Return on Investment or ROI from e-invoicing or e-billing is an important consideration in any e-invoicing or e-billing deployment. Typically, electronic invoicing or electronic billing projects place the emphasis on better customer experience, better electronic integration and other benefits. ROI is often projected to take years, and is rarely high up the agenda for an e-billing or e-invoicing project.
Outsourcing e-invoicing or e-billing to achieve ROI
However, when an e-invoicing or e-billing solution is outsourced, at a monthly cost, this shifts the cost from a high capital expenditure (CapEx), to an ongoing operational expense (OpEx). OpEx can be offset against monthly cost savings, and used to demonstrate a return on investment far more quickly than waiting for the savings to pay off a large CapEx.
A typical invoicing scenario involves a large volume of paper invoices being created and sent each month. This comes with an associated cost of printing, processing and stamp costs. Taking these costs into account, as a saving, when replaced by e-invoicing, helps demonstrate ROI from e-invoicing quickly and accurately.
Beyond the immediate OpEx savings of reduced printing, processing and stamp costs, head-count, print and folder-inserter ownership and maintenance costs can also be taken into account as OpEx savings each month.
ROI before 100% electronic conversion
Few businesses can convert 100% of their customers or partners to e-invoicing or e-billing, so there is a risk that such a deployment doesn’t actually remove the need to maintain print and post equipment and associated overheads. Complete outsourcing solutions, such as Netsend, offer a route to outsource any ongoing print and postage requirements – typically at a significant saving per printed invoice.
Print and postage costs are typically reduced by outsourcing providers leveraging economies of scale through centralised printing and/or localised printing and postage to reduce high international postage costs.
ROI from staged e-invoicing or e-billing deployment
Where a business is particularly cautious about implementing process changes, or needs to demonstrate ROI in stages, a staged deployment of electronic processes pertaining to invoicing or billing can provide the most reassurance and demonstrate ROI in stages.
One approach is to start with the sending of statements and dunning letters electronically. These constitute a small part of a typical accounts receivable print and postage responsibility. However, the reduction in costs, as a relative percentage, can be used to extrapolate the potential gains across the full accounts receivable process.
Taking a staged approach not only helps project ROI, but also allows the business to adjust to an electronic way of doing things when handling non-critical documents, before rolling out to more sensitive documents such as invoices.
Beyond the initial ROI from e-billing and e-invoicing
The benefits of e-invoicing and e-billing stretch far beyond immediately attributable ROI. Aside from the improvements in customer experience, accounts receivable process automation and integration with other business systems, the bottom-line will be affected by improvements in competitivity and speed of invoicing amongst other benefits.
Find out more about the benefits of e-invoicing and e-billing here.