e-Invoicing is becoming an important function, driving digital transformation in the APAC.

e-Invoicing is becoming an important function, driving digital transformation in the APAC. Source: Shutterstock

Is e-invoicing the way to build a great, digital-first nation?

BUILDING a digital nation isn’t easy, but it’s something every policymaker in is focused on — be it America, Hong Kong, Singapore, or Australia.

Going digital provides significant benefits. It makes businesses more efficient, creates more opportunities for citizens, and boosts the economy as a whole.

Digital transformation specialists believe that the key to success lies in starting small. It’s an idea that has worked wonders for companies and now, seems to be helping Singapore and Australia charge into the digital age — one e-invoice at a time.

The magic of starting small

Fundamentally speaking, the smallest unit of commerce is an invoice, generated by businesses small and large, irrespective of the size or frequency of the transaction.

Since they precede payments, they’re in a better position to ‘digitize’ commerce than electronic payments. In fact, for businesses in Singapore, recent implementation of the nationwide e-invoicing framework seems to have set off a new series of efforts to go digital.

To the uninitiated, e-invoicing on its own offers several benefits to users: It allows for cost reductions, makes verifications quicker and validations easier, and helps shorten payment cycles.

“For small vendors, it provides the assurance that the invoice has been delivered and is awaiting payment as per terms — which is especially important for those struggling to gain visibility into the operations of some of their big-ticket buyers,” Michael Pyliotis, VP APAC, Basware explained to Tech Wire Asia.

The ease of implementation

It might be magical to start small, but it’s absolutely awesome when things are simple. With e-invoicing, things are hassle free, whether you’re a small, medium, or large entity.

Large enterprises, typically MNCs, have several systems operating on the back end — many of these are legacy systems that have been embedded into the processes of the organization.

Moving to new-age systems can be difficult, and can potentially disrupt business as usual, which is the biggest challenge to moving forward with the digital transformation agenda.

Automation-driven P2P solutions, such as the one from Basware, can help these organizations by linking up various ERPs and systems without interrupting the processes that have helped the business succeed up until now.

Their solution provides new capabilities such as e-invoicing as part of the larger offering, which achieves the goals and moves the company forward in terms of its digital maturity blueprint.

Small and mid-sized businesses, on the other hand, benefit because they don’t necessarily need to invest in a solution to get integrated into the digital fabric of the nation. In fact, it provides quite a few exciting opportunities to companies in this range.

Basware, for example, offers a dynamic discounting feature that allows suppliers to offer discounts to the buyer in exchange for early payments.

“This is a boon for smaller companies as it can help better manage their working capital, which can give them more transparency when it comes to the transaction, and, in the long run, can allow them to scale up their business more effectively,” explained Pyliotis.

There’s no doubt that e-Invoicing helps every kind of organization. One business after another, it can serve as the catalyst for the digitalization of the nation — leading it to success in the new, international, digital-first world of business.