This year will be marked by a ‘significant shift’ towards more businesses taking up electronic invoicing (e-invoicing), claims business-to-business (B2B) services group GXS.
A report, entitled
‘Global Electronic Invoicing-The State of AP Automation Worldwide’
, co-sponsored by GXS and based on a survey of 300 accounts payable (A/P), finance and treasury personnel across six regions of the world conducted by PayStream and Purchasing Insight, evaluates the current state of the global e-invoicing market.
The report finds that only 16% of A/P departments currently receive the majority of their invoices electronically, with just 5% receiving more than three in four invoices electronically. More than half (60%) still receive more than nine in 10 of their invoices on paper. However, 50% of the survey respondents said that they are looking to implement e-invoicing during 2013, and well over half of those (31%) are looking to achieve e-invoicing for at least three in four invoices.
“Automating accounts payable by using e-invoicing rather than paper and manual processes is seen by many as a ‘no-brainer’,” said PayStream Advisor’s chief executive officer (CEO), Henry Ijams. “Reduced processing costs, faster approvals and elimination of paper are obvious and compelling benefits. It is no surprise to learn that these drivers are confirmed by our research.”
Among the top three drivers for e-invoicing, the survey found that 56% of respondents were looking to reduce the overall processing cost, 43% wanted to remove paper from the A/P department and 38% hoped to speed up invoice approval cycle times.
Both globally and within the US market, e-invoicing ranked as the top automation goal for 2013. Electronic payments ranked second, chosen by 22% of respondents. Due to several factors the global market is aiming higher in its adoption goals, 50% compared to 41% in the US. A number of factors outside the US are driving the need for e-invoicing including encouragement from the European Commission for public sectors to embrace e-invoicing and mandates in Latin America.
However, a London summit on the industry’s introduction of the technology cautions that testing and acceptance are still at an early stage and firms should proceed with caution.
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