May 5, 2016 Last updated September 18th, 2018 1,921 Reads share

4 Electronic Invoicing Challenges That You Need To Overcome For Seamless AP Automation

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The future of financial transactions is unequivocally electronic invoicing. With the benefits and features it brings to the table, we can safely assume that this new trend is going to form the next generation design for financial transactions. Companies and business structures are adapting to electronic invoicing to add safety, simplicity, and preference to their financial processes.

However, it is not all roses. There are a few hurdles that you need to jump over to assure accurate implementation and get the desired results. Yes, there are challenges. But that shouldn’t discourage you because with this detailed information about possible difficulties we have brought you the solutions too. So, let us study these challenges closely and note down the solutions.

Before going through the challenges, let us take a quick look at the benefits of e-invoicing. Just to appreciate why you should work through these problems.

Benefits:

  • Fast error correction/reduction of human error

  • Cash flow improvement

  • Reduced labor costs

  • No more missing invoices

  • Tracking and enforcing compliance and terms

A complete business improvement is what e-invoicing brings to the table for us. So, the faster you can handle the challenges the better it is for your company. And here is how you should go about it.

#1. Bringing Partners On-Board

E-invoicing is clearly the best option for businesses. But, you still might get into problems while convincing your partners about the benefits of e-invoicing. Despite all the case studies, and pulling data from various authentic resources on invoicing benefits, you could still face some not so agreeable partners.

Do not get confused, your presentation was great. The real reason behind the hesitation of your partners could be either the switching process itself or the doubt if the new system will be efficient enough to manage a huge number of clients. It is normal for your partners to think like that since they haven’t tested the new system themselves.

To solve this problem, you can explain to your partners how e-invoicing solution providers offer manuals, tele-sessions, and workshops for quick and comprehensive training. You can also focus on the impressive response rate of your service provider to re-assure your partners. But, to present such options and solutions, you need to find a trusted service provider first, someone with great client support facilities. Researching a bit and closely comparing their response rate can help you select the right candidate for the job.

#2. Problems with Legal Compliance

Different countries and states have different legal views of e-invoicing. Diverse regulations often confuse companies about how they could use e-invoicing to deal with their domestic and global clients. It makes a lot of sense though. Why would someone use e-invoicing if it doesn’t allow them to conduct business overseas?

In such situations, you need to find a service provider who can take care of the compliance requirements for you any way they see fit. Once you, as a client of the e-invoicing solution providers, get the guarantee on legal compliance management, you can rest easy and focus on other parts of the business. However, if you want to be extra sure, find out what kind of procedure your solution providers are thinking about as a method of authentication. Generally, it is an electronic signature. Why? For the following reasons:

  • It is highly accepted in cross-border transactions

  • Easily supported by most business software

  • Electronic signature is accepted in most of the countries that involve invoicing

  • Easy to store and recall for the e-invoicing service provider

Making sure that e-signature is a part of your e-invoicing solution can help you in getting better results.

#3. Changing Business Processes

E-invoicing initiates a change in the internal and the external business processes of a company. Such changes can confuse and often scare the operation managers about what will happen to their remittance detail. They need this information for payment reconciliation.

However, you would be surprised to know that e-invoicing solutions can collect payment information and make it available for the suppliers. These information fragments can be sent to the suppliers in formats supported by their accounting processes, to maintain convenience. So, with these services, suppliers can select whether they can use the information as an email or fax, or if direct integration with their operation processes will suit them better.

Plus, there is the issue of not getting enough support from suppliers when initiating external business changes. To deal with external change problems, business entities migrating to e-invoicing should try involving their supplier while internally changing the business processes. You can allow your suppliers to convert purchase orders (PO), extracting data from the PO itself. This facility will help suppliers to get faster payments, and allow you to bring them into the fold much easier.

#4. Technical Issues

E-invoicing needs to be completely integrated with your existing system to work well. Otherwise, there will be security, storage, and transaction based issues. In some cases, business entities or companies need to invest in new and better systems right away to reach the full potential of e-invoicing. The initial cost of the new technology often bothers business structures and appears as a hurdle or challenge in the way of implementing e-invoicing.

Before trying to solve this problem, you need to know that automating your AP can pay for itself in a few months. How? By drawing in more revenue, reducing workload, and increasing company productivity. So, it is a smart investment from every angle. But, in case your company cannot afford expensive new technology, then consider using SaaS delivery models and hosted solutions. These services can help you to keep the price down while you can implement the e-invoicing services successfully and keep receiving its benefits.

While some might be dubious in embracing e-invoicing solutions, the fear in most cases is redundant. There might be a few challenges, but there are always enough solutions to counter them. Going paperless is the way forward and integrating electronic invoicing into your business is the obvious way to go. Like any other successful transition you need a plan in place. And once you have it you can sit back and watch your business reaping the benefits of your wise decision.

Images: ”Close-up Of A Businessman Using Cellphone For Printing Invoice. Photographer owns copyright for images on screen  /Shutterstock.com

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Olivia Taylor

Olivia Taylor

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