e-Invoicing Mandates Provide Perfect Opportunity to Automate AP

Blog title: e-Invoicing Mandates Provide Perfect Opportunity to Automate AP

The rise of global electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) mandates flooding the market also provides an opportunity to look at other areas of the business that might need a little updating, too. With its quick time-to-value and short project implementation time paired with its immediate relation to going digital with your invoices, it’s a clear step to consider in collaboration with any e-invoicing endeavors you may be taking. 

How prepared do you feel about your organisation’s invoicing process? Are you ready to make the internal changes necessary to be compliant with all the mandated changes?  There’s understandably a lot to take into consideration, a lot to remember, and a lot to cover as these mandates sweep across the globe. Here’s a few checkpoints to consider as you’re preparing for the switch.

4 Questions to Check Your e-Invoicing Mandate Compliance Readiness

1. Do you already use e-invoicing for receiving invoices?

If the answer is “yes,” check to see if your current AP solution can receive and process the permitted formats for the mandates that affect you. If not, discuss with your vendor or research e-invoicing and AP automation vendors that are planning to become an official partner for the given mandate.

If the answer is “no,” get an understanding of your current invoice landscape and the number of suppliers which will be subject to e-invoicing. Analyse the amount of invoice formats you cover today then research vendors who cover e-invoicing and AP automation.

2. Do you already use an Accounts Payable Automation solution to streamline invoice processing?

If “yes,” check if your existing AP Automation provider can also cover the e-invoicing part and plans to offer compliance with the mandate. If not, ensure that your chosen e-invoicing partner can produce the e-invoicing formats required by your existing AP Automation solution.

If “no,” now is the best time to also review your internal invoice processes and plan your AP automation initiative. This way, the mandate not only benefits the government, but also your finance team. (For more information on this, see the next section.)

3. Do you already use e-invoicing for sending invoices?

If that’s a “yes” for you, then check with your system/IT department if your current AP or e-invoicing solution can generate and send the permitted formats.

If it’s a “no,” figure out how many invoices you send annually and the number of customers you are sending invoices to. See which ones are subject to e-invoicing or e-reporting. And again, analyse the amount of invoice formats you cover today. Finally, make sure you choose a vendor who covers sending compliant e-invoices.

4. Lastly, are you capable of archiving electronic invoice documents?

If “yes,” check with your system/IT department if your current archiving solution can process and store the permitted formats.

If “no,” look for a vendor that covers multiple geographies for compliant archiving with one solution, to keep your tech stack manageable. Many e-invoicing providers also offer compliant archiving solutions, make sure to add them to your requirements list.

So, why is now the best time to adopt or upgrade your AP solution?

I get it. It seems like amid all the other things going on with global compliance that now is not the time to implement an additional solution. However, the rise of mandatory e-invoicing creates the ideal opportunity to digitise and automate all your AP processes at the same time. This leads to fast-time-to-value as the project overall is quick in comparison to a full procure-to-pay (P2P) implementation. And in volatile environments like those we see today with inflation, labor market shortage, and recessions, it’s a quick win.

Here’s some proof. In a recent Ardent Partners’ report, it was revealed that two-thirds of all businesses surveyed view AP as either “very” or “exceptionally” valuable to the enterprise. This is doubled from how it was viewed six years ago, meaning this trend in the value found in AP Automation (and specifically leading AP Automation solutions) is one that should continue to rise in importance

This goes to show that AP is repeatedly proven to provide true value to organisations by “developing and producing actionable intelligence and insights that can be used to support supply chain resiliency, positively impact working capital, and improve the bottom line.”