E-Invoicing Discovery Questions: Where to Begin

Question Mark in Money

Putting in place an electronic invoicing program requires more than putting in place an e-invoicing system. Business drivers, supplier development programs, internal responsibilities, as-is/expected processes and process change and a range of other internal and external factors outside e-invoicing technology itself all should factor in the discovery process to create a set of requirements and needs specifications.

In the Spend Matters paper Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits, I explore a list of questions that procurement and accounts payable (A/P) organizations should answer as a first step. From a process perspective, with a hat tip to my colleague David Gustin on Trade Financing Matters, some of the questions include:

  • Do you currently perform a match or different set of matches when invoices are received? Matches could include a 3-way match based on invoice, purchase order (PO) and receipt notifications.
  • How do you match invoices with POs specifically? Is there a “No PO, No Pay” program in place?
  • Who receives invoices today? What process begins when an invoice is received?
  • What happens when someone other than a designated person receives an invoice?
  • Where are invoices recorded? For example, are they recorded when they arrive or on a batch basis that is daily, weekly or even monthly – or at the due date?
  • When does the payment clock start? Upon goods receipt, invoice reception or date?
  • How do you manage invoices from partial deliveries?
  • Are invoices consolidated from high volume suppliers in any way?

Organizations interested in these types of questions will find the Spend Matters research brief, Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits, available temporarily for free download, quite valuable both in defining an optimal program and also in explaining to peers how e-invoicing fits with procurement, A/P, treasury, supply chain and related technologies and programs.

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