The term E-invoicing or electronic invoicing gets thrown around a lot these days in the business world but what does it mean exactly? What is electronic invoicing and why should we care? Electronic invoicing, as the name implies, is paperless invoicing. That is all fine and dandy but what’s so bad about paper? Let’s take a look at some of the current issues with traditional paper invoicing process as they relate to the AP department.

Paper invoices and purchase orders are both the staple and bane of most AP departments. Lost, duplicate, and incomplete invoices plague the AP department. Late payments which strain vendor relationships can cause executives to become frustrated. Routing an invoice often involves multiple people needing the same invoice, creating many opportunities for human error to occur, not to mention the tedious process of checking invoices against PO’s and putting that information into your bookkeeping software. Oh, and let’s not forget the additional effort and frustrations associated with audits.

If reading this is causing you to have an anxiety attack then chances are you’ve been victim of some of these problems. Well relax, Electronic invoicing is the solution. Electronic invoicing is a method of invoicing in which most of the aspects of the AP department are electronically automated, from invoice submission to payment. Your vendors submit invoice forms over a web portal. This same portal can allow you to review, code, approve or deny any invoice you receive.

E-invoicing software in an automation solution like iPayables InvoiceWorks will track and update PO information, and automatically match invoices against the PO.  The same payables automation will automatically route non-PO invoices for approval based on your unique controls and integrates with your current accounting software and processes. Customers and vendors can easily track and view any invoice with just the click of a button. This makes e-invoicing a perfect solution for auditing and archiving problems. All invoices are securely stored on a server for easy access through the web application. Approved/matched invoices are either fed back into your payables system for payment, or be paid automatically by the payables automation solution once they are approved. A process that used to take weeks or even months can now take a day with e-invoicing.

Maybe this sounds like a big change, but the best part is, it’s getting easier every day. No, you don’t have to be a tech wizard to eliminate the nightmare of paper process. Once you decide to go live with e-invoicing the solution provider can walk you through everything from implementation, to vendor adoption, to support.

Electronic invoicing is an exciting technology that can greatly reduce the costs and hassles of the AP department. Paper in the business world is becoming obsolete. Information can be exchanged in seconds’ online and electronic invoicing aims to employ this technology to improve business process. E-mail has all but replaced snail mail in the business world and E-invoicing will do the same in the AP department.

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