E-invoicing and new Spend Matters US research paper

E-invoicing seems to get some strong debate going - we've seen blogs and articles recently including from my esteemed friend Mr Busch and others getting quite heated about the view that AP functions are staffed by idiots, or whether it is procurement who have no idea about the problems they cause AP through their own cock-ups.

Now Spend Matters US have produced a White Paper, E-Invoicing Comes of Age – Discovering What’s Possible From the Latest Electronic Invoicing/ Invoice Automation Capabilities

It’s available on registration for free download here.  It doesn’t review suppliers in the market, rather it is a pretty detailed but comprehensible description of the key aspects of e-invoicing. As Jason says:

This ..paper takes a detailed look at deployable capabilities in the electronic invoicing/invoice automation sectors and shares the types of cost reduction, working capital management improvements and related benefits that companies with the highest success in this area have realized. It provides a simplified capability/ maturity guide for electronic invoice presentment payment (EIPP), plus geographic adoption patterns and differences between regions, offering lessons that both US and European organizations can learn from. Finally, it also includes a detailed list of contributing factors for building financial business cases to justify the investment and ROI for electronic invoicing/invoice automation initiatives.

As such it is an invaluable primer I suspect for many procurement- and finance - staff who feel they don't know or understand as much about this topic as they would like to. Jason again,

“In the past, most procurement organizations would admit to doing a generally poor job in linking buying processes to the actual receipt of invoices, invoice approval process and subsequent payment to suppliers”.

Agreed – it’s often a bit of a forgotten aspect of the overall process. My personal view is that, particularly if the CPO reports into the CFO, there’s a lot to be said for having AP report into procurement. You are at least putting the whole end to end P2P process together then into one reporting and accountability line. I'm not sure I would want it as the CPO - but it would focus my mind on looking at the whole process in a holistic manner, which is what it needs.

Anyone got experience of that working (or not working?) And do take a look at the Paper.

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