An e-invoice has many advantages over paper and PDF invoices. The last mentioned invoices must be received; the data must be retyped in a database, encrypted and validated with creditor master data; A PDF invoice is often printed out, stapled to a list of budget holders, who then have to approve the invoice and pass it on to each other.
An e-invoice entails many benefits compared with paper and PDF invoices. Paper and PDF invoices require manual intervention. In some cases, the accounts payable department receives a PDF invoices, prints it out, staples a note which has the relevant budget holders listed, and hands over the invoice to the first budget holder on the list for approval.
However, invoices that are stored as data can be processed automatically. Business rules can be applied to code, validate and approve the invoice, without any human intervention. By means of purchase-to-pay software, such as Basware, invoices can be validated with master data stored in an ERP system and matched with data regarding a payment plan or purchase order.
If an invoice seems to deviate, even when different tolerance filters have been applied, it will trigger an action, depending on the type of deviation. For instance, if the pricing mentioned on the invoice deviates from the one mentioned on the purchase order, the invoice can be returned to the supplier.
In some cases, the deviation does not trigger an automatic response and must be handled manually. But the advantage of e-invoicing are straightforward. apart from exceptions, e-invoices can be processed completely automatically. This not only saves time but shortens lead-times for processing invoices and offers great visibility on invoices being processed in real-time manner.
Because of this, discounts on early-payment can be cashed and near-future spend can be anticipated.