Why e-invoicing is vital for the office of the future

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e-invoicing environment

E-invoicing has many benefits for both suppliers and buyers - it’s also environmentally friendly. This article focuses on how E-invoicing is replacing paper invoicing for the better, ensuring that the offices of today continue to evolve for a sustainable future.

E-invoicing: an innovative solution

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses” - Henry Ford

Picture the outdated accounting department of the 90s - stacks of invoices piled on desks, the printer whirring continuously, huge filing cabinets at bursting point and some poor assistant bored to tears by the scanner.

If we asked the workers in this office what they wanted to change, what would improve the problems within the dept, what might they say?

“A bigger filing cabinet”, “a more efficient printer/scanner” or “a new assistant” (ouch!)

I think it’s unlikely that anyone would have the foresight to suggest sending all invoices electronically and processing without printing or scanning – just like Henry Ford and the car, the idea was beyond the imagination of most ordinary people.

But this isn’t just about making processes easier for workers… 

E-invoicing = Eco-friendly: Paper invoicing damages the environment

The need for innovative ideas and technology is constant, the environmental impact of practices such as paper invoicing and paper purchase orders have rendered them unsustainable.

E-invoicing and e-documents are an innovative solution to the paper problem, the problem being that the consumption of the product is so great that the environment is suffering.

It’s been estimated that paper consumption per office worker ranges between 10,000 & 20,000 sheets a year, with a higher figure likely for accounting and finance industries.*

Around 12-24 trees are needed to manufacture 1 ton of paper, that’s an average 18 trees cut down per 10 office workers each year*. Considering the amount of office workers… that’s a lot of trees.

Trees are a renewable resource so we don’t risk exhausting the supply, yet when you consider that 50% of printed documents are only read once or never read at all**… its seems unnecessary to displace any further wildlife by building new ‘tree farms’, or sourcing 9% of the wood used for paper in mature, irreplaceable forests.***

For those still in favour of paper invoicing, it may be worth mentioning that recycling paper isn’t as efficient as some may believe. Paper sludge (a bi-product of the paper recycling process) is full of harmful toxins and its final resting place is usually within landfill… not great.

E-invoicing: let's ensure there is an office of the future

E-invoicing and electronic documents won’t save the world from the many environmental challenges ahead. Yet when you consider the number of businesses around the globe it’s obvious that cutting down on paper will make a difference.

An E-invoice solution will remove at least 80% of paper from most accounting departments, so if every office adopted the technology we’d make an impact. E-invoicing speeds up the process by which outstanding balances can be paid by eliminating postage, which is often costly and produces further wastage.  

The benefits of e-invoicing aren’t limited to the environment, there are a number of financial and time saving incentives. However it is the responsibility of each business to consider the size of their carbon footprint and whether they contribute towards environmental damage.

E-invoicing supports environmental wellbeing and will help preserve the world in years to come, by removing paper it reduces harmful waste and promotes an eco-friendly ethic.

Making the transition to e-invoicing is one of several ways that companies can be more environmentally efficient, without incurring extra costs or losing valuable time. By adopting innovative processes that dont endanger the earth we work to retain a healthy environment for the offices of the future. 

* Preton.com
** Thinkbeforeprinting.org
*** Ecology.com

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