The electronic invoice is a source of many advantages for companies that have taken the step of digitalization. In parallel with the savings achieved following the adoption of electronic invoicing, the company’s management processes are also optimized in depth. The digitization of organizations is currently a sine qua non condition for maintaining their competitiveness. In this context, investing in an electronic invoicing solution is now an essential step in the digital transition of companies.
Before detailing the various advantages, a brief explanation of what the electronic invoice is is necessary. An electronic invoice has the same legal value as a paper invoice. An invoice is considered “electronic” when it meets the following 3 conditions:
- It must be built in a standardized electronic format: EDIFACT, UBL, XML, X12, etc.
- Its routing must be done by means of electronic solutions: exchange from machine to machine.
- It must meet criteria of integrity and authenticity. Thus, the invoice may be subject to several additional procedures of the electronic signature type.
The electronic invoice in 10 advantages:
- Lower direct costs: The elimination of paper and the steps of printing, franking, sending and archiving of paper invoices leads to a drop in the direct costs linked to paper flows.
- Reduced carbon footprint: The adoption of the electronic invoice favors the reduction of the carbon footprint thanks to the elimination of the paper support and the reduction of CO2 emissions caused by the transport of the invoices.
- Automation and integration of reception processes: Beyond the dematerialization of the invoice, the challenge is also to allow the automation and integration of the processes for receiving invoices. The electronic nature of the document makes it possible to integrate it directly into your accounting system in order to proceed with its accounting and to initiate its payment almost automatically.
- Increased productivity: Employees of the accounting and administrative department are relieved of certain tasks thanks to the automation of invoicing processes, which allows them to be assigned to other tasks, whose added value is highly superior.
- Increase in efficiency and elimination of data entry errors: The integration of invoicing processes eliminates human errors related to input errors. Electronic invoices can be automatically generated and transmitted from supplier to customer. Thus, the majority of the economic advantages observed do not lie in the savings made in printing and sending the invoice, but indeed in the automation and integration of the process between the commercial partners (of the issuance of the purchase order to final payment).
- Reduced shipping and payment time: Delivery times (and therefore payment) of invoices are significantly reduced. The efficiency of the procedures for sending and receiving invoices, their immediacy, the elimination of errors in the generation and posting of invoices contribute to reducing invoice payment times.
- Enhanced sending security: Invoices are sent via private networks or specific protocols (AS2, SFTP, Web Services, RVA (Value Added Network), etc. In addition, electronic signature mechanisms guarantee the integrity, origin and authenticity of invoices.
- Agile, secure and legal archiving: The exchange of electronic invoices requires the implementation of an agile, secure and legal archiving system. The original documents are signed and kept for the legally established period. All of these mechanisms facilitate access to archived documents and reduce archiving costs.
- Disappearance of the risk of loss of documents: The risk of losing a paper document is eliminated thanks to secure archiving and online consultation of documents.
- First step towards digitization: The implementation of electronic invoicing is a first step towards the digitization of companies. Electronic invoicing solutions are scalable. As soon as the EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) solution is deployed, the potential of the solution is infinite (dematerialization of purchase orders, delivery notes, etc.).