Public sector's invoicing methods are ancient

A couple of obstacles are blocking the implementation of e-invoicing.

Public sector organisations are still using an outdated, resource-heavy and expensive way of invoicing, according to a new report by iGov and Basware.  Almost three quarters (72 per cent) of organisations in the public sector are printing and scanning PDF invoices. More than half (54 per cent) have said they scan more than a third of their paper invoices.  The report is based on a poll of 100 professionals in the public sector. 

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) know of e-invoicing and how cost-effective it is. But a third (32 per cent) says it’s too expensive to implement. Besides, there also seem to be problems educating staff on the new technology, transmitting and receiving invoices.  Still, we’ll see more e-invoicing in the future, that’s certain. More than a third (37 per cent) said they want to invest in receiving e-invoices, and 27 per cent will invest in Accounts Payable automation and funding e-procurement.  

“This research has revealed just how slow the public sector has been to adopt e-invoicing. Last year, it looked like the industry was preparing for paperless systems but in reality they are still a long way off. Many participants of the survey said that there is a belief within their organisations that current processes are working well enough, yet this is based on adding costs into the process. This highlights a lack of understanding on the benefits of e-invoicing at the top level” said Stephen Carter, Director of Network Services, at Basware.