Stamford, CT – Basware, the leading provider of e-invoicing and purchase-to-pay solutions, today released guidelines to help companies reduce paper and increase green practices by automating key financial processes. At the same time, these guidelines help companies improve their finance operations and reduce costs
The global volume of bills and invoices is estimated to total a minimum of 500 billion annually, with 170 billion of these sent to business and governments, according to a Feb. 2014 report from Billentis: E-Invoicing/E-Billing, The International Market Overview and Forecast Report. B2B invoices contain multiple supporting documents, such as purchase orders, goods received and in some cases financing or payment information. This can increase the amount of paper by multiples, yet only about 8 percent of invoices are sent electronically.
“The billions of paper invoices being sent around the world annually are not only contributing to environmental issues, but they are also taking a toll on companies by increasing inefficiencies and costs,” said Bob Cohen, Basware VP, North America. “By getting rid of paper invoices and implementing other green practices, companies can improve their carbon footprint as well as their cash flow and spend, and benefit from smarter payment strategies and stronger relations with trading partners.”
Paper production also is a cause of deforestation, which according to Nature Geoscience , contributes between 6 and 12 percent of annual global carbon dioxide emissions. The United Nations' Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that we lose 18 million acres (7.3 million hectares) of forest annually, and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) estimates 36 football fields of trees are lost every minute.
Basware recommends eliminating paper in the following three ways:
- Send and receive invoices electronically. By using online business commerce networks to send and receive invoices globally, companies can realize up to 80 percent cost savings, gain accuracy, and eliminate time-consuming and manual processes, such as printing, mailing, scanning, keying in invoice data, manually matching invoices to orders and archiving. By helping suppliers establish e-invoicing through supplier on-boarding, supplier portals and other services, many companies are receiving 100 percent of their invoices electronically, while also promoting eco-friendly practices throughout their trading ecosystem.
- Toss the large paper catalog. Companies can eliminate large paper catalogs for employee purchasing by providing e-catalogs over business commerce networks. This practice also helps companies enforce their purchasing plans and policies and support the vendors that provide the best value.
- Cut out the paper in payments. By implementing electronic payment practices, companies can forgo the need for checks and cash in B2B financial transactions. It's not only good for the environment, but it's also a more efficient and effective way to conduct business. By using solutions that combine e-invoicing and e-payment networks, both buyers and suppliers can benefit from improved cash flow.