14 June 2011 | Angeline Albert
Suppliers believe the cost of electronic invoicing is too high and they
are unwilling to adopt automated systems.
These are the main barriers to increasing the implementation of
electronic invoicing, according to a report published by provider Basware.
The study found 46 per cent 1,500 finance executives surveyed worldwide
cited this as a major problem, followed by 36 per cent that believed an
inability to set suppliers up on systems was the primary challenge. Success “often
depends on getting the suppliers on board and convincing them of the associated
benefits,” it said.
Other barriers mentioned were insufficient funding, concerns about the
implementation process, complex invoice processes, the inability of consumer
customers to receive electronic bills and a lack of board level support.
The key recommendation for businesses was to come up with a plan for
automation, to understand what changes will be necessary to complete the
project. It also suggested progressing in stages, and making sure each party
understands the process before beginning.
As part of the plan, there is also a need to engage with suppliers and
draw up a timetable for the project – as change cannot happen overnight.
The study, E-Invoicing: A GlobalView,
also found the UK has been slower than the rest of the world in adopting the
technology because of the barriers previously cited.
Just 18 per cent of UK firms use electronic billing, compared to an
average of 45 per cent across western Europe and 35 per cent of businesses
worldwide. However, more than three quarters (76 per cent) of UK finance
executives think it could benefit their company.
Respondents to the survey came from Europe, the US, the Middle East,
Africa and Australia.