Invoice Receipt Management Report 2015

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1 Invoice Receipt Management Report 2015 Increasing Electronic Invoice Adoption Through Strategic Automation Featuring insights on...»» Current Market Trends in Invoice Receipt Solutions»» Benefits of Electronic Invoice Receipt Technology»» Barriers to einvoicing and B2B Network Adoption»» Strategies for Increasing Supplier Adoption and Invoice Receipt Success»» A Leading Provider of Electronic Invoice Receipt Management Solutions Underwritten in part by

2 Contents Introduction 3 Benefits of Electronic Invoice Receipt 4 Working Towards the einvoice 6 Overcoming Barriers to Electronic Invoice Adoption 9 Strategizing Invoice Management 12 Conclusion 15 Corcentric 16 About PayStream Advisors 20 2

3 Introduction One of the most revolutionary technologies in Accounts Payable (AP) automation is electronic invoicing. An einvoice is one that is delivered electronically in a standardized format from a supplier to a buyer through the assistance of a network. The einvoice s consistent format, secure connection, and direct integration reduce process time, costs, and mistakes. For years, research has proven the competitive advantage of einvoicing software, and business leaders have encouraged adoption of einvoicing and B2B networks. However, research also shows that even after extensive onboarding efforts by both solution providers and their customers, supplier participation in einvoicing networks has remained low. Without the suppliers involvement, buying organizations also hesitate to adopt these solutions, and in the end, the value of einvoicing is lost for all parties. Today, developers of einvoicing technology are recognizing the ongoing struggle of low supplier participation, and they are adjusting their strategies accordingly. This involves going beyond a single einvoicing network innovative organizations must adopt a hybrid model of invoice receipt automation in order to offer their suppliers more options for invoice submission. This report explores the uses and benefits of different invoice receipt automation tools, and gives organizations strategies on how to select the right solution for their specific needs and their unique supplier base. 3

4 Benefits of Electronic Invoice Receipt Electronic invoices go directly from a supplier to a buyer in 1 of 2 ways: 1. Both parties integrate with an open business network that enables the invoice (in XML or similar formats) to move directly from one AR system or ERP to another. 2. Suppliers enter invoice information into a standardized web form on a supplier portal. The invoices are then imported into a buyer s system. The common denominator with all einvoices is that their data is structured. Once that structure is determined and put in place, it doesn t change, eliminating errors in invoice formatting and removing the necessity for data entry and exception management processes. This streamlined transmission results in many benefits for buying organizations. PayStream Advisors surveyed over 200 individuals employed in many different industries, compiling data reflecting current attitudes towards and usage of invoice receipt automation software. According to research results, the top reasons buyers want to implement einvoicing solutions are reduction in labor and processing costs, fewer lost or missing invoices, and quicker approval cycles, see Figure 1. 4

5 Reduction in labor / processing costs 54% Fewer lost or missing invoices 31% Quicker approval cycles 30% Better visibility across the transaction lifecycle 25% Increased ability to capture discounts 24% Figure 1 Most Organizations Hope to Reduce Processing Costs, Errors, and Time What factors are driving your organization to consider an electronic invoicing solution? Increased on-time payments Reduction in exceptions/ discrepancies Fewer duplicate invoices Improved vendor satisfaction 10% 9% 23% 17% Fewer supplier inquiries 5% In addition to these improvements, other benefits of einvoicing include the ability for AP to focus on higher-value activities, improved cash management, reduced fraud, more secure payments, and improved opportunity for process analytics. einvoicing also offers many benefits for suppliers. These include faster payments, fewer rejected invoices, and increased productivity. Suppliers can also experience enhanced accounts reconciliation and improved customer relationships through faster, more secure payments. In addition, einvoicing brings suppliers better cash management and working capital, and gives them access to alternative finance options. True einvoicing is the most cost-effective and efficient method for AP processing overall. Because einvoicing eliminates paper and manual data entry, it also removes the exception management process present in other methods of invoice receipt. Electronic invoices can go straight to the approver and then straight to payment, i.e., straightthrough processing. This capability is one of the greatest advantages of einvoicing. 5

6 Working Towards the einvoice Despite the benefits of electronic invoices, they are among the least-received formats in invoice processing today. Instead, most organizations receive more paper, fax, and ed invoices than electronic invoices, see Figure 2. MOST SOME FEW NONE Figure 2 Organizations Are Receiving Invoices in a Wide Range of Formats What amount of invoices does your organization receive in the following formats? Paper EDI 50 % 49 % 60 % 31 % Fax 12 % 33% 36 % 29 % 12 % 30 % 24 % 5 % 0 % 11 % 15 % 3 % While einvoices are the most efficient way to manage B2B invoicing, they are simply not widely used or welcomed by suppliers. In reality, suppliers are sending a variety of different invoice formats, and due to their fear of einvoicing network fees, lack of education of the benefits, and other barriers, they will likely continue to do so. However, there are alternative strategies that organizations can use to successfully handle the receipt of other, paper-based invoices. 6

7 ed, scanned, and faxed invoices cannot be processed like a true einvoice, but they can still be converted into a standardized electronic format using efficient front-end management strategies. Methods for digitizing paper-based documents include: OCR Data Capture: In-House Scanners Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is the electronic conversion of scanned images or text to a machine-encoded document. This conversion speeds up the transfer of information, and enables easy storage and quick retrieval of that information. The benefits of OCR are numerous it reduces storage, paper use, and costs, improves document retention, privacy, and security, and improves vendor relationships through faster processing times. Organizations can buy their own scanners for in-house paper invoice processing either one with built-in OCR technology or one that routes the invoice directly to an online mailbox for data capture and validation. These scanners are beneficial for companies that have numerous paper invoices but not enough resources or bargaining power with their suppliers to switch immediately to an einvoicing network. OCR Data Capture: Mailroom Services Organizations can route or send their paper invoices to a designated invoice processing center, or digital mailroom, where the invoices are opened and scanned into the system with OCR technology. In addition, these mailrooms incorporate extensive data validation procedures before the invoices are put into the organization s approval workflow, such as double-blind verification. By outsourcing paper invoice receipt, organizations eliminate the hassle of suppliers who are unwilling to move away from paper. OCR Data Capture: Extraction (PDFs) Suppliers are increasingly sending invoices by PDF attachments or including the invoice in the itself. Often, organizations can route these s to special online mailboxes where the data is extracted from the PDF or body. With the proper data capture technology, attached PDFs can be almost as affective as einvoicing, and suppliers are sometimes more willing to send their invoices in this manner than they are to register with a network. 7

8 Online Portals Along the same lines as an online mailbox, an invoice upload portal allows the supplier to load their invoice files (in PDF or other format) directly to the web. This is different from the web-based einvoicing forms found in a supplier portal, as it still relies upon data capture technology to extract and convert the invoice content. Multi-Method Invoice Receipt Mix Some organizations have a unique business structure or receive a wide mix of invoice types from their suppliers, and the thought of launching a complete einvoicing adoption overhaul may seem intimidating or impractical. These many available strategies for managing invoice receipt can be used before or in addition to einvoicing to supplement its value. When these methods are strategically implemented according to an organization s intake of invoice types or structure, they can bring most of the same benefits of an einvoicing network. 8

9 Overcoming Barriers to Electronic Invoice Adoption According to PayStream s research, only 22 percent of organizations are using an einvoicing solution, see Figure 3. OCR technology is only used by 21 percent of organizations, and front-end invoice scanning solutions are used by 49 percent. While over one-third of organizations are planning on implementing an einvoicing solution, many organizations have no plans to implement invoice receipt automation at all. Figure 3 Front-end Imaging (Scanning) Many Organizations Have No Plans to Implement Invoice Receipt Automation OCR/Automated Data Capture einvoicing Capability/ Network 66% Which of the following technologies do you currently use or are planning to implement within the next 12 months? 49% 29% 21% 22% 16% 13% 35% 49% Currently Using Planning to Implement in the Next 12 Months Neither Part of the reason einvoicing solutions have such low adoption is because they are often difficult and expensive to set up. It is also difficult to get a significant amount of suppliers to integrate, unless the buyer is a very large organization with enough power to force their suppliers into participation. In Latin American and Europe, einvoicing adoption has been standardized and enforced by government regulations. Transforming einvoicing adoption from a private sector to a public sector initiative has led to much higher participation rates in these countries than among North American businesses. While einvoicing should be the ultimate goal for any organization, there are many barriers in the current North American B2B space. Without full government 9

10 intervention, full U.S. market adoption will not become a reality for years to come. When asked about their largest barriers to adoption, respondents from U.S. organizations listed integration difficulties, supplier adoption, and internal change management as the greatest challenges, see Figure 4. Integration with in-house and supplier systems 47% Figure 4 Most Organizations Struggle with Integration of In-House Systems and Poor Supplier Adoption What are the greatest challenges within your organization around migrating invoices from paper to electronic format? Gaining supplier adoption 42% Internal change management / lack of executive sponsorship Solution does not function as expected 11% 37% Today s cloud-based einvoicing and invoice receipt solutions are growing easier to install and customize, nullifying many of the integration issues that have worried organizations in past years. Moreover, internal change management and lack of executive sponsorship are problems that can be readily addressed with the proper education about the benefits of einvoicing. However, supplier resistance is a more difficult battle. It involves forces that are not as firmly in the buying organizations control, including the lack of education among suppliers on the value of einvoicing and the perception that adoption is not worth the trouble. Some of the top reasons for supplier resistance include: Supplier Network Fees Problem: For many years, supplier networks charged suppliers fees, measured either by time-based subscription or by usage. These costs created an automatic resistance from suppliers trying to protect their bottom line. Solution: Today, the market is moving away from this model and most B2B networks are free for suppliers, greatly increasing supplier adoption. 10

11 Difficult Integration Problem: Some networks require complicated connectivity procedures, and suppliers without the IT or cash resources steer clear of adoption endeavors. Extensive Adoption Requirements Problem: Many suppliers feel that the amount of information required upon network registration is not worth their time. Lack of Valuable Tools Problem: Suppliers often believe there are not enough benefits to network adoption and einvoicing activity, in large part because supplier networks have failed to offer a robust set of tools that actually bring real value to the supplier. Lack of Invoice Receipt Diversity Problem: By not allowing suppliers to submit their invoices in a way that suits their needs, such as , buyers are hurting adoption. Buyer-Centric Solutions Problem: For many years, the focus has been on creating einvoicing solutions that bring cost reductions and smooth processes to buyers, while largely leaving out the needs of suppliers. Solution: With technology moving steadily towards the cloud, and with the increase in many-tomany connectivity, B2B networks are becoming easier to adopt without the expense of IT and lengthy implementation times. Solution: Networks are now making it very simple to sign on. Many only require a little bit of information from supplier in the beginning of their involvement, and let them add more over time as they see the value of the network services. Solution: More of today s software providers are shifting their focus towards the supplier side of B2B activity. Many solutions offer supplier self-service tools that bring more value and enable a healthlier supplier base. Solution: Solution providers are including more diverse invoice receipt options within their offerings, such as mailroom services in addition to an einvoicing network. Solution: Innovative organizations and solution developers realize that in order to implement and maintain a successful einvoicing solution and B2B network, the tools must bring real value to all parties. The suppliers are the key. 11

12 Strategizing Invoice Management The benefits and efficiency of einvoicing are dependent on supplier participation, but full participation is nearly impossible without diverse, supplier-focused automation strategies. With this focus in mind, organizations can use the following steps for more successful electronic invoice management: 1. Target All Suppliers In the past, buying organizations and solution providers have assumed that the majority of invoices come from a small portion of the supplier base. For this reason, many companies only aggressively target a small number of their suppliers for einvoicing adoption. While this may work in the short-term, it is not a scalable strategy, and buying organizations are missing out on huge long-term savings. In addition, with the increasing globalization of B2B activity, organizations have access to a wider and more diverse group of suppliers than ever before. The idea that a few suppliers provide most of the invoices no longer holds true for many organizations. To adjust to this changing environment, organizations should implement a diverse mix of invoice receipt strategies, targeting all their suppliers not just the ones that make the most noise Implement a Diverse Mix of Invoice Receipt Methods Figure 5 illustrates a possible scenario for an AP automation implementation that incorporates a diverse mix of invoice receipt methods. The figure is based on a medium-sized investment company that receives 30,000 PO and non-po-based invoices a year. This company s suppliers send 63 percent of their invoices in paper format and 37 percent through (primarily with attached PDFs). The company wishes to migrate to an electronic invoicing system, but they do not have faith that their primarily paper-driven supplier base will respond to a B2B network soon enough to bring quick ROI. Therefore, they decide to select a solution that offers an OCR-data capture technology for their ed invoices, and that also provides outsourced, mailroom services for their paper invoices. The provider also offers a robust einvoicing network, and with their provider s help, the investment company begins a campaign to encourage supplier adoption of this network, bridging the gap to full automation.

13 Suppliers Cloud Solution Providers 63% 37% einvoice Figure 5 An Organization s Strategic Journey to Automated AP OCR ERP Approval Workflow AP 3. Choose a Supplier-Focused Solution A solution that has the needs of a supplier in mind will not only offer diverse receipt methods and a B2B network at no cost to the supplier it will also feature Dynamic Discount Management (DDM) functionality. These solutions allow for changing discount rates based on the number of days the invoice is paid early. This ensures faster cash flow for the supplier and speeds up invoice processing as a whole. 4. Use a B2B Network with Supplier Value Today s supplier networks provide self-service functionality to suppliers, such as self-registration, and they allow suppliers to initiate transactions or transmit information over the network through catalogs, invoices, or contracts. Suppliers can use the portal to submit and check on the status of invoices, as well as increase their sales opportunities through access to tens of thousands of buyers. 13

14 They experience lower costs to service customers and improved communications with buyers through dispute resolution and help desk support. The network s system architecture helps ensure safe communication and data exchange between buyers and sellers within the application. In addition, supplier networks provide a many-to-many platform that enables trading partners to participate using several data and integration formats. These networks allow trading partners to engage in multi-tier, multiple-party processes. They also provide detailed analytics and benchmarking data. These features eliminate the hassle and IT difficulties that cause many suppliers to avoid participation in networks altogether. 5. Move Away from Manual Processes at a Consistent Pace While it may be most effective for some organizations to choose a solution with a strong front-end scanning component, this strategy should ideally only be a stepping stone towards a fully electronic invoicing system. Over time, organizations should consistently and proactively target all suppliers that are not in their B2B network and try to gain full einvoicing participation. 6. Steadily Implement Additional Invoice Management Solutions In the AP lifecycle, einvoicing solutions are only the first step towards true efficiency. Beyond einvoicing, there are many other solutions that yield savings and productivity in an organization. These solutions include matching, approval workflow, payments, and more. When selecting a solution, organizations should investigate the provider s additional invoice management solutions. 14

15 Conclusion einvoicing solutions are the key to bringing AP process efficiency and success to organizations. However, it takes time and hard work to fully access the solutions potential in savings and productivity value. Organizations should not aggressively pursue einvoicing alone they should expand their exploration of AP automation to consider a hybrid invoice receipt management system. This is the way to bring all parties and all systems together in a streamlined AP lifecycle. 15

16 Corcentric Corcentric is a provider of cloud-based financial process automation solutions that have enabled some of the world s largest organizations to manage and protect their financial assets. Corcentric s Accounts Payable (AP) and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) automation solutions help reduce business costs, streamline processes, and provide the visibility needed to make critical business decisions. Corcentric allows companies to manage 100% percent of their invoices electronically, creating a conduit between procurement, accounts payable, accounts receivable, and suppliers. Corcentric s COR360 AP solution incorporates multiple invoice submission and capture capabilities, customizable workflows, automated matching, and advanced reporting to help companies increase efficiency and reduce costs associated with invoice and payment management. In addition, COR360 includes a supplier network to connect suppliers to the invoice process, enabling them to submit invoices electronically and review invoice and payment statuses via a portal. Founded 1998 Headquarters McLean, Virginia Other Locations Cherry Hill, NJ; Fairfield, NJ; Atlanta, GA; McLean, VA; Downers Grove, IL; Coral Springs, FL Number of Customers N/A Number of Employees 220 Target Verticals All Verticals Awards/Recognitions SSAE16 Type II SOC 1 certified, PCI Compliant Electronic Invoicing and Invoice Receipt Corcentric s COR360 solution is offered as a hosted service, and is a multi-tenant SaaS solution that supports the full invoice lifecycle, including purchase order requisitioning, electronic invoicing, outsourced scan and capture, invoice workflow, automatic matching functionality, check request approval, and electronic payment processing. COR360 clients have the option to go fully paperless from 16

17 day one with a combination of electronic invoicing and outsourcing all paper scan and capture to Corcentric. COR360 s einvoicing system eliminates the paper trail entirely by providing suppliers with a comprehensive supplier network for submitting einvoices. The solution integrates easily with any ERP or accounting system. In addition, the solution can be accessed from anywhere in the world at any time, via all smartphone or tablet devices. COR360 allows users to go completely paperless by outsourcing scanning and data capture hassles. Corcentric s Invoice Virtualization Center provides invoice conversion services through scanning and data capture to convert paper invoices to electronic invoices. Invoice images also can be ed directly from suppliers to COR360 and automatically sent through the capture process after receipt. Corcentric works with suppliers to transition them from submitting paper invoices to submitting einvoices through the Corcentric Supplier Network. Corcentric does not charge suppliers any einvoice fees or require them to create specific EDI formats. Corcentric can accept any EDI format, converting the EDI through the Corcentric Supplier Network to the required einvoice format. Once invoices are submitted to COR360, data is validated against a client s AP system/erp to ensure that data such as supplier name, remit-to addresses, PO numbers, and GL allocations is valid. Invoices are also validated using duplicate invoice checking, and can be rejected if necessary. Delegation of authority routing is validated against configured user hierarchies and the approval authority of the user. Additional Invoice Management Functionality COR360 utilizes SmartRouting to route an invoice after scan and capture to the user without the need for manual routing. This is done by capturing key information from the invoice, such as Attention Name, PO Number, Supplier Information, Department/Cost Center Number, and/or Location. The invoice is then automatically routed to the appropriate user based on those fields without user intervention. COR360 automates three-way matching with straight-through processing, matching invoice details to PO line items and receiving data. When criteria using matching rules and tolerances are met, COR360 can complete the transaction straight through to the AP system/erp without AP processor involvement. Invoices that fail the 17

18 matching process can be automatically routed to the appropriate user (e.g., purchasing, receiving, etc.) for resolution based on the reason the invoice failed the match. Clients have full capabilities to design and modify their own workflows at any time, with no IT expertise required. Invoices that require approval can be automatically routed according to the delegation of authority rules in COR360 and can be quickly approved and GL account-coded. Electronic history of routing and user approval is maintained in the audit report for every invoice. Clients can configure escalation notifications that can alert both the user and their superior of invoices that need approval. Approved invoices can be scheduled for payment through the COR360 solution via a dashboard for payment as a paper check, ACH, or on a p-card. Corcentric works directly with suppliers in an effort to move them away from paper checks to ACH, wire, or p-card payments. Buyers can determine which invoices to pay early to capture early payment and sliding scale discounts. Supplier Services There are no supplier fees to connect to the Corcentric Supplier Network for einvoices or to access the Corcentric supplier portal. The supplier portal provides a self-service mechanism for suppliers to view payment information, resolve invoice disputes, and submit invoices. Clients have full control of exactly how much information is available in the supplier portal. Reporting and Analytics The COR360 solution provides real-time dashboards, including drilldown capability for complete analysis. Standard reports can monitor accruals, user metrics, system administration, and departmental analysis. Ad hoc reporting tools are also available, allowing any user to create custom reports as required for further invoice analysis, with no IT expertise needed. All reports can be exported to Excel or CSV files. 18 Pricing and Implementation Once client configuration options are defined, the configuration of the COR360 suite takes 1 to 2 weeks. Some factors that impact implementation time include the client s availability to meet and discuss configuration options, the length of time a client wants to test, and if any custom requirements come up.

19 Corcentric provides 24/7 customer support via a hotline, and provides in-depth training for both users and system administrators at no additional cost. In addition, online help is available within the COR360 product. There are no per-user fees, as COR360 allows for unlimited users and suppliers at no additional cost. COR360 charges transaction fees based on the number of invoices processed. In addition, there is a minimal, one-time configuration fee for setup of the solution. 19

20 About PayStream Advisors PayStream Advisors is a technology research and consulting firm that improves the way companies plan, evaluate, and select emerging technologies to achieve their business objectives. PayStream Advisors assists clients in sorting through the growing complexities of IT applications related to business process automation with the goal of making objective, analytical, and actionable recommendations. Wherever business process automation technology is an issue, PayStream Advisors is there to help. For more information, call (704) or visit us on the web at 20

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