October 19, 2012 E-invoicing From Beginning to End!
I just got back from IOFM’s AP Centric Trade Show in Las Vegas. It was well attended and had a lot of vendors who were “E-invoicing” providers. I mean 46 companies represented at Caesar’s Palace claiming to be “E-invoicing” providers? The problem of course, is that if they do anything electronic at all dealing with invoices, they claim to be an E-invoicing provider. There were even a few that provided ACH payments from an electronic file that were claiming the E-invoicing moniker.
I have posted previously about what I feel are the poser companies out in the marketplace saying that they are E-invoicing providers, but it seems to have gotten worse. If an invoice needs to be put on paper at any point in the process, then you are not an E-invoicing provider. I am not sure the name that would fit, but I can think of several that I will not put in print.
In reality, E-invoicing is the process of a supplier providing goods or services to a customer and then providing an invoice electronically to the customer, and the customer being able to code and approve the invoice electronically, and then pay the vendor. I believe that electronic payments should be a part of this scenario, but it is not a necessity to call you an E-invoicing provider, so I guess we can lump Ariba into the E-invoicing group.
Now, on the other hand, if you are taking a piece of paper, scanning it, attaching it to an email, then sending the email around for approval, and then entering it into your payables application, this does not constitute E-invoicing in my book. It is a nice time saving process, but one that has been around since I was using Lotus Notes in the early 90’s. I am hopeful that the market place is evolving and that this rant will not happen again, but Fusion 2013 is only 7 months away!