E-invoicing is growing in popularity around the world, and in Australia and New Zealand in particular. With this is mind, now is the time to get started with e-invoicing because of both the benefits it brings and the financial incentives. Many businesses are also looking to improve their reporting and analytics through the use of e-invoicing.
Many organisations have been promoting discounts or faster payments for e-invoices. A prime example is the Australian federal government announcing five-day payments to suppliers who send e-invoices for contracts less than AUD $1 million. For businesses with poor cashflow, particularly small and SMEs, this can make a huge difference.
Even if SMEs aren’t able to secure guaranteed discounts or shorter payment terms, the average e-invoice is still processed in five days compared with 23 days for a regular invoice.
Another reason for SMEs to jump on e-invoicing is that it makes it easier to get financial data for more accurate decision making. It significantly improves the accuracy of data because of automation and reduced manual inputting.
With e-invoicing, SMEs can generate reports and analytics in an instant. It captures data such as the number of invoices sent and received, the value of invoices sent and received, and the number of invoices rejected and accepted. This can all be monitored in one platform and accessed from anywhere.
The efficiencies e-invoicing brings to both buyers and sellers is also a reason to act now and implement. These include:
- Cost savings. Studies have found that it costs $30.87 to process a paper invoice, $27.67 a PDF invoice, and only $9.18 to process an e-invoice.
- Easier invoice processing. e-invoicing removes the need for unnecessary data entry, with the invoice appearing in the software.
- Fewer errors. Errors are reduced because much of the manual data entry is removed.
- Exchange of invoices directly to and from software. This reduces the risk of invoices going astray, reduces the time to receive them, and reduces data entry errors.
- Security. Security measures, such as encryption at rest and in transit, are implemented throughout the e-invoicing network so data remains secure along the way.
Preparation is key when implementing e-invoicing. It’s key to consider how it works, whether new hardware or software will need to be purchased, whether additional resources will be needed, and whether the e-invoicing service provider or Access Point adheres to the business’s security policies. Addressing these questions up-front will ensure that SMEs can leverage its benefits sooner.