September Hot Topic – eInvoicing and Supply Chain Finance

Hard to believe but it is September today. So now the summer holidays are officially over, we ‘re back to our monthly Hot Topic feature. And for this month, we have chosen eInvoicing and Supply Chain Finance.

They are both pretty big topics, and we might have decided to keep them separate. But in our view there is a lot of merit in looking at both together – loosely together, not inextricably tied, but there is no doubt about their linkage. Supply Chain Finance is much more difficult, bordering on the impractical even, if you don’t have eInvoicing in place. Looking at it from the other direction, the business case for eInvoicing is far from impossible without SCF, but it is a whole lot more compelling with it.

We’ve got some guest articles on the topic coming up, and we’re very willing to consider more submissions from anyone who has something interesting to say (not a sales pitch please). Meanwhile we will look at issues such as the business case, the key benefits of eInvoicing, and the different types of financing that sit within the broad heading of SCF.

Historically, many CPOs (to be honest, that included me when I held such positions) felt that the invoicing element of the end to end source-to-pay process really was not very interesting. Accounts Payable just seemed to be full of low-paid people doing manual paperwork. Why would I want to take responsibility for that?

But now, with the advent of big data and the realisation that there is vital information within the invoicing process that can be extracted and beneficially used, plus the real benefits and direct cost savings available through both that and SCF, then CPOs really should be interested in the topic. We hope to show that in September too.

Finally for now, if you are already interested, then don’t forget our sister website, Trade Financing Matters. That is run by Jason Busch (my partner in Spend Matters Europe) and David Gustin, who knows more about these issues than virtually anyone. You can follow their thoughts here; the site covers all aspects of payments and financing, so more than eInvoicing and SCF, and is international in outlook, so if you are into these topics, this is an invaluable resource.

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