Digital invoice receipt software offers enormous advantages: it saves time and thus money. There are various software providers, each offering different functions. Some providers focus more on a cost-effective offering, while others have made it their task to make the software as flexible and customizable as possible. But what are their special features? What do you have to watch out for? What are the differences? How can I make my company more digital? In short: which software suits me if I want to digitize my invoice verification and receipt?
What are the prerequisites for implementing digital invoice receipt software?
Every company goes through a process of metamorphosis, in which the transformation from the analog to the digital age happens. For some, this happens a little earlier; for others, it takes a little longer. Sooner or later, however, every company will turn to digital tools because it’s easy, saves time, and automates tedious work. And when it comes to invoices in particular, there is a huge need. The analog processing of incoming, but also outgoing invoices is too annoying. This work takes up too much time in the day of a competent assistant, who could use it so much better. And “easy invoice” is the keyword here. The invoice should be passed through as quickly as possible from receipt to payment, in order to avoid reminders and to obtain discounts. In order to map these processes digitally, it used to require extensive programming work to define such individual software. Nowadays, there are various ways to introduce software-supported processing of incoming invoices in the own company. Above all, however, it works via software licenses, where the software is not bought – as in the past – but leased. But not all solutions are suitable for every company. That’s why every company must deal with various questions before purchasing such a software solution, focusing clearly on one question: “Which solution suits me and my company? What is important to me?” and above all not the question: “Which software is very cheap?”
What are your goals when introducing a digital solution for incoming invoices?
First and foremost, you should define your ideas and weigh up how you want to digitize, release and archive invoices in the future. Archiving is an important point here. Only if a working document management system (DMS for short) is in place, this can be implemented for your own company. In addition, there are individual factors, such as the levels of approval. Does everything go through one hand or do invoices have to go through several people before they can be released? Are there rules that need to be mapped? Ultimately, it should be a workflow that can be easily acted upon. Because then the goals that were set in advance can be achieved. For one company, the goal may be that no more invoices have to be stored in analog folders. For others, the goal might be to reduce the processing time of an invoice from 30 days to three days. At first glance, that sounds like a lot. But if the rules, notifications and deadlines are set correctly, then this can definitely be achieved. And even more striking is the potential of possible savings when switching to digital invoice management. According to a study by Gartner and PwC, minus the costs of a business software, a company saves 12-15€ per digital invoice. At first sight, this sounds like a lot. But if you consider costs for personnel, paper, costs for search processes, etc., then you get there. In summary, it is extremely important what goals the company sets for itself.
Differences between digital invoice approval software providers.
Let’s take a closer look at a few solutions. What makes business software special and what levels are there. The first step into a digital age is made possible by all of them. But what functions are there in general?
- OCR – automatic data reading of invoices with artificial intelligence
- Archiving of documents by a DMS
- Mapping of multi-level and complex approval stages
- Multi-client capability, assignment to cost centers possible
- Interface friendliness
- Customizability of the release workflow
- Possibility to install the solution on-premise (on own servers)
- Mail-in function for direct input of incoming invoices
- App available for togo control
- Test access on the homepage to try out the solution directly
- Connection to a bank program
- Cash flow planning integrated for overview
There are small solutions for smaller companies, which do not need a too big workflow (e.g. lexoffice). This is especially suitable for self-employed people and is also cheaper. However, the flexibility of a larger solution with growth possibilities and the possibility of mapping additional workflows is not given. If it is a company that is growing very strongly in the future, it is suitable at most as an interim solution. For the beginning of the implementation of a business software it can be easy enough.
Especially growing companies and SMEs are at the threshold. You no longer have this simple process, as is the case with the small business or solo self-employed. Here, there may already be several release stages or rules that should be taken into account when purchasing software in order to ultimately have a smooth transition from analog documentation to a digital solution for invoice receipt. The flexibility of the software is very important here. Are components interchangeable? Are workflows adaptable? In this area, workload reductions for employees are also essential. Through automatic data readout, invoices can be transferred directly into the system, also digitally, and through interfaces, the posted invoices can be sent directly to an accounting software. And above all, an important point: can the solution grow with the company and, if necessary, also map other workflows (such as outgoing invoices, document creation, contract management, etc.).
Large companies usually use a uniform system from ERP to merchandise management to accounting. The goal here is to have the interfaces correspondingly directly in the same solution. Companies of a certain size can achieve even more individuality with their own developments. In this case, almost all technical requirements can be met, but this is also associated with corresponding costs. Here, too, the needs and goals should be clearly defined so that a solution can be implemented without problems.
It is important to clearly know the goals and structures of the company when defining the appropriate software solution for digitizing incoming invoices. On the one hand, the size of the company plays a role, on the other hand, the already existing processes and workflows. Therefore, such a project should not be taken lightly and the introduction should be well thought out. After all, the software should do one thing above all: simplify or automate tedious work and thus save time, which can then be used profitably for other activities.