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P2P Best Practices: Engaging Suppliers in the Transition to Electronic Invoicing

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While the potential benefits of electronic invoicing are widely known, getting suppliers to switch from paper to electronic isn’t always easy. To gain the increased efficiency, security and accuracy that can come from making this critical change, companies need to actively engage their suppliers.

At a recent ADP user conference, several companies shared the best practices that helped them successfully transition their suppliers from paper to electronic invoices:

  •  Executive sponsorship: For an electronic invoicing project that covers a number of internal and external stakeholders, it is imperative that companies have the support of and buy in from senior management. This helps to ensure that management will be willing to help when roadblocks are encountered (supplier resistance, for example).


  • Cross functional collaboration: Even though the accounts payable department may be driving the electronic invoicing initiative, companies will generally see more success when there is collaboration amongst the various groups that may be working with suppliers – including supply chain, procurement, operations, etc.


  • eInvoicing vendor support: Choose a solution that delivers comprehensive services around supplier enablement, which complement the solution’s functionality. Leverage the best practices and experience of the solution provider when it comes to supplier segmentation, communication and recruitment.


  • Supplier segmentation: It is important to start the supplier enablement process by identifying suppliers that are good targets for the migration from paper to electronic invoices. For example, companies can choose to target the suppliers that send the highest volume of paper invoices or those with whom they spend the most money.


  • Supplier communication: Multiple channels will often need to be leveraged to communicate the value proposition of electronic invoicing to suppliers and encourage them to make the switch. This can take the form of personal phone calls for larger, strategic suppliers to mass emails or postcards for smaller suppliers.


  • Electronic invoicing options: As we’ve covered on Compliance Insights before, one size does not fit all suppliers. In order to engage a diverse set of suppliers, it is critical to provide them with a range of electronic invoice submission options (from B2B integration for high volume suppliers to direct entry via a portal for smaller suppliers). This allows suppliers to choose the method that suits them best.


  • Testing, testing & more testing: If companies have large suppliers that will be submitting invoices via B2B integration and span a wide range of geographies with multiple jurisdictions and tax rates, make sure sufficient testing occurs upfront before going live to help reduce invoice errors.

Check back to learn more about best practices that are being used by ADP® clients to help reduce processing costs, increase processing efficiencies and improve visibility into spend.




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