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Are E Invoices Always Correct?

Over the past year, I have noticed a rebirth of the concept that if the information came from a computer it must be correct. One example is an e invoice. The electronic exchange of meta data between trading partners has been around for a long time but most of these routines such as edi also include varying levels of error detection and collaboration. What I have observed is that some embrace e invoicing as a way to eliminate invoice errors. The reality is that merely changing the output format does nothing to change the source of the invoice meta data. There are several business solutions that include routines to “clean up” the meta data before transferring it to an ERP such as SAP but many of the decisions as to how to resolve the incorrect meta data still must come from the receiver of the invoice. Just detecting the problem and sending the invoice back to the vendor often does not eliminate the problem. For SAP clients, SAP Invoice Management by Open Text, allows the corporation to still receive the e invoice seamlessly but then analyzes the meta data for problems and if detected, a notification is immediately routed to the person with both the knowledge and responsibility to correct the meta data. It also provides a critical component where incorrect electronic meta data is analyzed for trends thereby allowing the corporation to address the root cause. Of no surprise…the root cause is often an issue with the origin of the meta data.

One of the first computer terms I learned was GIGO…garbage in garbage out. Changing only the method of invoice delivery often cause more problems than it solves…but…if done in concert with a solution such as SAP Invoice Management…the rewards can be significant!

See SAP EcoHub for more on SAP Invoice Management

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  • EDI is very prone to errors. When using electronic transmission, one may encounter bit wise degeneration.
  • I completely agree, just moving to e invoice will not resolve the errors. You will end up just changing the medium of errors. Unless you have improved business processes errors will occur.