Invoices are perhaps the most important documents that change hands in business transactions. A well-functioning invoicing system can therefore help organisations become more efficient and in turn more profitable.
Invoices are the most read documents in business relationships. However, around three-percent of all invoices handled manually contain errors.
By establishing an efficient invoicing system, bills can be sent without the need for a major programming effort in the accounting system.
Today there are four main ways to send an invoice:
- Traditional paper invoice
- E-invoice – an electronic invoice directed at a private consumer
- EDI invoice – a digitally managed invoice to another company
- E-mail invoice – an invoice sent as a PDF in an e-mail attachment.
Firms are increasingly demanding more regarding invoices during negotiations with new suppliers. A company that cannot send an EDI invoice can sometimes lose clients. Moving to electronic invoices can also save companies money and considerable time.
The invoice's design is also important and clarity is the key aspect. It should be easy to see who the sender is, how much should be paid, the payment due date, OCR code and invoice number. The invoice can also be used as a way to communicate key marketing messages suppliers or customers.
In today’s business world, an invoice is clearly becoming an ever more important part of business relationships.