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E-Invoicing and the NHS – A Healthy Step

invoice

Love it or hate it – you’re likely in the latter category if you need a new hip or knee – the National Health Service (NHS) is a model of transparency compared with many health systems throughout the world. But that transparency has not extended to accounts payable and supplier management activities on a systematic basis to date, although individual health trusts have worked their own efforts with solid results. (As an example, Steria and Tradeshift have success with a small corner of the NHS.)

Yet change is coming. In a recent column in The Information Daily, Basware’s Steven Carter highlights how UK central government is taking steps to make prompt payment standard within the NHS, which depending on your perspective, requires e-invoicing.

E-Invoicing is About Quality at the Source

e-invoicing

I recently revisited a paper I wrote a number of years ago, E-Invoicing Comes of Age - Discovering What's Possible From the Latest Electronic Invoicing / Invoice Automation Capabilities, that covers a number of purchase-to-pay (P2P) fundamentals, including what to prioritize when putting an electronic invoicing program in place. Few of the arguments I make in it are any less relevant today than they were 5 years ago. One of the ideas in the discussion is the importance of addressing quality at the source when it comes to e-invoicing – and putting as much back on the supplier as possible, as well as having an e-invoicing program or supplier network do the heavy lifting with pre-validations before information is directly matched against or integrated with ERP or e-procurement systems.