The benefits of e-Invoicing
Invoicing is a crucial phase within the order-to-cash process. The process of manually creating and sending invoices has many drawbacks and can have significant repercussions. For instance, research has found that 61% of late payments are due to incorrect invoices. Meanwhile, 11% of customers never receive their invoice in the first place. Manual processing of invoices is also costly and takes up a lot of time, due to creating the invoices and then waiting for them to be posted out, received by the customer and, eventually, paid. Fortunately, Onguard’s order-to-cash platform optimises this process with e-invoicing.
What is e-invoicing?
While e-invoicing may conjure up ideas of sending PDFs via email, this isn’t the case. In fact, sending PDF invoices is an unsafe practice. This method could present security issues as they are untraceable and susceptible to hacking – meaning changes could potentially be made to the bank details and go unnoticed.
Rather, e-invoicing provides a clear audit trail from the processing of the invoice to the digital delivery. This is a safe and trackable method of requesting payment, allowing organisations to follow the invoice from the sender to the recipient. For the recipient, this approach has the benefit of allowing them to pay their invoices digitally and directly in a secure manner, and provides them with access to real-time insights.
Benefits of implementing e-invoicing
E-invoicing offers both the business of origin, stakeholders and the recipient a wide range of benefits:
- Cost savings
For the sender, e-invoicing offers direct cost savings as it doesn’t require paper, printing, mailing or staffing and customers can be sent e-invoices in bulk.
Onguard’s CreditManager offers track and trace capabilities so businesses can see exactly how far along in the payment process an invoice is. As a result of this method, most businesses see a reduction of DSO as they can see when an invoice has been opened and paid. The traceability of e-invoices also helps to decrease the turnaround of issue management. This is because you can track the invoice and quickly see if the right one has been received, for example, and therefore easily resolve any associated issues.
- Ease of integration
Often, in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-government (B2G) industries, suppliers are required to submit invoices using a portal. In these situations, CreditManager can also be connected to those networks and all ERP systems to enable invoices to be processed in this way.
- Customer satisfaction
Further to this, a major benefit for businesses is that e-invoicing can improve customer satisfaction. The order-to-cash process is part of the customer journey and invoicing is a key touchpoint within this. E-invoicing allows organisations to optimise the point of contact by sending invoices by the recipients’ preferred channel, whether that’s WhatsApp, text or email. They can also be provided with different ways to pay, such as bacs or credit card payment. This will help to make the entire process much easier for customers and minimise friction throughout the customer journey.
- Works on a global scale
Lastly, e-invoicing can be a huge help for global companies that operate in different languages and currencies. By using Onguard’s software to integrate systems, invoices are easily made available in the local requirements, with changes such as currency made automatically. This makes it simple to manage the localisation process and operate on a global scale.
Advantages of e-invoicing for recipients
Those receiving e-invoices also see a number of benefit:
- Their incoming invoice streams are optimised
- It is easier to pay invoices; they are more accessible and require less effort from the recipient
- Working processes are accelerated due to the invoice archive being available 24/7 which means it’s possible to go back and access invoices at any time.
Additionally, this method allows for direct and transparent communication with the company. As a result, the customer knows exactly how any complaints are being handled. Additionally, Onguard enables companies to change invoices into the relevant format for the receiving party.
How does e-invoicing work with Onguard?
CreditManager allows all data from within the finance department, including invoices, to be fed into the one platform. By using the platform, all data can be accessed via one screen and invoices are sent out automatically. This allows users to get a complete overview of everything related to a customer – from outstanding invoices to any complaints that have been raised.
While some organisations may choose to continue using manual invoicing, at Onguard we can help to automate as much of the process as possible. For businesses, introducing e-invoicing will leave them with an optimised order-to-cash chain. In turn, this will lead to more efficient cash flow and enable them to build more durable customer relationships.