The digitalisation is inevitable affecting most companies, often for the better. The development of digital support has relatively quickly changed Purchase to Pay (P2P) processes too. Many businesses have made great strides in terms of automation, reducing administration costs per invoice to very low levels.
Technology advancements has made it possible for an electronic invoice to go directly to payment without human involvement. But as the development is rushing forward, it’s not easy to keep tabs on where we’re heading.
Per-Gunnar Berndtsson, Vice President, Head of Product at Palette, comments:
“Being at the forefront of technology is important, but perhaps even more important is to be at the forefront of innovative technology solutions to fully support the company on its way towards 100% digitalisation. You need to take the entire landscape into consideration – products supporting the P2P process connected to the ERP system and the ability to communicate electronically with your suppliers.”
There are several trends in the field of automation, all of which will greatly impact the P2P process. These are some of the clearest trends on the market today:
To get away from being dependent on paper, many companies today have already achieved a level of 100% e-invoices. By also including purchasing, there is potential for further digitalisation, as purchasing today often includes manual labour and a whole lot of paper.
Expand the control of purchasing
Purchasing is not only an issue for the purchasing department. Collaboration between purchasing/financial is an important aspect of success when you want to deliver successful automation throughout the entire P2P process.
An additional purchasing system with the ability to pre-approve orders might be a good investment for easier control of the operation against company rules and policies for purchasing. Such a set-up provides full insight and control over all the company’s purchases, making it easier to control against the total budget or savings targets.
Authorities’ requirements on digitalisation
The Nordics have been leading the development of e-invoices, and we have seen requirements from authorities that paper invoices are no longer acceptable. In 2005, Denmark implemented a requirement for e-invoices for authorities, while Brazil is today considered one of the most successful markets in the world in terms of development of e-invoices. Other countries in Latin America have also come a long way.
Now, we are starting to see initiatives also from US authorities demanding certain criteria for e-invoices, which will ultimately contribute to an increased usage of e-invoices in the US.