Many companies wanting to implement an e-invoicing solution, are faced with the same question: Where do you start from? The principle that good planning ensures the desired results, holds true in this case as well. Read on to find some suggestions for the proper planning of your e-invoicing project.
All senior managers are interested in tangible results and, of course, the profits generated by each decision made. Therefore, the first step is preparing a business case based on ROI. Your e-invoicing solution provider can offer significant help to this end, providing you with reliable financial estimates based on their experience. The key point though, in order to build the necessary consent, is ensuring you have come up with a mutually accepted method for calculating the average cost of processing e-invoices. Without that, you cannot accurately determine whether your e-invoicing project will offer you the financial results you’re looking for.
Plan your e-invoicing project based on the number of invoices you can automatically process and the countries where the invoiced parties operate. You should take international operations into consideration, even if you have currently decided to focus on the local market, and consider expanding gradually at a later stage. You can start with certain e-invoices based on specific criteria, such as the invoice type, the customer category, and so on. Later on, you can gradually increase the number of invoices that you process automatically or with the least possible human intervention.
For practical reasons, you may need to use both printed invoices and e-invoices during a transitional period, so you’ll have to make sure that auditors (for example) will be able to distinguish between electronic and non-electronic processes. During the initial stages of the implementation, the printed format will be necessary for some types of invoices due to complicated internal processes. Some companies accept and issue printed invoices as well for the same products and services, for a small time period. Of course, this does not resolve any issues, but rather doubles the workload and potentially increases the expenses instead of reducing them, as was originally intended.
The role of EDI
In order to benefit from the significant advantages offered by automation, your solution should include some form of EDI, which requires specialized IT resources with the necessary know-how, or the contribution of a specialized provider that will come up with the EDI solution.