Electronic invoices: 3 tips on how to get the most out of them


Compared to paper invoices, electronic invoices fundamentally speed up and make your work easier. In practice, however, some companies fail to fully utilize the potential of electronic invoices for various reasons. In the article, we therefore describe a trio of tips with which you can automate (or at least significantly simplify) work with electronic invoices.

Tip no. 1: Make use of two-way EDI communication

EDI is the most reliable means of sending and receiving electronic invoices. If you and your business partner establish EDI communication, you send electronic invoices to each other via a cloud service (for example, our ORiON EDI) in a special format, and much of the work is done automatically.

The biggest benefits of EDI invoices:

  • thanks to the linking of EDI with other processes, the process of issuing invoices can be automated and issue them, for example, only on the basis of confirmation of receipt of the goods by the counterparty,
  • issued invoices are sent in a standardized EDI format directly to the counterparty's ERP system, not as an e-mail attachment,
  • received EDI invoices are automatically accepted based on the created rules and can be approved immediately if, for example, the invoice corresponds to the approved order and receiving report,
  • each invoice can be automatically provided with an electronic signature,
  • a complete audit trail is created for each invoice,
  • during the entire process, companies can exchange control and verification messages for acceptance, rejection, confirmation of correctness or notification of an error,
  • all invoices can be stored in an electronic archive.

For standard transactions, companies have almost no work to do with invoices and their administration. The invoicer or accountant fulfills only a control role and usually does not intervene in the process at all.

Tip no. 2: Issue invoices using EDI, even if the counterparty does not have it

You do not have to give up the convenience of automated invoicing with the help of EDI, even if your company uses EDI, but your business partner does not. In our ORiON EDI solution, an additional eInvoicing service is available, with which you issue an invoice in EDI format and then the system itself converts it into the necessary format required by the counterparty (typically PDF or ISDOC, but also XML or CSV) and sends it to the client via e-mail. However, you still keep the invoice with you in EDI format.

Such an invoice can be provided with an electronic signature (in the case of standardized PDF or ISDOC formats), and the cloud service offers the possibility of saving it in an electronic archive. Compared to EDI communication, however, a complete audit trail is not ensured, because there is no possibility to check correct delivery when delivered by e-mail. For the less commonly used XML or CSV formats, there is no clear standard for electronic signatures, and therefore they are not used.

Tip no. 3: Automate invoice receipt

Although EDI and eInvoicing can completely cover issued invoices, they will not solve receiving electronic invoices from a counterparty that does not use EDI. Typically, these are overhead invoices or commodity invoices in unstructured formats.

In such a case, it is possible to “mine” these invoices. All you have to do is connect your e-mail box to a solution for automating the receipt of invoices (for example, our iNVOiCE FLOW), and it will subsequently read individual items from the received invoices.

After connecting to an accounting or ERP system, your received invoices are automatically loaded into the system, you have all data from issued and received invoices unified and you can work with them conveniently. In addition, similar to EDI, rules can be set so that, for example, received invoices are matched with orders and automatically approved and posted if they match. You also have an electronic archive of invoices at your disposal, and each invoice has an audit trail.

Thanks to the synergy of cloud solutions that support EDI and the digitization of other invoices, all invoices can be processed quickly and easily, achieving the benefits of accurate automatic processing, item matching and cost optimization.

Is it really possible to have everything electronic?

Thanks to the full use of the potential of electronic invoices, there is no need to back up documents in paper form. Czech legislation (namely Act 235/2004 Coll. on value added tax) allows companies to work with electronic invoices.

The condition is to preserve the credibility, inviolability and legibility of the document for the entire period of archiving, which the described methods guarantee.

If you would like to know more about the potential of electronic invoicing in your company, you can sign up for one of our webinars that we publish regularly. Alternatively, contact us directly and we will arrange a consultation where we will discuss the topic in more depth. We have years of experience with electronic invoicing and can "tailor" tailor-made solutions for companies.

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