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Expert opinion

Three reasons why your business needs a global e-invoicing provider

Friday 26 October 2018 | 08:13 AM CET

Tomasz Spłuszka, Comarch E-invoicing: By working with an E-invoice provider, businesses not only can adhere to regulations, but will also have more time to focus on growing their business

Rolling out a global e-invoicing platform is not a simple decision, given the implications it may have for the whole organisation. One of the most significant issues facing global businesses lies in ensuring compliance in invoicing. First and foremost, it can be complicated for businesses to invoice global projects, as each country they operate in may have different regulations.

For example, a UK-based business operating in Italy needs to comply with country regulations. Navigating this web of regulation can be often difficult, thus it`s especially important for a global business to work with a reliable invoicing platform and a provider that boosts organisations' efficiency and reliability.

Reason 1: Using a centralised platform to turn complexity into simplicity

A single, centralised platform allows businesses to manage the invoicing process in the most efficient and cost-effective way. The business should be able to use the platform across multiple countries and in a variety of languages. The best platforms not only allow businesses to operate in the local language but will process e-invoices per local regulations, giving its clients peace of mind.

By managing the e-invoicing process using one platform, the business should find it easy to send and receive invoicing data securely, and control access rights for people authorised to check on the invoices progress through the system. It should be easy to validate the content of the invoice and to ensure that it’s formatted according to local rules. Effective platforms streamline the entire accounts payable and accounts receivable process. It also provides instant information to the government authorities that require it.

Businesses need a global provider that can manage the complexity of global e-invoicing for them (including dealing with adhering to multiple countries’ regulations and VAT rules) and provide the business with a simple interface allowing them to invoice quickly and confidently.

Reason 2: Using a platform that integrates with all departments

The central platform works best when it automates the invoicing process and the associated supply chain. Data is generated at every stage of the accounts payable and accounts receivable process, and the platform must collect all of this data – from procurement to payment – if it’s to generate compliant and traceable invoices.

Global businesses need a comprehensive solution that not only works to collect data from external partners (such as suppliers and clients) but with internal departments too. This data needs to be integrated into the central system, allowing authorised users to see the entire history of the invoice whenever they need the information.

Features such as fast and secure access to all the data, the ability to optimise invoicing processes and to reduce the document handling costs incurred by the business are not just nice-to-haves – they are essential components of a good, efficient platform.

By collating data from across the business, the e-invoicing platform helps clients get a complete understanding of their invoicing process. It allows them to invoice efficiently, and with full confidence in the data’s fidelity.

Reason 3: The business benefits of switching to e-invoicing

No doubt, we’ll see more regulatory authorities making e-invoicing mandatory in the coming years, but there are good reasons for businesses to get ahead of the game and make the switch early.

Clients are more likely to pay e-invoices on time than with paper-based invoices. Not only can paper-based invoices get lost, but people can also make mistakes entering them into systems – both are significant factors in payment delays.

Studies have shown that UK businesses have saved significant time by switching to e-invoicing (for example, it takes them less time to respond to queries, and they spend less time fixing mistakes).

It also costs businesses less to produce an e-invoice. Billentis estimates that it costs businesses USD 30 for each paper-based A/P invoice, while e-invoices cost USD 2.25 each. Processing costs are also reduced; the EU estimates that e-invoicing leads to a reduction in processing costs of between 50-70%.

By switching to e-invoicing, organisations are future-proofing their systems. They aren’t just making the business more efficient today, but making it easier to integrate and use cloud and automated technology in the future – giving the business an edge over its competitors.

By partnering with the right global e-invoicing provider, businesses guarantee that they have the expertise, support and technology in place to modernise their invoicing process and manage business relationships in a fragmented regulatory environment.

What is more, businesses that embrace e-invoicing now will be giving themselves the time and space to adapt to a new way of operating. More governments are realising the advantages of e-invoicing when it comes to tax collection and overall business efficiency, and we’ll see more countries create e-invoice regulations in the coming years.

Global businesses often operate in a host of differing regulatory environments, but invoicing is one area that they can simplify. By working with an EDI e-invoice provider that’s familiar with local regulations, businesses can be confident that they are adhering to regulations and have more time to focus on growing their business.

About Tomasz Spłuszka

Tomasz Spłuszka graduated from Cracow University of Economics with specialisations in Economics and International Relations. He has been working for Comarch since 2006, when he began his career as Key Account Manager in the Business Services Unit. In 2007 he was promoted to Business Solution Manager in the Comarch E-invoicing Business Unit. At his current role as the manager of Comarch E-invoicing consulting department, he is responsible for international operations.

About Comarch E-invoicing

Managing your invoices can be a complicated task. With multiple formats coming from ever-changing sources, traditional software can fall short, leaving you with costly manual processing tasks. At Comarch, we design, build and operate E-invoicing solutions for some of the world’s largest brands, turning their complex processes into simple, cost reducing systems. From automated invoicing to faster data-flow, and error reduction to rapid access, our smart systems optimise your workflows – meaning you can concentrate time and money on what really matters.

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