Many organisations are starting to go through the process of finding an eInvoicing provider. Some, particularly larger, organisations need to go through a formal procurement process to find a supplier. Given eInvoicing is a new area for a lot of people, here are some tips to help you write your tender document.
Get to know the ins and outs of eInvoicing
The last thing you want is to be unprepared. Getting to know the basics of eInvoicing makes this process much easier. Make sure you get to know what eInvoicing is and how it works. Learn about the use cases, the benefits, what it will mean for each of your teams (like accounts payable, accounts receivable, IT and others), what it will mean for your customers and suppliers, find out how others have used it as a start.
Get to know what eInvoicing providers provide beyond just eInvoicing
Just like most industries, there are some eInvoicing providers who merely pass the invoice from A to B. But there are others who have capability to do much more. Here at MessageXchange, our powerful software can insert missing information, check the information you require is on the invoice and perform complex lookups, workflows, rules and more.
This functionality is particularly useful for organisations who have complex business rules, automated payments and integrations with multiple systems.
Have a clear view of how eInvoicing will fit into your architecture and processes
For smaller organisations, it can be as simple as eInvoices coming in and out of your software. Even in this simple case, you’ll need to know how they will come in and out – through an API, can it drop and pickup files from an SFTP folder or does it need to use another method – and what format they will come in and out in – will it be an XML format, a CSV or something else?
For larger organisations, accounts receivable invoices may come out of one system and accounts payable invoices may go into another. You may have a single integration point for any data coming from the outside world, rather than connect to your systems directly. Be very clear on what this process will look like for your company.
On the accounts payable side, many organisations have automated matching against an order, or checking the vendor number or ABN or other data. Make sure you know how eInvoices will fit into this process.
Get familiar with your company’s IT policies for external vendors
Some companies require IT vendors to have backup, redundancy and service SLAs. Make sure you’re familiar with what your company requires so you can be clear about this in your tender.
- Document your setup and key information like:
- The software you use (and go into detail if your setup isn’t straightforward, for example if you have multiple systems)
- Whether you want to send and/or receive eInvoices
- How many eInvoices you expect to send and/or receive
- Break it down into sections. Example:
- Company information
- Technical requirements
- Business process requirements
- Procurement requirements
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