Suppliers of large organizations may have a punchout catalog or hosted catalog to connect to various e-Procurement systems such as SciQuest, Ariba or Coupa, but very often the purchase order and invoice process falls by the wayside. Even with larger suppliers of life sciences, MRO and IT suppliers, purchase orders may still be received via fax or email. When an invoice is sent, it may be sent via regular mail.
So how do you use these electronic invoice services?
The first step is getting the invoice data out of your financial/ERP system via a text file, CSV file or any other machine readable file. When the data is exported it can be converted via a cXML translator into the native cXML, XML or EDI format. The translator should handle all invoice line numbers, part numbers, prices, shipping and tax so it can be accurately mapped to your buying organization’s specifications. The invoice is then sent to a specific location electronically, where an immediate response is given on whether it is accepted by your buyer. There is no more guess work, lost mail or paperwork sitting on someone’s desk waiting for payment.
You may be wondering if electronic invoices can be sent for part of an order. The answer is YES. Partial invoices are a great way to speed up payments when one item on an invoice is back-ordered and all other items have been shipped. There is no need to hold up an invoice from being sent since you can simply send an electronic invoice for all the items that have been previously shipped. Then later send another invoice for the remainder of the items when the back-order has been received.
Another added benefit of moving to electronic invoices is reducing the time it takes to receive payment. Since the invoice is sent electronically, it is reviewed and approved electronically. Even better, payments are further sped up by being processed via ACH or bank wire. We have seen payments reduce from 45 days to 3 days by sending invoices electronically via cXML or EDI.
By sending electronic invoices you can:
- Reduce Lost Invoices
- Reduce Keying errors with invoices
- Know when an invoice was sent
- Confirm an invoice is received
- Reduce paperwork
- Receive payments faster
- Send partial invoices