What is really the importance of e-invoicing to improve company’s O2C process?

May 20, 2014  |  Adoption, Electronic Invoicing, Europe

What is really the importance of e-invoicing to improve company’s O2C process?Years and years we have talked about e-invoicing as very important tool in optimising company’s financial processes. It has historically been more important in P2P side because the saving options are bigger in there; but also in O2C process, especially in B2C business.

E-invoicing seems to be a commoditised offering – less and less service providers are talking only about e-invoicing  and everybody are trying to have wider offering. OpusCapita has conducted a market Survey in March 2014 in order to find out the importance of e-invoicing compared to other topics inside company’s O2C process. Finance people from 450 companies in Nordic were interviewed.

Where do companies see room for improvement in O2C process?

As an outcome of this survey it turned out that most important topics are minimizing of overdue invoices and maximizing customer satisfaction in invoicing process.  So in peaceful economic situation where nobody is growing fast, it is important to collect existing receivables as customer loyalty is probably considered to be a cornerstone for that activity. As improving DSO and receivable turnover were also hot topics on finance people’s table, it once again shows that second half of O2C (to-cash) is currently more important compared to the first (order-to). Minimizing the amount of manual work inside order management, invoicing and receivable collection process were also mentioned – therefore we could say that companies are looking value in automating the processes to effectively collect outstanding receivables.

E-invoicing was also mentioned - not as a separate topic but as a thing to be improved. Most of the companies were not happy with their current e-invoicing penetration rate and saw that as one of the thing what could be improved most. The amount of different systems inside ordering and invoicing process was also brought out as one of the thing having biggest improvement potential.

E-invoicing supporting the business

How to summarize all that? For me the results tell that existing infrastructure is enough for the companies – companies are eager to utilize it as it is. They don’t see the need to have new tools, different standards and infrastructures available to increase e-invoice penetration – current selection is good enough.

So e-invoicing is and will be there to support the business. It is not a strategic topic on its own but it is an operational topic to improve company’s O2C process. Let’s just concentrate on quantity – increase e-invoice penetration in an operational way and not by implementing new tools and ways of working.

 

Ahti Allikas
Product Director, Automation Solutions
OpusCapita


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