable.
More moves in legislation
Mexico and several other nations have been ramping up efforts to increase the clarity of regulations and guidance regarding e-invoicing rules for both their own agencies and members of the private sector. Shared Services Link recently reported that Italian lawmakers have now followed suit, putting forth a fresh set of guidance for business leaders to consider, with certain aspects relating to the formats and content included that tells the user what to expect.
According to the news provider, the Italian Tax Authority was especially focused on a few areas.
"There are three indispensable requirements that must endorse all electronic invoices; authenticity of origin, content integrity and readability," the source wrote. "As long as all three features are fulfilled from the moment of issue until the end of the safekeeping period (outlined in current legislation), electronic invoices will be considered legally acceptable."
Vendors will certainly have to take this into account when doing business with Italian firms, while companies should also consider incorporating some of this guidance into their provisioning strategies to ensure that they are getting the best possible products. After all, the whole point of incorporating e-invoicing solutions into the corporate strategy is to make matters clearer and more efficient for both the business itself and its clientele.
Remember, e-invoicing is an excellent first step into the large world of automation solutions, but there are plenty of other options that enterprises can consider when looking to boost the efficiency, productivity and accuracy of their organizations.