Electronic trading and EDI have been around since the 1970s and the hard evidence shows that adopting e-invoicing can significantly reduce costs, improve processes and increase essential visibility. So why do only 20% of companies send invoices electronically? Also why are these organizations predominantly large ones?
Fundamentally there are three main barriers companies face when looking to adopt e-invoicing:
- Technical Change
Many e-invoicing solutions require the invoices to be produced in a different format to that of their existing billing system. Adoption would require costly and in some cases difficult changes to in-house technology.
- Process Change
On-line portals avoid the necessity of adopting new technology but require suppliers to post their invoices onto a 3rd party web site. This can mean adding complexity to the suppliers’ billing process and duplication of invoices.
Some e-invoicing hubs charge suppliers to send invoices. This may be acceptable for larger suppliers where the cost is small compared with the overall volume of business. However, for smaller organizations this is a significant additional cost that they have difficulty absorbing without increasing prices.
At last there is a solution, particularly for SMEs. Cloud Trade’s unique technology has dissolved these barriers by enabling suppliers to send their invoices as PDFs, a standard output format from most accounting systems. Cloud Trade reads the data embedded within the PDF as created by the originating billing system and converts this into an e-invoice format accepted by the recipient. Using Cloud Trade the recipient pays for each document received: it could not be easier.
“E-invoicing has always been thought of as something for the big boys. We have been able to make e-invoicing accessible to companies of all sizes. They do not have to change their technology, processes or incur prohibitive costs. Benefits are seen from day one. Our unique, non-disruptive way of sending and receiving business documents is not just applicable to invoices. We can process any type of business document using the same technology.” (David Cocks, CEO of Cloud Trade)
By Greg Lewis, Chief Solutions Office for Cloud Trade Americas, Inc. in Franklin, Tennessee.
Greg Lewis has over 25 years of supply chain experience and frequently consults with clients on implementing cloud-based document delivery solutions in their financial process systems to eliminate paper and the manual processes associated with it.