December 2022

A flexible digital invoicing solution makes it easy to stay on top of the e-invoicing requirements currently being introduced. Beyond this – and especially in the current climate – digital invoicing offers wider benefits for the finance department, and for the business as a whole.

Fully compatible with Unit4 Financials, Millennium Digital Invoicing (MDI) offers a comprehensive framework for the implementation of digital invoicing. Flexibility is one of the solution’s key benefits: businesses can adapt their invoicing processes if and when required, to reflect the mandatory e-invoicing and e-reporting requirements that are being rolled out in the UK, Europe and beyond.

However, as our customers are already discovering, the benefits of digital invoicing go further than compliance and into key areas such as operational efficiency and cash flow management. Here’s what this could mean for your business.

Digital invoicing: a quick summary…

Digital invoicing – also referred to as electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) – refers to an invoicing system whereby invoices are issued, transmitted, received, processed and stored electronically and in a “structured format”. This structured format characteristic is key, as this is what allows the customer’s AP system to automatically ‘read’ each invoice field and commence the AP processing cycle on receipt, without the need for human input. The fact that data contained in digital invoice follows a structured format also means that invoice information can be logged automatically on companies’ accounts systems. Where mandated, transaction information can also be logged automatically with the relevant tax authority.

Traditional invoicing procedures can eat up hundreds of hours worth of resources each year on both the AP and AR side. For the former, there is often a laborious process of validations; e.g. checking that the amounts and VAT calculations are correct, including cross-referencing with procurement documents. Digital invoicing automates all of this. Likewise, on the AR side, MDI enables you to handle large volumes of invoices in batches, and post them in seconds. For both AP and AR, MDI sends relevant data straight into Unit4 Financials, removing the need to manually input the data into the system.

As an illustration of what to expect with MDI, one of our customers reports using their solution to post hundreds of invoices per minute, while also automating in the region of 95% of the invoices they receive from their suppliers.

Digital invoicing reduces the need for routine payment status checks. Invoices are sent over the net, thereby helping to reduce postage charges, and this fully digitalised workflow demands very few (if any) invoice print-outs.

Especially in the current climate, many finance teams are under pressure to do more with less and to find new ways to reduce operational expenses. By cutting the level of admin involved, digital invoicing can help you to actively reduce the costs associated with invoice management.

Even the most diligent accounts assistant will have the occasional off-day! Where you have hundreds of invoices to manually generate or process, there will inevitably be the occasional missing field, erroneous entry, or an invoice that does not get dispatched. It means time and resources wasted on chasing up, providing clarification, and in the most serious cases, attempting to retrieve funds.

A key benefit of digital invoicing is that the scope for these human errors is eliminated, helping to maintain both your cash flow and your reputation.

Once your digital invoice has been submitted, it is accessible instantly on the buyer’s system. If a sign-off is required to facilitate payment, the person responsible has everything they need for this, all in one place. This facilitates a much quicker, admin-free payment procedure. What’s more, enterprises will very often integrate their digital invoicing procedures with a supplier portal. As a seller, this enables you to check for yourself if the payment has been processed and approved and get an accurate indication of the date for payment. All of this is especially good news for cash flow management.

These days especially, it is not sufficient to merely ‘talk the talk’ when it comes to environmental measures. Business customers, end users – and even investors- want to see actual evidence of the ways in which organisations are eliminating waste and reducing their carbon footprint. Digital invoicing can form a valuable part of any initiative to bring about paperless, low carbon finance operations.

Some businesses might be tempted to wait right up until the point that government mandates kick in before adopting digital invoicing. Others will take a smarter, more proactive approach. If you can demonstrate to existing and potential customers that you are equipped with e-invoicing capabilities at an early stage, it can be a useful trust indicator: i.e. it shows that you take hassle-free payments and customer relations seriously. This in itself can be a noteworthy selling point for the business.

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Millennium Consulting’s very own framework, Millennium Digital Invoicing (MDI) is fully integrated with Unit4 Financials by Coda, thereby leveraging Coda’s API and well-known flexibility. It offers a robust, standardised way to manage incoming and outgoing invoices, but does so without making built-in assumptions about the format of digital files. For our customers, this means it can be adapted as and when required to different formats and local e-invoicing requirements. Users can stay on top of all evolving tax authority regulations in the markets in which they operate, while also tapping into the wider benefits of digital invoicing.

To see the difference digital invoicing can make to your business, get in touch for a demo.

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