With large-scale implementations of Accounts Payable (AP) and Accounts Receivable (AR) software and systems, accounting processes have become increasingly more efficient. Yet these departments and their leaders still remain dissatisfied with the current state of invoicing and document transfer. So what’s the cause?
Even with the use of ERP and EDI systems, there’s still too much paper and manual processing, filing, and paper matching to achieve any kind of efficiency and savings. With over 60% of companies now using e-invoicing, businesses are trending towards technology-based solutions and these companies are finding them in the cloud (2014 eInvoicing Benchmark Report, PayStream). Cloud-based and software as a service solutions are a far more effective means of collaboration. Files or documents can now be easily shared and accessed among thousands of trading partners and streamline any common businesses processes.
The move to electronic services doesn’t always address the integrity of data flowing through the system and costly company resources are being used to manage this issue. Bad invoices are now being delivered faster.
So how do you resolve these problems? There are several great tools out there to ensure the best information gets to its final destination. The goal is to invoice not only faster, but smarter.
What a smart solution should do.
Companies strive for maximum efficiency with the lowest possible cost. Those companies that do it well are the ones who not only survive economic instability but thrive because they are in a position to do so. When done right, smart invoicing can deliver process efficiency gains, capture of early pay discounts, and provide a significant impact on working capital. Without a doubt, smart invoicing can help AP and AR organizations take their performance and efficiency to the next level but identifying the right solution is essential to its success.
Your e-invoicing service/software should be customizable and flexible for your business needs. Cortex can deliver up to 100% automation and touchless processing, with your company choosing the right level of automation for you. This scalability ensures your business receives the best solution at the right cost for your business.
So let’s look at some components of smart e-invoicing solutions and why they’re important for your business.
Fast e-invoicing solutions are great, but without the correct information, the time spent transferring a document could be a waste of yours and your trading partner’s time. Some solutions (including the Cortex Network) allow buyers to set a list of credentials and requirements when completing an invoice to send for approval and payment. This is one of the most important components of a smart e-invoicing solution. Having a set of validations eliminates error and rework so that only correct and complete invoices reach the buyer’s system allowing your business to get paid more quickly. Not only is the amount of rejected invoices significantly reduced but your invoices are no longer waiting in limbo. The response is immediate and visible.
One of the biggest challenges that suppliers face is the ability to manage multiple e-invoicing or AP platforms/software. With several Buyers (each of whom may require them to use a certain invoicing solution) it becomes difficult and time consuming to enter information into several systems. This is why using a consolidated portal is critical if you want to maintain efficient and effective invoicing practices.
Cortex has the ability to plug into multiple ERP and invoicing systems to give you access to all of your Buyer’s systems via one portal. Not only does it consolidate work or effort but it’s also easily accessible with any internet connection as opposed to being hosted on a desktop. This can significantly reduce the time and money spent accessing systems and invoicing your trading partners.
Improved visibility and control allows the finance organization the ability to reduce the amount of touch points and mitigate any risks or errors in the company’s invoice approval process.
The Cortex Workbench is a fantastic example of this. Via the Cortex portal, any invoice can be viewed, approved (or rejected), and paid in minutes with complete visibility into the invoice’s status at all times. This automation eliminates duplicate payments, physical routing of paper documents, and lost invoices. Essentially the Cortex Workbench provides a visible ‘paper trail’ that is automatically updated with zero additional storage or management costs.
Smart e-invoicing isn’t just a focus on digitization of AR and AP practices; it’s an effective and efficient means of driving collaborative commerce practices. With the right tools in place, your company can streamline processes, thus improving employee and corporate performance and boosting profits, which puts your business in an advantageous spot over the competition who aren’t smart about invoicing.