What does a solid e-invoicing solution look like?

Jun 26, 2017
  • finance
  • automotive
  • chemicals
  • SAP

Are paper invoices a thing of the past in your organization? Probably not. Despite the tremendous saving potential – estimated at more than EUR 65 billion per year according to EU figures – European countries are moving very slowly when it comes to adopting e-invoicing. And yet paper-based invoicing processes are undeniably laborious, error-prone and time-consuming. What’s more, paper invoices offer no fraud protection mechanisms at all, exposing your organization to huge risks. Some organizations might mistakenly believe that invoices in PDF format are a secure solution, but they are not; PDF documents can be edited relatively easily, meaning they are still vulnerable to fraud.

Efficient and secure

E-invoicing is the only truly secure alternative, since it guarantees the authenticity of both the origin and the content of invoices. The EU is working hard to remove the regulatory and technical barriers that prevent mass adoption of e-invoicing and to ensure that e-invoicing becomes the predominant method of invoicing by 2020. As part of this work, the European Commission has requested that the European Committee for Standardization draws up a European e-invoicing standard.

E-invoicing drives bottom-line savings – since manual interventions, printing and postal costs are eliminated – plus it simplifies and speeds up the payment process, paves the way to the real-time economy and improves customer relationships. Even more importantly, e-invoicing truly guarantees security and fraud protection.

What to look for when selecting a partner for e-invoicing?

When organizations start looking for an e-invoicing solution that best suits their needs, they will soon notice that there are plenty of solutions out there. So what to look for when selecting a partner for e-invoicing?

1. Security… what else?

Needless to say that security is a top priority. Electronic invoices must be exchanged in the most secure way. That is why digital signatures are key. They guarantee that both sender and receiver are acknowledged as trusted partners and confirm the authenticity of the document.

2. Flexibility at the core

Not all your customers are alike, so nor should your invoices be. Make sure your e-invoicing solution has flexibility and simplicity in its DNA. Features like personalized mail templates, allowing to edit the mail body according to the type of customer or invoice, straightforward integration options and ‘pay now’ buttons can play a huge role in optimizing the invoicing process and speeding up the payment cycle. Also, make sure that the solution is compliant with all the government regulations.

3. Robust reporting

E-invoicing solutions should include robust operational and analytical reporting capabilities that are configurable by the end-users. Electronic invoices should be easy to access and retrieve, while making sure that all archiving requirements are covered. Reporting, pdf files and attachments should be available on the spot through a single point of entry.

Do you want to unburden your organization and make your invoicing processes simply smart? Learn more about our vision on e-invoicing in this short video:


Author: Pieterjan De Schrijver. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.