There’s only one way to reach 100% electronic invoicing

Meet Sandra. Like many small accounts teams, she’s pretty sure she has the best system for managing her business’s accounts possible. A little bit of coding, a little bit of Sage and a Filemaker subscription tie into a process she has honed over the last twenty years to output nice clean PDF invoices that she can email to the businesses she works with.

The company does millions of Euros of revenue across several large clients but this system has evolved deftly over the years and scaled well enough for Sandra. Sure sometimes she hears from companies they work with who have adopted new systems but she doesn’t care.

Over the years, many of these large clients have tried to get her to adopt electronic invoicing but why should she? Suddenly she needs to change her process AND now she has to pay to do so as well? It’s just not going to happen.

For now, everything works, the job gets done and life is good.

Challenges like Sandra aren’t going to go away overnight. Even when you have the best onboarding processes for suppliers in the business (and your product doesn’t require a complicated ‘change management’ process or increased costs), we may catch her one day but it’s not going to happen overnight. And there are an astounding number of Sandras in the world.

So what do we do?

The solution has to come from the application of innovative technology. If you’re an enterprise putting in place a new e-invoicing solution, you don’t want to wait years for your partners like Sandra to catch up. What really matters is that once her PDF invoices in their excitingly bespoke format and comic sans font hit your organization, they become electronic and in a format your system can understand without you having to do anything.

But nobody can do that, can they? Using the most advanced OCR you’ll ever see and a neat mechanic that will remember your suppliers details for future interactions, we can. Suppliers submit their invoice however they want, we interpret it and confirm the details with them and that’s it. There’s no better way to help the businesses you work with start their e-invoicing journey.

Their processes don’t have to change. There’s no cost. Sandra can keep living life as she has been and if she chooses to upgrade her processes, it’ll be because she wants to and because she has started to see the value first hand — not because anyone’s forcing her to. And on your end, you see the exact same high quality e-invoice as if she has integrated her entire finance system or entered it manually.

Of course, they can sign up for an account if they wish — and with it’s beautiful design, easy of use and lack of off-putting pricetag, Tradeshift might just be enough to turn the head of even Sandra. But if not then there’s simply no easier (or other) way to reach that elusive figure of 100 electronic invoices received.

True ROI on e-invoicing is here if you want it. The challenge is solved. If you have the right team, the right technology and the right approach, you can finally advance your strategy beyond onboarding and start to ask the real exciting question:

What’s next?


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3 Comments


  1. You end you article with “What’s next?” and I guess that Sandra is asking the same ,to the tune of “now I have submitted my invoices in the format of my or your choice will I actually get paid”
    einvioce only speeds up the delivery of invoices to customers it dose not guarantee that invoices are approved for payment on time or at all , einvoice in only 1 very small element of the whole purchase & pay process.

  2. Or even better still, see how Sandra used an innovative eInvoicing solution to drive real AP automation (not just dumb data delivery) for small AND large suppliers, then get recognised by your peers for doing just that.

    See http://www.ob10.com/OB10Blog/post/2012/10/25/Recognising-an-outstanding-contribution.aspx

  3. Thank you for your comment, John. You’re right (even thought that was not the point of this post) and at Tradeshift we’re doing a number things to address the getting paid issue for the small business. That’s a whole separate story.

    One way is our Instant Payments solution which allows small businesses to get their money immediately. We’ve had that for more than year now and others are now trying to catch up.

    See more here: http://tradeshift.com/enterprise/products/#instant_payments

    Troels Feodor Nielsen
    Tradeshift

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