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Invoice Processing Trends for Businesses

Invoice Processing is Changing With the Times, Keep Reading to See Howinvoice-processing-trends-business

It wasn’t that long ago that companies received 100% of their vendor invoices on paper via the post office. A lot has changed. In 2014, automation continues to be a top priority for the accounts payable department.

We did some research based on our own client community, and compared our analysis against the 2013 Paystream report on electronic invoice adoption. We saw some interesting and parallel trends on how Canadian businesses are starting to change the way they operate.

Here’s How it Breaks Down:



Not much you can say about paper other that it continues to dominate as the most common method of sending invoices, (60%) however, it is decreasing each year. What is interesting is the continued trend towards centralization of accounts payable processes. (The 2013 Paystream report shows an increase of 9% over previous year). We have also continued to see an increase in the centralization of accounts payable functions in an effort for companies to improve their overall efficiencies. This also provides outsourcing and shared services opportunities for better managing their traditional mail and paper processes.



For our clients, email is now the second most common way of sending invoices. The Paystream report indicated no significant change in the email numbers from the previous year. Sending a PDF invoice via email is easy. For the vendor, email saves time and money by eliminating printing and mailing functions. However, emailed invoices can present challenges on the receiving side. Even though the invoice is digital, it still needs to be processed properly, which in most cases requires several manual, time-consuming steps. The Paystream report cited email as just behind e-invoice/portal receipt, in terms of adoption. This difference to what we are seeing is likely due to the increase in adoption of e-invoicing solutions for small and medium size companies that was factored into the Paystream analysis but not as relevant to our client base.


Portal – (e-Invoice)

For many years, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) has been a common way for very large companies to connect with very large suppliers. However, today’s e-invoicing solutions are varied and affordable for every size of business. An e-invoice allows a supplier to electronically send structured data through a web form, which is then uploaded to the buyer’s side automatically. Attached backup images of the invoice may be included. E-invoicing still requires involvement for the sending party to ensure that data is correctly entered and received. According to Paystream, E-invoice and use of supplier portals had the largest overall increase of how invoices are received, jumping from 14 to 22%.



Like the VCR, facsimile transmission of a paper document still has a small following. This is for a variety a reasons, such as unwillingness to adopt new technology to concerns surrounding privacy and security. According to the Paystream report, fax submissions continue to decrease year over year and as an overall percentage make up less than 10% of total invoices received.

Overall the survey results compare to what we continue to see and hear from our own clients. E-invoicing and invoice delivery via supplier portal will continue to grow and evolve. The true value, however, is ensuring the successful capture and assimilation of the invoice data into the financial systems. Front end imaging, OCR, Capture technology and automated workflows continue to be driving forces in the overall goal of reducing processing costs, removing paper from the AP department and decreasing the time for invoice approval and payment.

Octacom helps organizations bridge the gaps that inhibit them from realizing the full benefit of invoice automation. Outsourcing your front end receipt, capture, validation, exceptions and archival processes empowers your AP department’s automation project.

We offer full support for Paper, Open Mail, Email and E-Invoicing. We can even manage fax transmissions, for those few who are still holding out. Imagine the freedom of knowing all of these processes are being handled professionally, and securely by trained and experienced people.

In addition we can help you overcome the barrier of little or no IT resources by offering both services and workflow software on a cost-per-invoice model.

Saving you time and money is what we are all about. Let’s Talk.

Source: Paystream Advisors Electronic Invoice Adoption Benchmark Report 2013

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