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The Pros and Cons of E-Invoices

by Richard Pollina

June 9, 2022

If you are an organization, then your whole business depends upon the transaction in and out of your company. The official process of all these transactions is possible due to invoices. An invoice can be termed as a list of goods and services sent or provided, along with a statement mentioning the sum due for these. These invoices have been handled manually by employees since times when digitization was not in effect. However, now it is, and we are here to discuss it.

E-invoices are the thing that every company is looking for. If you want to get ahead of the competition, you would like to adopt this system. E-invoices may sound like everything that one might need, but it has their drawbacks, which you should also know about. If you are researching e-invoices and whether they are worth the effort of installing in your company, then you’ve come to the right place. You will have a much clearer picture of e-invoices and what advantages and disadvantages they offer after reading the whole article. Let’s first understand what e-invoices essentially are.

What are e-invoices?

E-invoices are invoices in electrical or digital form that allow you to share the same information between a supplier and a customer in an electronic format. However, they can’t be categorized just by this. Many confuse e-invoices to be scanned invoices to convert them into PDFs and other readable formats. However, that is not true. These PDFs and different types of documents are unstructured and do not qualify to be called e-invoices.

A more proper definition of e-invoices could be termed as it should contain all the relevant data from the supplier of resources in a certain format so that it can be integrated into the buyer’s AP or accounts payable system without needing the intervention of the buyer’s AP administrator. Therefore, E-invoices could be thought of as structured invoiced data issued using EDI or Electronic Data Interchange. 

Many advantages are provided to companies that adopt the system. So much so that companies start seeing the improvements in the first week of installing these systems. Apart from the company’s inner workings, customer relations also improve due to the flawless workflow of invoice processing. However, installing these systems could be a bit more overwhelming than one might want. This brings us to the article’s next section, the pros and cons of e-invoicing.

Advantages and the issues

Now that we have a good understanding of what e-invoices are and what they bring to the table. Let’s look at the benefits and issues with adapting the system. Starting with the benefits:

●    Advantages of e-invoices

E-invoices bring many benefits for every component related to the payment system, i.e., buyers, suppliers, and managers. 

●     Buyers

Buyers can enjoy reduced costs of processing invoices. The system’s accuracy is also on another level when compared to employees manually processing each invoice. The system helps increase AP productivity, allowing employees to focus on essential tasks.

●     Suppliers

Suppliers for your goods and services are happy, receiving faster and more timely payments. Their invoices are rejected less, and even if they are, precise reasons are mentioned and not just vague remarks which leave them clueless. Customer relationships are improved due to good business value and improved cash management.

●     Managers

Managers can get a good look at the internal working of the department due to improved visibility. Working capital is also optimized as the workload is decreased on the employees due to less manual work. Green initiatives are also met due to a paperwork reduction.

●    Disadvantages of e-invoices

Although the system seems perfect from a third perspective, it has some issues. First, for new companies they can prove to be a lot bigger:

●     Implementing an e-invoice solution

You will enjoy the benefits of e-invoices we mentioned in the previous section. However, all of that is after you can implement a good working e-invoice solution. Installing a good e-invoice solution is a complex process and requires you to carry in a lot of factors and take help from different parts of your business. 

●     Supplier/customer integration

You might enjoy receiving e-invoices; your supplier, on the other hand, might not. All suppliers will need to be on board for this e-invoicing system. You need to take care of many things like formats and such for the system to work efficiently.

Conclusion

E-invoices are shifting from being a luxury to a must-have. It will be a competitive need for companies in a few years. It provides many advantages and only poses problems in the initial stages. If you can cope with the initial stages of the system, you will be good to go.