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Does your company do Electronic Invoicing and Payments?

Mariann Cumbo's Profile


(Agent, JKS Solutions, Inc.) |

Did you know that in Europe all payments are handled electronically? They cut down their forests so long ago they don't use paper checks.

The US is far behind in electronic processing but my prediction is that we will see an extreme increase in electronic processing. Mainly because most US banking is done online in the cloud now, and accounting applications in the cloud are going to force the issue.

Increasing the speed of cash flow is linked to online processing, so that is the way of the future.

Robert Neyens
Title: Finance Manager
Company: TITAN Containers A/S
LinkedIn Profile
(Finance Manager, TITAN Containers A/S) |

It's to much a generalisation to say that Europe all payments are electronic. It's true for the northern countries like Belgium, Holland, Germany, Denmark. Southern countries like France, Spain are still using a lot of checks.
Electronic invoices is mostly a cost-cutting exercise (envelopes, stamps, handling etc...).
Electronic payments (recieved or send) are final. Again cost cutting, no more admin regarding signatures, going to the bank, drafting paperwork etc.
On top of it, most EU payments are free of bank charges (at least in Euro) provided the IBAN and Swift/BIC codes are mentioned.
On top of it, all this work can be handled through shared service offices. And the possibility exists to combine all your bank-accounts through 1 application, giving treasury a daily complete overview of its cash position.
Most ERP-systems are already ready to go electronical, so implementing shouldn't be such a big pain. It's changing the internal processes and the customers behaviour which is the biggest challenge.

Gerry Anderson
Title: President and Founder
Company: Logicon Solutions
LinkedIn Profile
(President and Founder, Logicon Solutions) |

We are finding a lot of the larger organizations are now implementing electronic invoicing and payment so to free up resources to improve spend management and tighten up fraud controls. email me directly if you would you like to find out more about what other companies are doing to optimize their invoicing and payment processes.

Robert Honeyman
Title: CFO
Company: Advanced Predictive Analytics
(CFO, Advanced Predictive Analytics) |

Presumably, this is not a rhetorical question. I'm guessing you are considering advising your company to switch to electronic billing and paying. Here are some of the things to consider (concentrating on disbursements):

1. Will your current ERP system accommodate the switch or will you have to invest in a new system? If the latter, figure that the cost of a conversion will be dependent on how much automation you build into it. When my former company decided to move to MS Nav with the intent of automating as many processes as possible and paring the number of auxiliary applications in half, the cost of consultants to do the streamlining was maybe 80% or 90% of the final total cost. However, the system made processes far more efficient and predictable.

2. How many transactions do you have process on both sides of the ledger? The more you have, the stronger the argument for automation. If you only have a dozen or so checks/invoices a week, the argument weakens tremendously.

3. Are there enough people in place to ensure proper controls on electronic disbursements? You'll want to put mirror procedures in place to ensure that whoever used to sign checks is now reviewing and accepting electronic payments prior to being released to the bank.

Topic Expert
Linda Wright
Title: Consultant
Company: Wright Consulting
(Consultant, Wright Consulting) |

At my former company, we implemented both, as I had control over the entire req to check process in a multi-country, company shared service environment. I agree with the former commentators, the conversions are processes which need to be carefully planned and implemented to insure efficiency and control.

Becky Warburg
Title: Contract Accountant
Company: Premier Business Solutions
(Contract Accountant, Premier Business Solutions) |

Several of our clients will only pay via electronic payment. It cuts down on processing for them. We have encouraged our clients to sign up for email billing (we email the invoices instead of mail them). A few prefer it, but most still want an invoice in the mail. I don't think you will be able to move to a completely paperless system unless you are working exclusively with very large companies.

Sara Voight
Title: Controller
Company: Critical Signal Technologies, Inc
(Controller, Critical Signal Technologies, Inc) |

At a prior employer, we sent out an email highlighting our switch to environmentally friendly invoicing. We let everyone know that we were switching to electronic delivery in three months and we needed their email addresses to continue to do business. I don't recall a single decline or any lost business. When we had asked people to switch the year before, we ran into a lot of pushback and people who didn't want to change. Change is possible and the way you approach it is crucial to the success of the change.

Topic Expert
Barrett Peterson
Title: Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis
Company: TTX
(Senior Manager, Actg Stnds & Analysis, TTX) |

A substatntial portion of our billing is electronic and most of our payments are electronic. These measures reduce cost, save time, improve accuracy, and facilitate better relationships with customers and vendors, as well as provide improved internal control.


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