Electronic supplier invoicing: accessible to all?

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Today, thanks to developments in the world of technology, the digitisation of incoming business invoices is tending to become the norm. But electronic supplier invoices are still not being adopted by all businesses. Yet processing these dematerialised invoices is less costly and less time-consuming than processing incoming invoices in paper format. It is therefore legitimate to ask whether dematerialised invoices are really accessible to everyone. With this in mind, it would be interesting to understand why supplier invoice management is so important to a company’s operations.

Dematerialising your outgoing invoices: what does it actually mean?

The dematerialisation of invoices is explained by the implementation of a process that involves converting a “paper” medium into a “digital” medium. The invoice is simply digitised in PDF format or as an image using a scanner or other tool with the same function. However, there are a number of more efficient techniques that are capable of correctly managing invoice scanning and automating invoice processing.

Electronic invoice processing involves digitising your purchases for a given period into PDF or image format using a technological tool. These invoices can be transmitted or received from your various suppliers using a number of electronic reception tools, and delivered in the form of an invoice. The operation is easy to set up, whether you are a small or medium-sized business. However, it can quickly become more complicated if your suppliers have their own invoicing rules. So it’s important that you work with your suppliers if you want to go digital, to make sure the switchover goes smoothly.

Why choose to dematerialise your various supplier invoices?

Managing invoices the old-fashioned way is a multi-stage process. To put it simply, it involves unpacking an envelope, entering the data and finally archiving the document. These tasks are both tedious and time-consuming, and can lead to disastrous errors for your business. In fact, there are many occasions when data entry errors, oversights and late payments can occur. These errors can lead to tax and legal risks.

With supplier invoice dematerialisation software, you benefit from a host of advantages. You can :

  • Maintain excellent relations with your various suppliers, which will considerably improveyour company’s image in the eyes of third parties and, above all, your customers;
  • Guarantee theintegrity, traceability and legibility of your various invoices: this is vital to avoid problems with the law. It also makes it easier to draw up the PAF (Reliable Audit Trail);
  • Save time with your team validating invoices: you’ll be able to invest in more rewarding, profit-generating activities;
  • Significantly reduce the cost of processing your invoices, as the management process is accelerated;
  • Reduce the risk of errors: you’ll avoid delays, disputes and interest payments;
  • Have a harmonised, centralised database for all your staff, accessible in real time;
  • Gain clear control over your supplier debts: so you can keep a closer eye on your expenses while respecting your financial commitments;
  • Control your cash flow and, above all, your purchases;
  • Be one of the “paperless” companies: a dematerialisation solution that contributes to preserving the environment and your company’s ecological initiatives.

In short, digitising your supplier invoices helps you to save time and improve performance, while constantly controlling any risks. To take advantage of these benefits, you simply need to opt for a digitisation solution.

Invoice processing goes even further with management software such as Weproc. All the information entered in the tool can be used to issue an invoice. There’s no longer any need to handwrite the next invoice – everything is done in one place. This facilitates invoice processing, saves considerable time and drastically reduces the processing costs that arise during the invoicing process.

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Is the dematerialisation of various outgoing invoices accessible to everyone?

Whatever your sector of activity, if you are a professional, a large company or a small business that uses suppliers, sending supplier invoices in electronic format is accessible to you. To take advantage of all the benefits mentioned above, you need software that will enable you to digitise your supplier invoices. This solution is also particularly beneficial if you regularly make payments to third parties for the supply of raw materials and equipment. This is also the case if you have to pay for services, since such a solution will greatly facilitate your financial management. The dematerialisation of supplier invoices is of particular interest to craftsmen, industry and very small businesses .

Is it compulsory to dematerialise your various supplier invoices?

Invoices are a legal requirement for transactions with private individuals or professionals. In France, electronic invoicing is gradually becoming the norm. In fact, since 1 January 2020, it has been compulsory for professionals and businesses whose customers are local authorities or the State. All professionals are now strongly encouraged to adopt paperless invoicing, as it reduces the costs and time involved in issuing invoices:

  • Paper consumption ;
  • Payment delays and various administrative processes
  • Complex archiving and accounting records.

It is also in the government’s interest for businesses to adopt a paperless invoicing solution, as it helps to combat fraud. It also makes it easier to collect VAT. Dematerialisation software is therefore a vital long-term investment. It will enable the various businesses involved to enter the digital age with ease.

Under the 2020 Finance Act, medium-sized businesses will be obliged from 1 January 2025 to use electronic invoicing for their various services. It is therefore important to initiate a digitisation process that will enable invoices to be paid directly from the purchasing management software, for example.

How do you dematerialise supplier invoices?

The various stages involved in dematerialising invoices

Digitising your invoices is the simplest way of managing them. It is usually done using a scanner. However, there are various management software packages available to help you design, send and receive your supplier invoices. Not forgetting that these also make it easier toautomate the processing of your invoices.

To digitise your various supplier invoices, you need to start by capturing and recording the invoice using Automatic Document Reading(ADR). You can also use Automatic Document Recognition(ADR) or Optical Character Recognition(OCR) software. These are tools that interpret all types of invoice, regardless of their medium or format. They can be connected to the various customer areas of supplier platforms. This will enable you to retrieve all your invoices immediately. After that, you need to check the conformity of your invoices. In this case, this software will help you to check the existence of the supplier, the consistency of the information and above all the presence of all the necessary information directly on the dashboards.

Once this stage has been completed, you need to perform an accounting allocation. This stage consists of automatically injecting the data collected into your accounting software . All you have to do now is trigger the invoice validation and payment workflow. This is the tool that will communicate the data to the various invoice management departments and validate the payment of purchase orders. Finally, you need to archive and store the invoices on your servers, preferably secure ones.

Other software features

The various dematerialisation software packages have features that can further facilitate the management and automated processing of your supplier invoices. These include monitoring and reporting tools for viewing the progress of invoices in your workflow. These tools can also be used to notify your suppliers of their status and help them plan for future invoices. They also help you manage expenses, payment deadlines and, above all, credit notes. Some of the features of dematerialisation software also make it easier to find information in the body of invoices. These functions can manage foreign currencies and create due date alerts.

 

Want to learn more about our procurement management software Weproc? Contact us or request your free 15-minutes demo below!


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