Do-it-Yourself or hosted e-invoicing service?

You can implement an e-Invoicing solution using your own internal resources or you can leverage a hosted service from an e-invoicing service provider – the question for any organisation is which suits your business?

The time, cost and skills demands mean that e-Invoicing projects can be expensive to run internally. The alternative is to select a service provider partner who already has the skills and solutions to meet global e-Invoicing requirements.

Create your own e-invoicing system

Many organisations prefer the control and security that comes from creating their own e-invoicing systems in-house. This route requires that you can achieve the following:

  • Internal IT resource Your in-house development team will require a broad range of technical skills, including EDI, which is often incorporated for effective process automation.Data translation and mapping expertise can be difficult to find and few organisations have it in-house
  • Multi-disciplined teams Your team will involve more than IT experts. Line-of-business, accounting and taxation professionals will also need to be involved from the early stages through to roll-out and ongoing future revisions
  • Recurring license fees Once you have chose your e-invoicing software, you will have to purchase the licenses. Most will charge on a per user or per seat basis. As your implementation increases, you will need to pay for the extra users as they are added. You will also have to budget for the standard upgrade charges that will be incurred over the solution’s lifetime
  • Support and maintenance You will be responsible for supporting and maintaining the solution throughout its lifecycle. Also an important consideration here is that you may also be required to provide support and maintenance to your trading partners to ease adoption and ongoing too
  • Partner on-boarding With partners in different locations and with different levels of technical capabilities, on-boarding can be a major challenge. Some organisations are large enough to impose their preferred solution but most will have to provide a range of options so that partners can engage with the e-invoicing solution at a level that’s right for them
  • Future proofing With new tax compliance and technological developments happening constantly, it is easy for parts of your system to become out-of-date quickly or to no longer comply with the latest regulations. Regardless of the size of your organisation, major changes to your system will be driven by your budget cycles and other projects could be prioritised above yours, leading to delays in the updating of the e-invoicing solution

Work with a service provider

Third party, hosted e-invoicing solutions can shield you from many of the complexities faced when implementing an e-invoicing solution. The service provider must be able to mitigate all the challenges outlined above and also deliver:

  • B2B standards Support for a broad range of B2B document and communication standards. Staying up-to-date with the proliferation of B2B technical standards and with trading partners using different standards or different versions of the same standard can be challenging
  • On-boarding trading partners Community management expertise and a dedicated team are needed to bring new trading partners on board. Success requires agreed upon protocols and processes and the ability to manage change within your existing trading partner community
  • Integration options Support for a broad range of integration mechanisms, including web forms, integration with accounting packages, integration to ERP systems
  • Multi-lingual, global support Trading partners in different countries will need technical support in a variety of local languages and time zones
  • Cloud/SaaS Access to the latest Cloud infrastructure enables the provider to deliver secure, scalable pay-as-you-go services on-demand. You only pay for the service you need when you need it
  • Future proofing Timely market intelligence about country-specific e-invoicing regulations is critical. As regulations change, they must be understood quickly, communicated clearly and addressed quickly within the solution. Ask to see the provider’s development roadmap to ensure that they are committed to investing in the latest technologies. In addition, they should have the size and global reach to ensure that they can provide a long-term solution for you in the long term

Need any help?

One of our eInvoicing experts would be happy to answer any questions you have. Simply ask an eInvoicing expert »