Though Europe has led the charge toward mandating electronic invoice management for private and public organizations, e-invoicing has been gaining rapid ground in South America as well. Ecuador has now joined the ranks of countries looking to cut costs and improve services through implementation of an electronic invoice management system, following a pilot program which involved twenty companies. The Ecuadorian government is now working to educate the public on the benefits and inner workings of the new system. With many countries across the globe feeling pressure to reduce operational costs, it’s becoming more common for them to turn to automation to support their new agendas.
Though governments are not strictly “businesses,” they generally look to gain the same benefits as a private company does when switching to automated invoice management. The level of visibility and control gained, particularly when combined with e-procurement software for full procure-to-pay management, cannot be matched by manual processes, which tend to be slow and error prone. Some of the benefits gained include:
- Digital invoice capture, which eliminates much of the data entry
- Improved visibility for management
- Reduced processing and administrative costs
- Increased timeliness and accuracy, particularly with reduced human intervention
- Automated matching with related documentation
- Support for green initiatives by substituting electronic transactions in place of paper-based transactions
Economy-driven budget restrictions are sending governments in search of the same technology and best practices businesses must use to be competitive. CFO Magazine’s Yasmin Ghahremani summed up e-invoicing’s benefits by saying, “This is one area of corporate life where the concept of "paperless" is really taking hold. Paper invoices can get lost, damaged, misplaced, misinterpreted, or ignored. In electronic form they can be tracked, processed, and reconciled far more quickly and with lower error rates.” While governments may have priorities that differ from corporations, the need for streamlined, efficient business processes remains the same, whether the entity is public or private.
Image Source: NASA