E-Invoicing: The future of paperless invoices

Rapid technological developments see the world moving quickly towards the idea of a paperless office. With the notion of a paperless office comes paperless filing, paperless mail, and paperless invoicing, and now e-invoicing.

E-invoicing is leading the way to a simplified process for invoicing your clients.

What is E-Invoicing?
E-invoicing stands for electronic invoicing. The term covers the process of exchanging invoices between a supplier and their buyer. The exchange is done electronically, negating the need for hard copy papers. 

Exchanging paper invoices is often labour intensive, cost intensive, and has many potentials for human error. When sending an invoice by mail, you also risk it getting lost in the postal system. The effects of this are problematic, in that it prolongs payments for your goods and services.

E-invoicing solves these problems by being a direct electronic exchange directly from the suppliers computer system to the buyers system. The benefits are to eliminate potential human error and postal mistakes. E-invoicing creates the opportunity to have streamlined and easy transactions between two parties. Businesses can save themselves both time and money as a result.

Additionally, Deloitte Access Economics predicts that e-invoicing could result in a $28 billion benefit to the Australian economy over ten years.

Benefits of e-invoicing to a business
Below are some of the benefits that business can expect from adopting e-invoicing:

  1. Available for all businesses:
    E-invoicing is not exclusive to large businesses but rather, is easily accessible and beneficial to all businesses regardless of size or systems.
  2. Direct and secure:
    When you send an e-invoice from your system it goes directly to the recipients system, reducing the risk of money loss or billing scams.
  3. Improved cash flow and quicker payments:
    The direct nature of e-invoicing helps to ensure that payment times are reduced, and cash flow improves.
  4. Cost effective:
    Given that e-invoicing is a digital process, businesses are able to save on paper and postage costs incurred when mailing out paper invoices.
  5. Less room for error
    Invoice exchanges are easier, faster and safer, as the likelihood for human error is greatly reduced. By removing human handling and the need for postal services you ensure that your invoices are delivered promptly and safely.

Global changes you need to know
In March 2018, the Prime Ministers of Australia and New Zealand agreed to take action towards making e-invoicing a common practice. In turn, they believe this will help progress the Single Economic Market agenda. The agreement was finalised on October 25th 2018, after an international arrangement was signed.

Standards for e-invoicing will be developed based on international standards that will allow Australian and New Zealand businesses to communicate with each other more effectively, allowing for smoother business transactions.

In February 2019, both Prime Ministers announced that their respective countries will adopt the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) interoperability framework for e-invoicing. In doing this they are attempting to ensure that businesses from both countries will be able to integrate with the global trading environment. 

What are the security threats to e-invoicing?
Phishing or scamming is one of the biggest threats to implementing e-invoicing. Phishing is where fraudulent emails are sent out to appear as though they have come from a legitimate source. Scammers use this tactic to lure users into giving up sensitive personal and business information including passwords or bank details.

Another threat e-invoicing is facing is tampering. Though difficult, it is possible for electronic documents to be intercepted and the contents changed. For a company trying to send an invoice, this could result in amounts changed or bank accounts altered, meaning customers lose money that businesses never receive.

Taking proper security measures is crucial in the new age of technological development. By not considering the potential dangers, you are putting yourself and your business in a position where you are susceptible to security threats. These threats are legitimate and dangerous to both you and your consumers.

So, what can you do?

How to protect your e-invoicing
Thankfully, along with the development of new technology, evolves the development of new security measures. Encryption and authentication techniques now allow for a secure exchange and storage of electronic data and files.

By utilising these layers of protection, you are ensuring your company and your customers stay safe from the potential dangers of scammers, hackers, etc. This security infrastructure gives you peace of mind in knowing that your digital exchanges are occurring in a secure environment.

When creating security measures remember the following things:

  • Ensure the creator and sender of the e-invoice has been authenticated
  • Encrypt or authenticate your e-invoice to prevent tampering
  • Password protection is essential

Take productivity to the next level

Take the security precautions of your company to the next level and store all your documents and files in one place with Info-Organiser. While many people are still warming to the idea of electronic invoicing and filing, Info-Organiser has been advocating for paperless digital processing for 20 years.

When you choose to go paperless, including switching to e-invoicing, Info-Organiser will be able to help you securely store each invoice, making documents easily accessible for future reference and available whenever you need.

Additionally, indexing invoices to set parameters, will make all documents of a similar relationship easy to find at the drop of a hat.

7 ways to use Info-Organiser for advanced and secure e-invoicing

  • Link email archiving to your accounting software and keep a copy of all invoices sent and received electronically
  • A smart move is to customise the Info-Organiser email archiving workflow to auto-file sent and received invoices
  • Use the i-link feature for one-click access to invoices within your accounting software
  • Activate the e-forms feature to auto-index electronic invoices
  • Set admin security levels for authorising access, changes and payments of invoices. A security log keeps track of who opens or checks out the invoice
  • Ask about Smart Invoices for form reading of invoices and other accounting related records such as job sheets, purchase orders and remittance advices
  • Use Info-Organiser’s VERS accredited records management features to produce reports and set e-document destruction dates

E-invoicing is the way of the future for all businesses aiming towards a paperless office. With the right safety and storage precautions, like Info-Organiser’s digital filing software, businesses can rest assured that their documents are being sent and kept securely. Processes are made easy, costs go down, profits go up, and better business is done by all.