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Invoice management offers solutions for bills, purchase orders, packing lists, and other documents associated with services and charges. An effective invoice management system has many benefits. It may increase efficiency in auditing and contract management, and allow you to lower costs and more accurately confirm compliance with business policies. However, the wrong invoice system can be inflexible and restrict your income. Implementing or contracting out any new system, whether good or bad, has its pitfalls. This guide will attempt to address the difficulties as well as the advantages, and will also touch on ways to lower the cost of invoice management.
According to Gartner, telecommunications invoices, on average, have a 7 to 12 percent margin of error. For a large multinational corporation running $250 million in telecom expenses annually, that percentage translates into nearly $25 million in erroneous billing each year. Incorporating a management system for invoicing into your company allows resource management to effectively send accurate invoices to the appropriate party. In addition to keeping track of the time spent on invoicing, other benefits also exist when speaking in terms of invoice management.
The ways your finances are reported are significantly improved in an invoice system. This allows you to drive down costs, manage contracts more effectively, procure new services and audit your invoices more efficiently. You also report your finances better because you have visibility over the entire environment of your business. The valuable dashboards allow you to report more quickly and efficiently.
With this type of management system, you are able to demonstrate compliance within your business. Look over every type of inventory you have, such as the circuits and any working telephone numbers you are paying for. Determine the expected usage on all services and make the appropriate changes within the company to save money. You are also able to log who makes what changes to the system to confirm their compliance with company policy.
Increase in Efficiency
The number one reason for the margin of error is due to the level of efficiency. With an invoice system, you increase your level of efficiency with all invoices that come in as well as the ones that are paid. You take note of which ones incur a fee and whether this fee is a one-time fee or a recurring fee. All of these factors play a major role in the efficiency of your accounting.
Reduction in Cost Per Invoice
The actual amount of time that is spent processing each invoice is dramatically reduced. This, in turn, results in less money that you have to pay to employees for manually entering the invoice information. The entire process is made faster and more efficient overall with a range of options to set up automatically. Other factors that play a role in the cost per invoice include the number of errors, which is reduced, as well as any penalty fees for late payments.
Using the wrong invoice management system for your business can result in lost income, overworked staff, irritated customers and unnecessary restrictions to your cash flow.
There are many different software packages available to help your business manage invoicing. You can purchase separate invoicing modules or buy a complete accounting package with this function included. Although many of these systems can be tailored to your company’s specific needs, the less expensive ones tend to have much less flexibility. It is important to make sure that the product you buy will do everything you need it to do. It is also important to find one that will grow and change with your business. If you decide to expand into new markets, will the invoicing management system accommodate that? Do your rates or prices change frequently? Do you have a small group of repeat customers, or will you need to add new clients daily? These are all factors that you need to consider before you purchase.
Staff Expertise and Training
Another important consideration when deciding between an in-house system or contracting out your invoice management function is the level of expertise you have available within your company. The best system in the world is only as effective as the people using it. You will need to have employees with invoicing skills on staff, and even these people will need to be trained to use the new system. In addition, employees are often resistant to and frightened of change. Managing those fears will be another aspect of the implementation that will need to be attended to.
Contracting out Your Invoice Management Needs
At first glance, contracting out your invoice management needs might seem to be the perfect answer. Although it’s true that this approach requires fewer employees and reduces the training needs, there are other concerns. With an in-house system, you call all the shots and can be involved at any level you choose. If for instance, an old and valued client wants an invoice reduced and you want to oblige, you can do that with a push of a button. That sort of thing becomes much more difficult when you use an agency. Another factor to consider is cost; what you save on training and increased staff needs you will spend on having this service performed by others.
A recent study done by Aberdeen Group (the industry research firm) showed that the frequency with which rating systems have been evolving, a proliferation of data systems, and regulatory problems that are impacting strategies are causing some companies to spend $34 or more for every single invoice that is processed. The best possible solution for this is to switch all of the paperwork to an eco-friendly solution by going digital. This will save you money by lowering costs by up to 70% and helping the environment in the process. The price of invoice management software can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. But the total price will still be far less than you would normally be paying when using a paper alternative.
An invoice management system incorporated into your company can allow for greater efficiency and accuracy in resource usage. Financial reporting can become easier, and the cost per invoice can be lowered dramatically. However, companies should be careful to choose the right invoice management system for their organizations. In-house systems offer personalization, but will need to involve employee training and internal adjustments. Another option is contracting out invoice management to an agency. While this reduces training costs, it also gives you less flexibility in making decisions and addressing individual cases. Businesses should take all these factors into consideration when they look at how to effectively manage their invoices.
Get rid of all of the papers lying around your office by implementing an invoice management system. You can choose to outsource your invoice processing, purchase invoicing software, or have a customized management system developed for your business. Whichever you choose, your invoices will be under control, payments to vendors will be simple to track, and expense reports can be easily created.
The most common method of invoice processing involves a three-way match system. Purchase orders developed by the company authorize individuals to purchase items from vendors or suppliers. Purchase orders are matched with receiving tickets. These tickets enter the warehouse or business along with the ordered supplies. The third document for the three-way match system is the vendor's invoice requesting payment. Information on all of these documents is compared and matched prior to the vendor receiving payment.
Using a specialized system for handling invoices can streamline invoice processing. Scanning documents into a database can allow you to use custom software for document comparison, for example.
Automating invoice management can give you easy access to all of your information, letting you monitor the process at every stage. To learn more about invoice processing and how it can help your business, click on the links on the left, which have been provided by Business.com.
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