Why is paper still used for invoice processing today?

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Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Statement signalled significant investment in research, development and innovation. Among his statement pledges, the Chancellor announced the creation of a new ‘national productivity investment fund’ worth £23bn, which will focus on innovation and infrastructure, with investment rising by over £2bn a year by 2020.

The Government’s view is that the UK and its businesses do not invest enough in research, development and innovation. As the pace of technology advances and competition from the rest of the world increases, the Chancellor felt that his Government needed to help British business build on our strengths in science and technical innovation, to ensure the next generation of discoveries are not only made here, but developed and produced in Britain to help drive the post-services economy and productivity.

Now picture the outdated accounting department of the 90s - stacks of invoices piled on desks, the printer whirring continuously and huge filing cabinets at bursting point. If we asked the workers in this office what they wanted to change, what would improve the problems within the department, what might they say: “A bigger filing cabinet”, “a more efficient printer/scanner”? I think it’s unlikely that anyone would have had the foresight to suggest sending all invoices electronically and invoice processing without printing or scanning.

It is the question of the digital age - how to do more with less and how to take less time doing it? The accepted way of increasing productivity in any organisation has recently become digital automation, or to put it simply, getting a computer to do it.

The need for innovative technology

That sounds quite simple, but in many situations, it is often quite tricky. For example, how does a computer interpret human-readable documents? Solving that age-old dilemma would mean we could automate all sorts of document processing systems, saving time, money and paper.

The need for innovative technology is constant, and while the Chancellor’s investment in innovation and productivity should be applauded, there is no doubt that innovative solutions to age old problems have started to immerge over the last few years.

Using e-Invoicing to connect businesses to trade electronically is a modern, innovative solution to the paper problem. 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. The business and environmental impact of paper invoicing also means its unsustainable and hugely unproductive.

Organisation can save 1-2 per cent of turnover when they remove paper invoicing and replace it with electronic invoices and optimising their supply chain, so why are so many businesses refusing to innovate to increase productivity and increase their bottom line?

Read the full article at ITProPortal.com

Did you know that PDF's are an effective way to accept invoices and remove paper from your accounts payable process? 


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