by Lee Allen
Reliable and consistent reporting is a prime requirement for many business processes and maintaining control of this reporting is business critical. By making the transition from paper to digital invoicing, companies can secure a more reliable, streamlined and fully traceable reporting process.
For E-billing to succeed however, good reporting is imperative. The knowledge of when and how an invoice was sent and when it was received is critical to the success of the accounts receivable process.
I recently met with a company that had a controlled and well organised collections process resulting in a good Days Sales Outstanding (DSO). The introduction of PDF email invoicing disrupted this process because of a lack of insightful reporting.
Their system couldn’t monitor when an email delivery failed so were unable to react immediately. They weren’t able to update their records or send the invoice instantly via another method.
The failure of the email delivery only became known when the invoice wasn’t paid on time. At that point the collections cycle kicked-in, a collections call was made, a copy invoice was posted and the debtor was given further time to make payment.
The lack of immediate and detailed reporting meant any savings on stamps and stationery were being lost in copy fulfilment and phone calls. The DSO became compromised, the credit team lost faith in the system and eventually it fell into redundancy.
Low cost solutions can cost more in the long run
Many ERP and accounts systems now provide this sort of email delivery module. They seem attractive as low cost solutions for electronic invoicing. However, invoicing is a business critical function and needs to be done properly and accurately. Without sufficient reporting tools, audit trails and failure management these systems are unlikely to be fit for purpose. What’s the point of having a low cost solution if it disrupts your business process to the point no one will use it?
As with most things in life you do get what you pay for.
Using a specialist e-invoicing provider may not be free but it will save money over posting everything. More importantly by ensuring your invoices are delivered, tracked and monitored and by providing timely reporting and accurate visibility, it will generate substantial savings as well as enhance your existing business process. Better and cheaper isn’t true of many things, but it is true of e-billing when done properly.
For more information on the digitalisation of your document delivery solution, contact Netsend on:
+44 (0) 20 3177 1700 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lee Allen is Sales Director, CEO and co-founder of Netsend. With over 15 years experience, he is a regular commentator in the industry.