Outsource Issue 30 - (Page 44)

FAST MONEY Electronic invoicing is revolutionising commerce and slashing transaction costs – for some businesses at least… So what does the space look like today, where is it going – and why haven’t more organisations recognised the benefits of adopting such gamechanging technology? We asked our experts some of the biggest questions in the business… WHAT ARE THE KEY TRENDS IN THE E-INVOICING SPACE TODAY? By Paolo Malinverno, Research VP, Gartner Electronic invoicing is now a global phenomenon. It was dormant for quite a long time; the EU issued a Directive for making it legal in around 1994 but this was not implemented fully for a number of years. It took the worldwide financial crisis, and the fact that the first few offerings started to consolidate the multinational status in a multinational fashion, for the phenomenon really to start going. Electronic invoicing is now mandatory in several countries (especially, but not only, in South America). In some countries it is partially mandatory. In some other countries, such as most of Scandinavia, it is just common practice. Some others like the UK, France, Australia are going through further local legislation. Electronic invoicing is seen as a way of containing costs, and several governments mandate they choose the receipt of invoices in the current fashion. The US government in theory should always receive an electronic invoice but the reality is that only a third are electronic at this stage. Just to give you an idea, the cost savings of electronic invoicing are staggering. I think the European Institute of Accountants has estimated that the cost of processing a paper invoice – even if you have cheap manpower, in whatever region of the world you choose – hardly goes below, say, £60. The average for an electronic invoice when you actually match the goods that are mentioned on the invoice to whatever sits in your systems and general ledger, is actually £6. So you can imagine if you are, for example, a big automotive manufacturer like Audi, and you receive about 6,000 invoices every day, then you can see the cost compounds very, very quickly. It goes easily into the millions. Even if you don’t have that high volume you will still save money. Funnily enough, in Finland, the companies who spearhead electronic invoices are paper companies – eating into their own business! Actually in Finland there is an interesting phenomenon; most of the companies who work with electronic invoices, if you really have to send a paper invoice they will apply a penalty in the payment of the invoice because, ultimately, it is more expensive for them to process it. This is a big driver for adoption. “We all pay for life with death, so everything in between should be free.” – Bill Hicks 44 www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk ● ●● http://www.outsourcemagazine.co.uk

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outsource Issue 30

Peering through the fog
Who moved my world
Bringing on the beeb
Courting the commentariat
Everyone is responsible
Our survey says
Fast money
Smarten up
Seeing the biggest picture
NOA round-up
Embracing enterprise innovation
Customer matters
Application development outsourcing
India: rules for offshoring
Talent gap
The Professionals
Book learning
The outsourcing jigsaw
The legal view
Top ten
NelsonHall round-up
Online round-up
The deal doctor
Inside source
The last word

Outsource Issue 30