Author: Pete Loughlin

Having experienced the benefits of ReadSoft Accounts Payable Automation for years in parts of their operations, a multinational telecom company based in Europe decided to expand the use of the solution to cover increased volumes of invoices. The agreement concerns invoice processing inside SAP and is worth 300,000 EUR and was signed during the third quarter of 2011.

Tradeshift are an enigma. Their revenue model may have you perplexed. Their tagline "Shift Happens" might raise an eyebrow and their animation for the launch of their Instant Payment offering - well is isn't exactly Pixar. But don't let it fool you. Behind the enigmatic facade of Tradeshift is a brave business model - a business model that is going to fundamentally change the rules of supply chain finance. And this week, I spoke to Tradeshift's charismatic CEO, Christian Lanng, who, in his own words, began to "reveal the riddle that is Tradeshift"

Tradeshift, the business-to-business social network, has today announced a new Instant Payments service. Instant Payments will allow businesses - and particularly SMEs - to receive instant payment for invoices approved through the platform. Companies will benefit from interest rates significantly lower than alternative funding options and will no longer see cash flow impacted by long payment terms or late payers. This new service integrates seamlessly with Tradeshift’s existing e-invoicing solution which is free to suppliers, providing the financial flexibility small businesses need to succeed.

E-invoicing isn't the first victim of standards and it won't be the last. B2B standards, designed to guide businesses down the right path, to allow disparate organizations to inter-operate, don't work. They have the opposite effect. They are self defeating. They attempt to create a single agreed way of working but instead, they embed incompatibility and constrain growth and until we get rid of the standards we'll continue to flounder.

Recently we wrote about how the introduction of e-invoicing could allow fraud to be automated alongside AP processes. The previous article is here. And in case anyone was in any doubt about how prevalent fraud can be, we thought it would be interesting to provide a little insight from the purchase to pay coal face on how easy it can be.