November 28 , 2018

Improving Accounts Receivable: How to Create a Futureproof Invoice Sending Process

by Accounts Receivable Optimization, Digitalization, Accounts Receivable Automation

How to transition efficiently to e-invoicing and digital invoice processes in your Accounts Receivable? This blog explains how to create futureproof invoice sending already today.

Accounts Receivable & Efficient Invoice Sending

I don’t need to convince you about the benefits of electronic invoicing, do I? Most organizations are well aware of the advantages that can be achieved by sending electronic invoices. E-invoices are faster and more reliable than paper or unstructured pdf invoices, and they enable cost and process efficiency and automation – both for the sender and the receiver of the invoice.

The question in many organizations isn’t to figure out why but how to transition to e-invoicing and digital invoicing processes. In a recent webinar on increasing Accounts Receivable efficiency, I asked the participants what is their biggest challenge when it comes to adopting digital transactions in the order-to-cash flow, such as electronic invoices. 40% of the participants answered that the biggest challenge is choosing the right approach and solution for sending e-invoices. 30% stated that understanding standards and formats hinders the adoption of digital invoice sending processes.


Is it possible to go 100% digital?

These answers are very descriptive of today’s business-to-business and business-to-government invoice markets. Although e-invoicing is expanding and standardization is ongoing in Europe and around the world, we are far from a digital age. The global invoicing volume is estimated to be around 400 billion invoices, of which only 36 billion invoices are electronic.

So, there’s still a lot of different formats in the invoice flows circling the globe, and the hassle with handling paper invoices is a reality in many Accounts Receivable departments. Although in more and more cases, e-invoicing is a requirement coming from the buyer to the supplier, the fact is that not all customers are ready to receive e-invoices. In fact, if you try to get all your customers to switch to receiving e-invoices at once, you’ll probably hit a wall. Thus, a solution for e-invoicing alone is not enough for today’s business.

In addition, the different practices in different countries create more requirements for the invoice sending process. For example, in some countries, a pdf invoice with structured XML data will count as an electronic invoice after the new EU directive mandates the public sector to receive and process electronic invoices. In the Nordics, on the other hand, pdf invoices won’t be accepted by governmental buyers. The rise of the real-time tax reporting in some countries means new demands for compliance not only for the invoice content but also for the route that it is sent in. And this is just mentioning the latest developments – it really can be a jungle of regulations.

But you don’t have to hold back on the digital transformation in your Accounts Receivable just because the world around you isn’t 100% digital yet.

A modern multichannel invoice sending service overcomes the complexities in your invoice flows and allows you to send invoices with a single, standardized, and electronic process while meeting the individual needs of your customers and the demands coming from regulations and law.


3 key benefits of multichannel invoice sending

Choosing multichannel invoice sending as a service (such as OpusCapita’s) makes it possible for you to improve your invoice sending processes without jeopardizing customer satisfaction. You can create a standardized, centralized, and highly automated invoice sending process, and still give your customers the choice to receive their invoices in whatever way they prefer.

We as the service provider take care of processing, enriching, and validating the invoice data from your ERP system. We ensure legal compliance, convert the data to the format your buyer prefers, and deliver it to them through the channel of their choice. It can be an e-invoice delivered through the PEPPOL network. Or a visualized PDF invoice with a digital signature via email. Or we can support your invoice sending even with the traditional print package with postage if needed. The entire process is documented, and all the invoices are archived for easy access.

  1. Reduce costs. Standardized and automated invoice sending process reduces manual work and the related inefficiencies and costs. Getting rid of paper and manual processes at your end helps you also avoid errors that can result in delays and even late payments.
  2. Improve visibility and strengthen cash flows. When you don’t waste time and effort on invoice handling and delivery, your invoices move faster, and you can also get paid faster. Having a standardized invoice sending process ensures better visibility of your receivables and a tighter control over your invoice flows.
  3. Ensure compliance. If you have operations and business partners in several countries, you don’t need to design different invoice sending processes to meet the characteristics of each market. The service provider takes care of validating your invoice data and converting it to whichever standard or format you need, ensuring legal compliance with local legislation.

Standardized and efficient invoice sending through a single connection lays the foundation for Accounts Receivable efficiency.

The next level of efficiency can be achieved by increasing automation in receivables allocation and bank account reconciliation. We’ll cover this in our next blog. In the meanwhile, you can watch a webinar recording on increasing Accounts Receivable efficiency or head out to our solution page to see how OpusCapita can help you make your invoice sending process smooth and compliant.

 

Matts Ek OpusCapita

Matts Ek
Product Manager, OpusCapita.

Matts has a long experience as business owner and product manager at OpusCapita and is extremely passionate about optimizing our customers invoice processes.

Read more blog posts about Accounts Receivable Optimization