Article

Electronic Invoices vs. Paper Invoices

9 May 2020

The quicker you can get invoices to your customers, the faster you’ll get paid 

E-invoicing is an automated exchange of invoices between trading partners. More specifically, the invoice moves straight from one trader’s ERP system into another with no manual input.

Invoicing is an integral part of any business, whether you’re an eCommerce store or brick-and-mortar retailer.

When you send bills to your clients, you want them to pay, fast. Do you know what this means? Well, it implies that you must have an efficient billing system.

The quicker you can get invoices to your customers, the faster you’ll get paid – and that’s good for business.

In this post, we’ll make a side-by-side comparison of paper and electronic invoices.

Most importantly, we’ll highlight the benefits of e-invoices and why you should ditch paper invoices if you’re serious about creating an efficient invoicing system for your business.

E-invoicing is an automated exchange of invoices between trading partners. More specifically, the invoice moves straight from one trader’s ERP system into another with no manual input.

Paper Invoices

You guessed it right! These are what the name says they are – paper-based invoices. These are printed on paper and sent via mail or delivered physically to customers.

Indeed, you know what paper invoices are. What you may not know, however, is this;

  • According to Sterling Commerce, the average cost of a paper invoice is $12 to $30. Yes. It’s that expensive.
  • A 2016 Concur survey found that 63 percent of businesses in the UK received duplicated paper invoices. Even more disturbing,33 percent of these got paid!
  • According to Sage, up to 11 percent of all manual invoices sent by small businesses are paid late.
  • A Wax Digital study revealed that up to 25 percent of accounts payable goes to sorting out invoicing data entry and processing issues.

No matter how you look at it, these stats aren’t pretty – and that’s why we have to switch gears at this point.

Electronic Invoices

E-invoices are the direct opposite of paper invoices. For starters, an invoice is electronic if;

  • You can issue, send, and receive it in a structured electronic format.
  • The format allows you to process the invoice automatically and electronically.

Put differently; an e-invoice remains in “digital form” from when you create it until the recipient processes it.

With the world going digital, there’s every reason to integrate electronic invoicing into your business.

Look, Zion Market Research projects that the global electronic market will reach a staggering $20 million by 2026 – that’s an annual growth rate of 20 percent. The long and short of it is that businesses world over continue to adopt e-invoicing, and you shouldn’t be left out.

Benefits of Electronic Invoicing - You Can Create and Send Invoices Quickly

Paper invoices take time to create. Why? Well, because you have to search and key in your recipient’s details manually. Did we mention that you have to type out your details as well?

The scenario is different from e-invoices – create templates, sync them into your accounting systems, and boom! You can now send invoices to your clients in a couple of seconds.

Increased Efficiency

Electronic invoicing is all about automation. In essence, this means that you can automate recurring bills for your customers.

On top of that, you can set the system to make follow-ups and send payment reminders for both upcoming and past-date invoices.

Automating your billing cycle saves you money and frees your time. Further, it removes the frustration of chasing your clients to pay.

It Minimizes Errors

This is a big one.

A wrongly typed or erroneously addressed paper invoice means you won’t get paid on time – and that’s not good for business.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way. An efficient e-invoicing system will compile quotes and costs to generate accurate invoices. The ripple effect is near-zero chance of human error. Besides, you won’t have to pay a lot of people to create quotations, saving your business some money in the process.

Your Invoices Get Paid Quickly

You send invoices to your clients via mail. You sit back and wait. A couple of days later, you haven’t heard from your customer.

You call the client, and to your surprise, they’re yet to receive your invoice! From the look of things, you’ll have to wait another week before you get paid. Sounds frustrating, right? E-invoicing eliminates the hustle of going back and forth with clients because of late payments.

As stated, electronic invoices allow you to bill your customers in minutes. And, if they don’t pay in a few days, the system will send an automatic reminder. Nice and easy!

Sidenote – According to Xero, e-invoices get paid 35 percent faster than paper invoices.

It Helps Reduce Carbon Print

Up to 70 percent of total waste in offices in the United States is due to print mistakes, mixed paper, junk mail, presentations, and billing.

In the United Kingdom, office waste costs an estimated £15 billion. Now that’s a lot of paper for sure.

Your office doesn’t have to be part of these disturbing statistics if you play your role in reducing paper waste through electronic invoicing.

E-invoicing is paperless. You don’t need envelopes to mail bills to your clients. Essentially, this translates to reduced paper waste. You can take a notch higher by issuing e-receipts to your trading partners.

Other reasons you should use electronic invoices include;

  • It makes your business look professional.
  • Increased security.
  • It makes it easy to track your finances.
  • You can send invoices at the convenience of your laptop or smartphone.
  • It allows your business to accept many forms of payment.

Ditch the Paper Invoice

If you want to save time and money, you need to stop using paper invoices.

Your journey to enjoying the benefits of electronic invoices starts with working with an excellent e-invoicing platform.

At Unimaze, we provide stellar e-invoicing solutions for businesses. We’ve integrated our ERP and backend systems with eefacta Hub and eefacta Server to ensure that you send and receive electronic documents safely and quickly.

With over ten years of experience, we promise to provide an electronic invoicing portal your business can rely on every time. Our mission is to help you find better ways to do business and maximize efficiency.

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