European businesses could save up to 80 percent through electronic billing and invoicing

By John O'Hanlon

European businesses should accelerate towards full e-billing and invoicing to help achieve savings of up to 80 percent says this year’s Billentis Report, sponsored by Ricoh, which predicts that 42 billion e-bills and invoices will be issued globally this year. Produced annually, the Billentis Report is designed to help organisations become more informed on e-billing and invoicing by providing market data and analysis to help them understand current and future business impacts.

In recent years, government initiatives throughout Europe have been encouraging businesses to move towards paperless billing. Denmark is one of the earlier pioneers, banning paper invoices from its public sector in 2005. As a result, today e-invoicing saves Danish taxpayers €150 million a year, and businesses €50 million. In Italy, the government’s adoption of an e-procurement system has reduced costs by over €3 billion. 

Edward Gower-IsaacVice President, Business Process Services at Ricoh Europe says: “Digitisation is undoubtedly a key driver of the growing pan-European appetite for e-invoicing. Businesses realise that ‘going digital’ is no longer a differentiator, but a paramount requirement for any organisation with hopes of a long-term future. In a 2014 survey conducted by Coleman Parkes, sponsored by Ricoh Europe, 73 per cent of business leaders said that achieving digital maturity would directly lead to an increase in profits, while 62 per cent agreed that it would increase their organisation’s appeal to potential investors and new owners.”

The same study also revealed how 50 per cent of business leaders felt they could not achieve digital maturity without the support of an external partner.

“As with any change-based programme, organisations are rightly seeking external help as they make the move to e-invoicing. Ricoh’s Invoicing Services allows businesses to easily manage both paper and digital invoices at the same time. Not only do they stand to benefit from third-party expertise, their workforce is relieved of this often laborious and time consuming task. Crucially, this gives them the capacity to undertake other business-critical and cash generating activities.”

However, digitalisation of invoices alone is not enough for businesses to fully achieve automated invoicing. Many European businesses are still experiencing extremely high exception handlings – personal interaction during the invoicing process. This is due to poor or inaccurate data in the invoices themselves. Inaccurate information on B2B invoices is a major reason for payment delays – and e-invoicing is an excellent vehicle to address inaccurate information.

Download the report to find out more at www.ricoh-europe.com/invoicing.

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