Article

What is e-invoicing?

30 January 2019

Invoice issued, sent, and received in an electronic format.

In this post, we take a closer look at electronic invoicing and what it means to send and receive invoices electronically.

Did you know that a paper invoice can cost as much as $30? And that a staggering 70 percent of businesses globally still process invoices manually? That’s shocking for sure. But do you know what the good news is? You don’t have to be part of these disturbing statistics! All you need to do is digitize your invoice flow through e-invoicing.

In this post, we take a closer look at electronic invoicing and what it means to send and receive invoices electronically. Let’s dive right in.

What is an e-invoice?

An electronic invoice, also known as an e-bill, is any invoice issued, sent, and received in an electronic format.

What is electronic invoicing?

Electronic invoicing or e-invoicing is the process of sending an invoice digitally to your trading partners. You can send or receive an e-invoice using e-mail, fax, DE-mail, web download, or Peppol to mention but a few options. Note – A PDF invoice isn’t an electronic invoice.

Sure, you can convert invoices received in paper form to electronic format. However, such an invoice doesn’t fit the definition of an electronic invoice under the VAT act.

An invoice is electronic if you can send and receive it in a structured electronic format. On top of that, the format has to allow you to process the invoice electronically and automatically.

A PDF invoice:

  • Doesn’t use structured data
  • Can be sent via fax machines
  • Can be scanned – it is in paper form, after all.

An e-invoice:

  • Uses structured data in XML format or Electronic Data Interchange (EDI)
  • Can be sent via internet-based web forms.

Benefits of Electronic Invoicing

E-invoicing is a winning strategy for whether you’re an enterprise-level business or multinational company. Here’s why.

It Saves you Time and Money

Time is money. And, if you’re a serious business operator, the last thing you want to do is waste time or lose money.

It costs an average of $4 to send a paper invoice. Sounds exaggerated? Well, when you consider preparation, printing, and mailing the invoices, this figure isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds.

The estimated cost of an e-invoice is $2.25 a pop. The savings are even more significant for Accounts Payable because you’ll part with $30 for a paper invoice compared to a measly $3.50 for an electronic invoice.

The point is, an e-invoice can lead to savings of up to 80 percent.

E-invoicing will save you time too. After all, you don’t have to manually create, organize, and manage the invoices you receive or send.

Simply set your electronic invoices to upload automatically to the cloud, and you’ll spare some time to look into other areas of your business.

Your Trading Partners Will Love It – We Promise You

The benefits of e-invoicing go beyond your business. It also offers several advantages for your customers including;

  • Payment Flexibility and Convenience – Your clients can choose how to pay you – via credit or debit card, ACH, bitcoin, etc.
  • Better Control of Finances – When you accept electronic payments, your customers can schedule when to pay, allowing them to monitor their finances.
  • Reminders – E-invoicing reduces late payments because you can remind your customers to pay before the due date.

No Repetitive Tasks

Electronic invoicing encourages AP automation. The ripple effect is that your accounts staff can focus on other things, such as credit control, spend management, and procurement support.

If you’re a CEO or a top-level manager, automating the invoicing process means you can shift your energies to tasks such as networking, improving your products/services, or generating quality content.

The long and short of it is that accepting electronic payments improves customer experience trading with you – and that’s good for business!

Better Insights Into your Business

Electronic invoicing offers more transparency into your business in comparison to paper-based invoices. More specifically, you can see where your cash is. You will know the amount of money flowing in and out.

That way, you can make adjustments to keep your business afloat and profitable.

It Keeps the Environment Clean

An invoice management software can help eliminate at least 80 percent of paper from most accounting departments. In essence, this translates to a reduced carbon footprint.

Further, e-invoices can help attract trading partners who care about the environment.

How to Send an E-Invoice

We can connect your ERP system to our solution in the cloud. if you only send a few invoices a month, try our free e-invoicing generator! It couldn’t be easier.

To enjoy sending an entirely automated and encrypted e-invoicing system, you’ll have to connect to Peppol, the international E-invoicing Network.

Unimaze is a certified Peppol Access Point provider, and we’ll help you get a Peppol ID. Once you get connected, you’ll get access to secure e-invoicing and all the other organizations in the network.

On top of that, our electronic invoicing software will allow you to track your invoices, whether in XML or UBL format.

Why the Unimaze E-invoicing Software?

…because;

  • You can send and receive invoices no matter the file format.
  • You don’t need to make significant changes to your current accounting systems.
  • Our software “understands” all e-invoices languages. It can convert your invoices into file formats your customer’s software can process
  • Secure access to Peppol
  • Access to the organizations in the Peppol network means more opportunities for your business.

Let go of the Paper. Embrace Electronic Invoicing

E-invoicing is revolutionizing how businesses transact, and you have every reason to be part of the revolution.

Save your AP staff from the inconveniences that come with paper invoices with error-free invoicing software and allow them to focus on more strategic growth business growth activities.

With Unimaze as your electronic invoicing partner, you’ll create a smooth invoicing system that ensures you get paid on time.

E-invoicing FAQs

What file format is an e-invoice?

Electronic invoices come in a variety of file formats, the most common formats are XML and EDI.

How long does it take for a supplier to create an e-invoice?

Using our E-invoicing platform or an ERP system, creating e-invoices takes only a few seconds.

How safe are e-invoices?

E-invoices are 100% when sent through an encrypted network such as Peppol.

How much does e-invoicing cost?

Well, this depends on the Access Point Provider that you choose to work with. Different Access Point operators have different pricing models and values.

Where can I get more technical information?

You can find all the technical resources and specifications about electronic invoices and Peppol at http://peppol.eu/what-is-peppol/peppol-profiles-specifications/.

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