E-invoicing is dead. Long live e-invoicing! And the paper invoice?

It was quite a shock for Johan Kennis (RICOH), when noticed the title of the post by Matthew Stammer of Taulia, stating: “Is e-invoicing dead?”.

he almost immediately wanted to write a reaction, proving that Matthew was wrong. Because as no other service provider RICOH knows that e-invoicing is very much alive and kicking. But after he read the entire blogpost, he noticed that he fully agreed with Matthew Stammer.

In essence Matthew Stammer writes that he looks at services like e-invoicing and dynamic discounting from the perspective of value creation. And from that perspective he wonders whether e-invoicing as a stand-alone initiative provides enough value creation to spend a lot of time and money on it. With a cleE-invoicing is dead. Long live e-invoicingar example he demonstrates that dynamic discounting creates more value than e-invoicing can.

So does this make e-invoicing redundant, dead? No, because e-invoicing is exactly the enabler needed to unlock innovative services like dynamic discounting and supply chain finance.

Or as Johan Kennis states it: “E-invoicing is very much alive. E-invoicing helps to structurally create maxium value in your relation with your suppliers. That is quite different than to force your suppliers to the lowest possible prices and longest payment terms. Those kinds of KPI’s are dead. Long ago”

The paper invoice is dead. Long live the papier invoice?

Interestingly, at almost the same date we received an article by Readsoft and Bruno Koch, with this title: “Don’t believe the hype: E-invoicing by itself is not enough”?

Same tite, same message, different conclusion: “There is a lot of hype about e-invoicing but when it comes to making significant improvements to your bottom line, the truth is e-invoicing by itself is not enough.There are two vital points that organizations need to understand if you want to get the full benefits of a move to electronic invoicing.”

So what are these two pivotal points.Firstly, you need to automate the processing of invoices to realize significant benefits (where e-invoices can be a real enabler). Electronic invoicing is great, but you still need to handle paper invoices effectively too. Simply because the major share of invoices are paper invoices (at leas for the next five years).


Even though the starting points by Taulia+Ricoh and Readsoft+Billentis are completely different, they come to the same conclusion: as a standalone feature, e-invoicing creates less value. The true value of e-invoicing emerges when it is use as an enabler for other value added services: AP automatino, dynamic discounting, supply chain finance and so on.

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  1. Great to see your take on this and the fact that you have brought together a number of different articles and viewpoints to come to the same conclusion. As I am sure you have realised the title of my article was deliberately provocative and I’m delighted that it has resulted in some good debate and dialogue.


  2. Couldn’t agree more. Without eInvoicing, dynamic discounting and AP automation isn’t possible. But without an early payment discount program, companies lose out on a lot of potential value (and eInvoicing adoption!) to add to their bottom line and strengthen supplier relationships.

    And just in case you’re still unsure what dynamic discounting is, I simplify it here for you: http://resources.taulia.com/h/i/10951242-what-is-dynamic-discounting/80208