In countries like Korea, Taiwan, and Singapore, e-invoices have been implemented since the late 2000s. The process of transitioning from paper-based invoices to digital ones certainly is complex due to complicated tax laws and regulations. However, they offer a multitude of benefits to both suppliers and buyers, ranging from eliminating human errors to reducing illegal/ invalid transactions, speeding up the approval process, and maintaining compliance.
A true e-invoicing solution should be entirely electronic, and that all data is fully integrated into the system to ensure processes such as matching contracts, purchase orders, product receipts, etc. are as seamless as possible.
Having the right software in place can empower your Account Payable staff to do more than just inputting data. If your business is looking to implement an e-invoicing solution, here are eight features that you need to look out for.
What features does e-invoice software need?
1. Automatically receive and send invoices
Companies typically choose to only automate one way of invoicing (either sending or receiving invoices). During your search for an e-invoicing software, consider this factor and prioritise solutions that allow you to automate both processes.
Automating both processes of receiving and sending invoices not only result in a faster payment period, but it also helps your business to save costs, increase scalability, always stay on top of your payments, and achieve the best ROI possible.
2. Multi-currency, invoice customisation
Though often overlooked, invoices are an essential part of your branding. Even the simplest invoice still includes a company logo. What's better than software that allows you to choose invoice design from the template library, create your own, or customise information quickly without the need to call technical support.
One thing worth noting is different regulatory requirements if you purchase from international suppliers or have clients worldwide. Suitable e-invoicing software should prevent you from experiencing difficulties when dealing with taxes and international laws, ensuring you always stay compliant with its built-in multi-currency and international capabilities.
3. Support all invoice formats
This may seem trivial until you are asked to convert your invoices into different formats for each supplier or client. Whether your business partners require documents to be in CSV, XML, EDI, or PDF, e-invoicing software must be able to support all formats and automatically convert information into structured data for machine-reading without having you storing different versions of the same invoice.
4. Integrate with existing systems
Ensuring a smooth data flow throughout your business is a challenge if the e-invoice solution cannot integrate well with all or specific business systems. Many e-invoicing solutions are not designed to fit in with complex operating networks. If your business requires the invoicing solutions to feed data into existing systems, make sure the vendor can provide you with safe and seamless integration between software.
5. Archiving capabilities
Archiving capabilities in e-invoicing solutions are essential in allowing you to manage all of your invoices with ease by storing them in one place.
Data in e-invoicing software are encrypted, which add another layer of security. In addition to archiving your receipts, you can also set expiry dates for document and purge them at the end of their period to keep everything organised.
You can rest well at night knowing your valuable financial data is secure, accurate and easily retrieved when needed.
6. Accept multiple forms of payments
Modern consumers are spoiled with a wide array of options to purchase practically anything possible and pay for these purchases however they want. Your e-invoice solution should be able to process all forms of payments, either virtually via credit cards or via third party platforms. For instance, several suppliers and consumers today utilise e-wallets as a safer, faster, and more economic fund transfer method.
What's more, not all transactions are straightforward. Sometimes, you want to offer a discount to a regular customer. Other times, terminal costs and oil prices cause shipping rates to fluctuate. You want these numbers, including taxes, to be reflected in the bill as well as your system.
Therefore, prioritise software that has features that allow you to type in the discount or tax percentage and generate a new total for you. Plus, the ability to set up recurring payments and automatically send invoices is also important if you provide or receive ongoing services.
7. Integrate analytics
Several solutions have built-in analytics capabilities and graphical dashboards to help businesses acquire more insights. Business Intelligence undoubtedly is a powerful and necessary tool for managers to make smart, timely, and informed decisions.
Everyone wants to know how well their business is doing, and an effective e-invoicing solution can collect data, generate reports, and deliver such insights to you.
8. Safety and support
Businesses handle tons of sensitive data daily, and it must be well protected at all costs. To make sure you are in safe hands, take time to carefully compare and evaluate vendors that fully understand the value of data and have made data protection one of their business' goals.
Another success factor is how well vendors can support you throughout the entire implementation project. Having consistent, quality support online and offline should be carefully assessed during your search for the right solution. Excellent customer support should not stop when software gets installed.
The purpose of going digital is to boost productivity by elevating mundane tasks, saving on physical space and resources, and getting instant access to invoices any time. Software that removes your daily hassle is the solution for you.
Are you looking for a reliable e-invoicing provider? Look no further! Talk to TRG’s team today and explore the various ways we can help your business transform.