In a previous article we argued that electronic invoices were dead and that electronic invoicing would thrive. It not an especially original paradox that addresses an emerging issue: what exactly is an electronic invoice?
Because scanning, OCR and data capture technologies have evolved and developed in their sophistication the superiority of a “pure” electronic invoice over a PDF invoice for example is becoming less obvious and an organisation embarking on an e-invoicing programme could, quite understandably, ask themselves the question “why have e-invoicing? Why not simply scan or accept emailed images?”
There are a few factors to consider summarized in our very broad brush comparison with traditional paper invoices. Scanned invoices will help to automate the accounts payable process but the level of accuracy will not be 100% – especially at line level and continuing to accept paper invoices does nothing toward your environmental targets. Emailed images have a high level of data integrity and are extremely inexpensive because there’s no transaction charge to worry about.