Research and partnerships signal further evolution of electronic invoicing

A focus on improving invoice quality is the catalyst for a new partnership between GXS and OB10. 
By Manufacturing Business Technology Staff August 9, 2007

A focus on improving invoice quality is the catalyst for a new partnership between GXS and OB10 . As announced in July, the vendors will build an integrated electronic invoicing solution leveraging the OB10 e-Invoicing network and the GXS Trading Grid, a global B2B e-commerce and integration platform that supports creation and adoption of on-demand supply chain management solutions for companies of any size.

The result is an on-demand solution that complements investments in ERP, while ensuring high-quality information flows throughout the extended supply chain.

E-invoicing is the process of receiving invoices and credit memos from suppliers via the Internet, rather than paper invoices coming through regular mail, or electronic invoices received through an EDI network, or other dedicated network.

For one large original equipment manufacturer and services provider interviewed by Thomas F. Gattiker, Ph.D., for CAPS Research , a Tempe, Ariz.-based nonprofit research organization dedicated to supply chain issues, the cost of sending an e-invoice is only about 40 percent the cost of a paper invoice.

That particular manufacturer’s initiative also resulted in a decrease in headcount of invoice processing personnel, while invoice accuracy increased.

According to CAPS, e-invoicing removes the need for humans to handle problem-free invoices and shifts the focus of front-line accounts payable (AP) personnel from high-volume processing to identifying and eliminating root causes of errors. This effort includes working with supply management, and with suppliers. It is believed that this role shift—from discrepancy resolution to root cause elimination—is an important driver in the observed increase in invoice quality.

The integrated GXS-OB10 solution, ttargeted for availability in early 2008, will improve automation throughout the order-to-cash process, ensuring that customers can depend on a fully automated, streamlined, and regulatory-compliant solution that minimizes manual intervention, errors, and delays.

OB10 enables compliance with global tax and value-added tax regulations. Specifically, the EU DIRECTIVE 2001/115/EC, which governs the electronic invoicing process in Europe, requires any company invoicing other organizations in the EU to comply with certain e-invoicing standards, which include definitions of the types of data that invoices must include and storage requirements for auditing purposes.

Using OB10 e-Invoicing, companies can become compliant with EU regulations without having to undertake a costly and time-consuming compliance process on their own.

Outside of the complexities in Europe, the OB10 service is compliant with tax regulations in North America and the Asia-Pacific region. Currently, thousands of companies exchange invoices via OB10 in 90-plus countries.