Did you know that there’s an eco-friendly way to go about invoicing for your business? When you switch to an electronic or digital system, you can significantly decrease your carbon footprint and the impact that you have on this planet.
E-invoicing is every business’s answer to greener accounting and administration.
What is E-Invoicing?
Some people call it e-invoicing, others call it digital or online invoicing. Whatever name it’s given, it means taking your entire invoicing system and making it paperless. Instead of using a traditional invoice book and handwriting your invoices, or even using a computer and then printing them out, you keep all your invoicing on your computer and online.
From creating the invoice to emailing it to your client, as well as your tracking system for invoices and payments—it’s all done using modern technology.
The Environmental Benefits of a Digital Invoicing System
Of course, one of the biggest draws for businesses these days is that digital invoicing is a far more environmentally friendly way to operate than the old paper methods. So, how exactly does e-invoicing help the environment?
- The average invoice is about 2.5 pages long, so you need to use three pieces of paper for each invoice that you print out.
- If you post an invoice, you also have to consider the paper used for the envelope and for the stamp.
- You can’t be sure that those invoices will ever get recycled by your client.
- Physical paperwork needs to be stored somewhere, often in files or folders that are yet more paper or card, or they’re made of plastic—which is bad for the environment.
- If you use any embossing or most fancier papers, you’ll find that your invoices are no longer recyclable.
Other Advantages for Your Business
Digital invoicing isn’t just good for the environment; it’s actually good for business. There are plenty of advantages to making the switch, including:
1. Save on Money
It actually costs your business less to use a digital system than a paper system. For one, you don’t have to continually buy paper and envelopes, ink and toner for your printer, invoice books, and other re;ated equipment or tools. True, you can spend money on invoicing or accounting software, but that expense is significantly less when you take the whole system into account.
Another way you save money is that your invoicing system becomes a lot simpler. Remember, time is money, and when you’re spending time writing out invoices or printing and posting them, you’re costing your business money.
Sterling Commerce did a study that showed the exact costs saved by a business that went digital back in 2010. On average, a company went from spending $30 on processing one invoice down to $3.50 after making the switch. That’s a huge saving, and has only increased in the last decade.
2. Reduce the Risk of Human Error
Depending on how advanced your invoicing system is, you can almost entirely cut out the possibility of human error. Even if you use a spreadsheet to create invoices and track them, you can ensure that you don’t make calculation errors by letting the software do it for you. It’s also possible to have your spreadsheets talk to each other, so that important information like invoice totals is automatically copied into your tracking spreadsheet.
If you use a more advanced software for your digital invoicing system, you can set it to auto-populate your invoices based on the codes you input. The software will automatically calculate line-item totals, VAT or tax, shipping costs, and anything else relevant to a particular invoice.
There’s simply nothing more painstaking than writing out each item on an invoice and breaking out the calculator to tally it up.
3. Streamline Your Entire Process
No matter the size of your business, the invoicing process is a big part of your operations. If you can streamline the system, you can boost your productivity and improve your bottom line. It’s a win-win.
It might take a bit of time to set everything up properly, but once your system is running smoothly, you’ll find invoicing a lot simpler to do. Additionally, by streamlining the process, you can free up time for other tasks within your business. This is useful whether you run your invoicing on your own or you have an entire team for your business accounts.
Statistics show that you can reduce your processing time for one invoice from 15 days to just three. This is a massive time saver for businesses of all sizes.
4. Get Paid Quicker
Following on from the point of reducing the time of invoice processing, you can see how you might end up helping your cash flow when you switch to digital invoicing. Due to the fact that the invoice and its trail is all digital, you can track exactly where it is, and so can your client.
You can see exactly when it was sent to the client, and you can see when the invoice is due, and therefore, when you should send follow-ups. What’s more, you can automate the process of sending and chasing, and even thanking the client when payment is received.
You no longer have to manually create the invoice, wait for the postal system to get it to your customer, and then wonder if enough time has passed before you follow up. You’ll know precisely when the client received the invoice, and you can be certain that it didn’t get lost in the mail or sent to the wrong person at your client’s company.
Make the Switch to Eco-Friendly Invoicing
Digital invoicing is, quite simply, the smart choice for any business in today’s world. Drawing up these documents now only takes a few minutes at most and invoice processing is made quicker, easier, and more effective. E-invoices are also good for the environment, making your business a greener supplier; which is something that many people look for today when choosing a company to buy from.
When you look at all the positives for the environment and your business, there’s really no reason why you shouldn’t make the switch—if you haven’t done so already!