In business, trading partners, which are the customers and their suppliers, transact an agreed business deal through a paper document referred to as an invoice. Digital technology has produced many kinds of transformation in all aspects of life runs, an example of which is in e-commerce where invoices may no longer be issued in paper print but can be transmitted electronically over the web.
When a business company adopts electronic invoicing in its operation, it will definitely shift its business mechanics into every aspect of its transactions electronically, primarily, because the process saves money and time and, at the same time, provides a better and efficient service to the customers. The idea of e-invoice may look easy for transmission but one must know that there are encoding guidelines, which serve as standards, although this varies from country to country, and these are based from what is called Electronic Data Interchange guiding principles. Aside from the standards used, the layout of an e-invoice is electronically arranged using the XML or UBL message format. For a company to operate and process electronic invoicing, it could provide its own staff to handle this or it could save money by outsourcing from software companies that are on this form of service, such as receiving the data transaction and automatically checking that everything is in order and providing an operator to deliver the e-invoice via e-mail to the rightful customer through a link which will be provided for. There are also other options for a customer to choose where the e-invoice can be sent and that is by electronic transmission into the customer’s sales invoice system or the invoice is still sent electronically but a hard copy, at the same time, will also be sent. With mobile phones, it is now more convenient to access electronic invoice by using the right applications.
One must also understand that there is a slight difference between online invoice and electronic invoice, such that the online invoice uses an online platform, like cloud-based, while the electronic invoice follows the Electronic Data Interchange standard format. Another distinct difference of the e-invoice over the online invoice is that in the e-invoice, its format allows for a signature from the creator of the invoice to be reflected electronically, including the time and date of sending it. Furthermore, no additional alterations on the invoice can be done with after it has been sent online to the customer. The growing acceptance of the online and electronic invoicing by consumers has made it possible for more and more companies to automate their invoice processing and with the right format can further integrate this process with other business systems, thereby resulting into business efficiency and revenue operating opportunities.