What is Enterprise Level Electronic Invoicing?

Business leaders review their finance analytics dashboards

If you’re looking into accounts payable automation, you’ve likely heard the term “electronic invoicing” or “e-invoicing”. But what exactly is e-invoicing? Many people incorrectly assume that “e-invoicing” equates to “emailed invoices”—but enterprise level electronic invoicing actually entails receiving the invoice through various channels. Through artificial intelligence and machine learning technology, invoices are automatically digitized and turned into e-invoices. With this high-level automation of invoice processing, payables no longer has to spend hours keying in invoices manually.

Methods of Submission

With enterprise level electronic invoicing, suppliers are able to submit their invoices in a variety of different forms. Typically, these forms include online entry, file upload, email, and even paper invoices. If suppliers decide to submit through online entry or file upload, accounts payable receives the invoice online in the form of an electronic invoice. If suppliers submit paper or emailed invoices, the invoices are sent directly to the automation solution and then imaged and digitized in order to convert them into electronic invoices. These electronic invoices are immediately available to both accounts payable and suppliers through an online portal, where invoice information is permanently stored to the cloud.

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

Many automation solutions boast their usage of “artificial intelligence,” but how exactly does artificial intelligence function within accounts payable automation? In an enterprise solution, artificial intelligence and OCR technology are used to read information from an invoice, no matter the format, and convert that information into an electronic invoice and upload it to the cloud. With machine learning technology, the system learns from a combination of updated guidelines or corrections and historical data in order to build a confidence level over time. With this confidence level, the system can more easily predict and recognize information on invoices, meaning fewer exceptions for AP to deal with in the long run.

Enhanced Visibility

With enterprise level electronic invoicing, accounts payable and suppliers can easily access their invoices and view their status at any time through an online portal. AP can make payments, take advantage of discounts, and deal with supplier inquiries and disputes directly on invoices. Additionally, any interactions that occur on invoices are recorded and stored permanently in the cloud, creating better visibility for reviewing interactions. With this high level of visibility, there is no longer a need for AP to answer endless calls and field supplier inquiries.

A Solution Ideal for Enterprise

Automation solutions that claim to be ideal for enterprise businesses should offer an array of features and high-level visibility to their customers. If automation solutions don’t offer, at the very least, various forms of invoice submission, advanced AI technology, and comprehensive visibility, then they likely are not equipped to handle the complexity of an enterprise business’s invoice process. There is so much more to enterprise level electronic invoicing than just emailed invoices, so when considering accounts payable automation, it’s essential to closely examine what a solution really has to offer when it comes to electronic invoicing.

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