Trends of E-invoicing for 2015

In a recent Paystream Advisors report, it was noted that the primary trends and motivations behind the adoption of E-invoicing for 2015 included lower labor costs, a decrease in processing costs, a reduction in invoicing errors, and faster approval timelines. The 200 individuals surveyed were employed in many different industries, compiling data reflecting current attitudes towards the usage of AP automation.

The report also discusses the obstacles still hindering widespread adoption of this kind of technology, suggesting a range of viable and practical solutions. Paystream’s focus on the motivations of suppliers to adopt a payables automation process, is an interesting perspective that is largely overlooked.

When choosing to use AP Automation, one must consider:

The Advantages of Accounts Payable Automation

For suppliers electronic invoicing offers many benefits; ranging from quicker financial transactions, (again) a marked reduction in errors, and in increase in overall efficiency. Plus, there is also the chance to take advantage of improved accounts reconciliation and stronger ties with clients and customers.

Making the Transition to Electronic Invoicing

While the advantages outlined above are now widely recognized, the reality is that accounts payable automation is still only utilized by a small proportion of the market. There are various reasons for this, not least the initial expense associated with establishing an integrated electronic invoicing solution.

However, this problem can be solved with a gradual transition from an older system to one which incorporates accounts payable automation – rather than a complete break between the two. Once again, there are many ways to do this and a handful of the most viable methods are as follows; online portals, email extraction, mail-room services, and integrated scanning.

Tackling the Obstacles Hindering Adoption

In previous years, cost was always the first answer when companies were asked about their anxieties concerning electronic invoicing. However, this is a situation which has changed rapidly, primary as a result of the development of cloud based services and resources.

While cloud based tools have made the integration of e-invoicing much less costly, there is still a major obstacle in the form of supplier intolerance. If suppliers are unwilling to invest in electronic invoicing solutions, the system they think will not work or be ineffective.

Learning How to Integrate Invoicing Systems

The successful implementation of accounts payable automation may be, at least partially, reliant on the tolerance and investment of suppliers, but they are not the only ones who have to work to make sure that the system is a productive and worthwhile addition to a company. To realize this goal, there must be a clear and practical implementation strategy in place.

Predicting the Future of Electronic Invoicing

There is no doubt that e-invoicing solutions will continue to develop and expand across a wide range of different industries over the next 5-7 years, even if the pace of adoption has been slower than initially predicted.

In fact, it is this sluggish pace of adoption which is the key issue right now, rather than whether or not the transition holds much value; after all, the question of whether or not accounts payable automation is a worthwhile investment has been answered many times over.

Finding Cohesive Solutions for All Parties

It is the obstacles still standing in the way of AP automation adoption which companies need to turn their attentions to, as the 2015 report makes clear. For the benefit of suppliers, there needs to be a move away from e-invoicing solutions which offer cost reductions and streamlined operations to buyers only.

This means structuring electronic invoicing systems in a way which contributes to all parties; not just the top levels. In a word, solution developers need to understand that, in order to install and successfully operate a high quality internal e-invoicing framework and B2B network, the resources used have to promise added value to all who invest in them.

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