E-Invoicing Programs: Stand Alone or Integrate?


E-invoicing programs and services can stand alone without connections into other systems and processes. But they can also serve as a magnifier and direct enabler for broader accounts payable (A/P) automation, purchase-to-pay (P2P), e-procurement, supplier and third-party management and trade financing programs.

In considering how e-invoicing programs can augment or combine with other initiatives, Spend Matters recommends companies consider:

  • Looking at e-invoicing holistically and not as a standalone area, even if it can solve specific pain points without other initiatives or programs already in place
  • Incorporating related areas in building business cases to support e-invoicing programs – including quantifying the broader benefits outside of the standard e-invoicing business case alone
  • Developing an overall procurement and accounts payable technology architecture framework and document that includes e-invoicing and supplier connectivity elements
  • Investing the time to architect which solution is ideal to serve as the front-end to either the buyer or seller in cases of overlap
  • Consulting technology vendors, including e-invoicing providers, about how existing customer programs have worked in tandem with related areas that span procurement, accounts payable, treasury and supply chain

Looking ahead, as a greater number of vendors offer either platforms that are built to drive out-of-the-box interoperability with other systems or sell their own platforms that promise plug-and-play integration with a growing ecosystem of technologies, we won’t need to separate out e-invoicing from related systems and programs. They will work together as a continuum of web-based technologies and services that deliver outcomes rather than confuse potential buyers and require IT to sort out all of the technology integrations required.

This article is based on content from the Spend Matters Perspective: Understanding How E-Invoicing Fits. Authored by Spend Matters Founder and Managing Director Jason Busch, with input and guidance from Trade Financing Matters’ David Gustin, it provides a foundation for organizations considering or already putting in place an electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) or purchase-to-pay (P2P) program.

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