Invoice électronique : how to convince your fournisseurs ?

Do you want to start dematerialising your supplier invoices? Are you wondering how to convince your suppliers to follow you in this evolution? In concrete terms, what are the advantages of electronic invoicing for your suppliers? The success of your project will depend on your ability to make the transition correctly. And for this, the cooperation of your suppliers is necessary. Because if you want to receive your invoices in electronic format, your suppliers will have to send them to you dematerialised.

And the more successful you are in convincing your suppliers, the higher your return on investment will be. However, habits are not easy to change. So how do you convince your suppliers? What are the advantages of electronic invoicing for them?

Here are some keys to getting your suppliers to see the benefits of electronic invoicing for them and to embrace your transformation.

For suppliers: a cost of use of €0

The first step in convincing your suppliers to adopt electronic invoicing is that there are no additional costs associated with using your solution.

For suppliers, access to an invoice collection platform such as Freedz is free!

The first barrier is removed! Why should they object to using a solution that costs them nothing? Especially since the benefits for suppliers go far beyond this simple fact and have real advantages.

We tell you more about the other points that will help you convince your suppliers to adopt electronic invoicing!

The number one trump card for convincing suppliers: reduce payment times!

To convince your suppliers, you need to understand their main problem with invoicing: payment delays!

In France, 1/4 of business bankruptcies are due to excessive payment periods (according to a study by the Observatoire des délais de paiement). In 2018, these payment periods for French companies reached 73 days. Compared to 2017, this corresponds to an increase of 2 additional days!

Secure transport and faster processing times

The primary cause of these delays is the long processing times for manually managed paper or PDF invoices. An invoice in paper format has to be printed in several copies (at least one copy for the sender and one for the customer). This suggests publishing costs, as well as mailing costs. And this paper invoice will take at least 3 days to be delivered by post, if it arrives at all (whereas an electronic delivery takes a few seconds). Once received, the mail has to be sorted, the paper invoice is scanned, typed, processed before being sent to the relevant department for validation and then returned to the finance department, provided it does not remain "dormant" in an office...

The invoice must then be kept for a minimum of 6 years for tax purposes and for a minimum of 10 years for legal purposes. However, these retention periods imply archiving. Such a long retention period and the cumbersome manual processing inevitably lead to document loss. In 2017, according to a study by Kodak Alaris, 7.5% of paper documents managed by a company are lost. Another problem that can be encountered is the time wasted searching for a misfiled document (in 2017, 3% of the documents managed by a company are misfiled, according to the same study).

In short, these various time-consuming reasons often have a cost for you, and lengthen payment times for your suppliers. It is easy to see why these tasks are counterproductive. They are an incentive to change the way you handle invoicing: from paper to electronic format, from manual processing to an automated approach.

Reduction of input errors

Another cause of invoice payment delays is the rejection of incorrect invoices. According to a study by Aberdeen Group, 8 out of 10 supplier invoices contain at least one input error .

Indeed, a careless mistake can happen very quickly! Many anomalies are encountered: errors in contact details, figures or calculations (discount or VAT not done or wrong)... Manual management also means being attentive to legislative changes.

The accounting team knows best that one incorrect entry can lead to an incredible waste of time. The time spent checking and resolving errors could be spent on other activities. Because every mistake on a paper invoice must be corrected. This means that the document has to be taken back, reprinted and sent out again. Provided that the suppliers have been promptly informed of the rejection and its cause...

An invoice collection platform such as Freedz allows you to check the reliability of the data sent, thus guaranteeing the legal value of the invoices.

Potential problems are therefore identified before invoices enter your approval and processing cycle. Moving from paper and manual entry to electronic and automated entry avoids input or lad/rad errors.

By limiting the number of round trips, the electronic invoice allows faster and more reliable invoice processing. Late payments are reduced. Companies are less at risk, and as a result,customer-supplier relations improve.

Reducing payment times is an achievable goal by reducing processing times. This can be achieved with electronic invoicing, which offers clear advantages to your suppliers.

In fact, receiving and processing supplier invoices in electronic format speeds up the processing time by a factor of 4 (according to a study by Ernst & Young).

Finally, everyone wins! Faster payment times mean fewer late payment penalties and even early payment discounts! It's a guarantee that you will pay on time, which means that you will have an up-to-date cash flow.

Increased traceability

Electronic invoicing means reliable traceability and therefore guaranteed time savings.

Indeed, an invoice collection platform such as Freedz allows you to keep your suppliers informed about the processing status of the invoices they have submitted. From their user account, they have access to a dashboard that allows them to follow the processing status of their invoices, and therefore benefit from better monitoring. The exchange of information is automatic and bilateral. It puts an end to calls for information to find out the status of an invoice.

The use of electronic invoicing secures the sending and transport of invoices, providing traceability that eliminates document loss.

Reduced litigation and improved supplier relations

In the past, customer-supplier relations could be strained (especially with longer payment terms). Recently, companies have become aware that this friction is harmful to everyone and are changing their attitude and seeking to improve these relationships.

Indeed, as we mentioned earlier, thanks to the dashboard, suppliers are kept informed of the status of their invoices. No more calls from them to find out the status of their invoice. You have less to worry about and so do they. Moreover, the reliability of the data limits errors and invoice rejections, and therefore the sources of disputes with your suppliers. Relationships with your suppliers become more relaxed. Trust is established through the tool, and allows collaboration between you and your suppliers, thus improving relations. The electronic invoice therefore makes it possible to put an end to conflictual relations.

And if a dispute still arises? The electronic format improves traceability. It becomes easier to detect blockages, toquickly identify the sources of disputes and therefore to speed up the processing of them, from the declaration to their resolution.

A coup de grâce to convince your suppliers: it's a competitive advantage

Since 2016, with the implementation of the Chorus Pro portal (following changes in legislation), the use of electronic invoicing has become widespread in public structures. Since 2020, all companies wishing to work with public structures must work with electronic invoicing. Every year, more and more companies are adopting this method of electronic data exchange.

In addition, the economic context requires ever greater efficiency. Structures are seeking to respond to performance and time saving issues in order to make their activities more profitable. In the same way as public structures, more and more clients are choosing electronic invoicing. The current context encourages dematerialisation to benefit from immediate economic returns. However, for greater efficiency, these customers are demanding and will continue to demand that suppliers transmit invoices in electronic form.

Thus, more and more calls for tenders require the dematerialisation of the invoice. To win these tenders, suppliers must therefore adapt. And the faster they move towards dematerialisation, the more competitive they will be in the market. In order to improve the commercial performance of their company, opting for electronic invoicing is therefore an additional advantage and a wise choice for competitiveness.

As you can see, for your project to be successful, you need to convince suppliers to choose to send invoices electronically.

Electronic invoicing is a solution thatoffers benefits to your suppliers. It adds value with simplicity, while reducing late payments. It's a reliable technology that improves customer-supplier relationships, and helps businesses stay competitive. So why go without?

Do you want to switch to electronic invoicing and offer these benefits to your suppliers?

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