Are you finding excessive time and effort spent loading invoices to your customers’ invoicing portals, or government mandated portals (such as Italy’s SdI)?
This need to manually upload, or re-key, invoices into customers’ accounts payable, or government mandated, invoicing portals slows the payment process down, meaning working capital gets tied up in the invoicing process. It doesn’t need to be this way.
Invoicing portals, or supplier portals, do a great job of ensuring invoices come into a business electronically and in the correct format. However, in some cases, they simply shift this labour and cost burden onto suppliers.
As more businesses digitise their financial processes to save time, this manual bottleneck can become a serious frustration for accounts receivable teams, as they try to deliver invoices as efficiently as possible.
What’s wrong with manually uploading invoices to an AP portal?
Anything that requires repetitive copy-paste ─ or worse, re-keying ─ from one source to another represents a massive inefficiency; requiring time that would be better spent on more profitable activities. For example, that time lost on manual tasks could be spent chasing late payments, resolving invoicing queries, managing disputes, or building customer relationships.
Invoices waiting to be uploaded are working capital tied up in an inefficient process. Now, more than ever, businesses need to bring cash in more quickly. These delays have a direct impact on cash flow.
Furthermore, any manual copying runs the risk of human error. Even the most careful and attentive of team members risk making the occasional copying mistake… it’s human nature. But those invoicing mistakes demand time to resolve and can lead to greater delays in collecting cash, further impinging on organisational cash flow.
How can you automate the submission of invoices to supplier portals?
Each portal is different, but the majority of invoicing platforms have similar approaches to data input and submission. Many have APIs or other methods of allowing a connection to automate the process of invoice submission. However, these aren’t normally freely-given, nor are they for the faint-hearted. APIs are subject to change. and the solution providers behind the invoicing platforms aren’t always keen to coach individual users on their technical implementation, or what’s changed with each update.
As a supplier, trying to automate submissions to these portals, you need to throw a lot of resources at this to succeed. You also need to stay on top of changes, which can become a job in itself. Frequently, this is just one IT project too many – hence the prevalence of suppliers having to manually upload invoices to these portals every day.
However, there is another way…
An outsourced e-invoicing provider, such as Netsend, provides access to technology innovation and real-world experience in automating these uploads. In some cases, there will be APIs which can be leveraged, in other cases pre-built connectors will exist. Netsend goes beyond simply automating invoice delivery; gain complete control over delivery rules, view real-time delivery reporting and a range of other document distribution functions, via a secure online platform.
At Netsend, we classify automated invoice delivery to customers’ invoicing portals as EDI (electronic data interchange). The invoicing data is aggregated, formatted, and then delivered electronically, enabling automation on a vast scale.
Every supplier’s needs are different
Whether you’re trying to connect to 2 or 200 different invoicing portals, you will benefit from a managed service to both transition and manage the processes. If it were as simple as a plug-and-play process, you’d be doing it yourself. So, consider the benefit of using a third-party provider to accelerate and simplify the process of automation.
With a managed service approach like Netsend’s, you will be given the peace of mind that the ongoing connection to each portal will be maintained throughout any changes your buyers make to their portals. Outsource the risk, whilst maintaining full control over the process.
Managing AP portals alongside other invoice delivery types
Keying invoices into your customers’ invoicing portals may not be your only method of delivering invoices. Often, suppliers need to send invoices in a variety of electronic formats alongside uploading to invoicing portals. Sometimes, paper invoices are still an integral part of the mix.
Managing multiple invoicing formats in parallel can prove challenging without a centralised e-invoicing solution. At Netsend, we enable clients to manage and automate their invoice delivery across a wide range of formats, including paper, email (both HTML and PDF over email), EDI, file transfer (e.g. FTP), and even fax.
Find out how quickly you can automate invoice delivery to your customers’ AP portals and bring the cash in more quickly. Reach out to us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.