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UK government encourages SMEs to adopt e-Invoicing for prompt payment

by Stefan Foryszewski 9. February 2012 01:43 PM

While late payment affects all organisations, large and small, SMEs may struggle to survive the pressure placed on their cashflow. In the UK, we recently heard about two initiatives focused on tackling this issue, which show the value of e-Invoicing.

The UK government’s Finance Fitness campaign and the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants’ (ACCA) guide on prompt payment for SMEs (due out in March) both look at ways to help SMEs get paid on time.

We’re pleased that the government includes the adoption of e-Invoicing among its recommendations. It suggests companies use electronic invoicing where possible to automate processes, and add instant transfer and verification from the customer that the invoice has been received.

We have over 100,000 supplies on the OB10 network, a large proportion of which are SMEs. And in our most recent supplier survey, nearly 80% of respondents said that they benefit from more predictable payment from e-Invoicing. It also reminds me of comments made recently by two of our SME network members, which also show the impact we can have on their businesses:

“Case Security has been using OB10 to invoice Tesco for nearly two years. In this time our invoice processing and payment times have improved significantly. We would recommend OB10 to other Tesco suppliers.”
Steve Birtles, Tesco Key Account Manager

“Moving from paper to electronic invoicing was a seamless process for Benchmark Fabrications due to OB10’s supportive and knowledgeable staff. Using OB10 allows us to track our invoices at every step of the process. We encourage other customers to process their invoices through OB10."
Haydn Distin, Finance Director

In addition to prompt payment, e-Invoicing also helps SMEs with faster and confirmed invoice delivery, fewer exceptions and better relations with buyers.
For more information on how electronic invoicing can benefit you as an SME, get in touch. Also check out the work of the UK e-Invoicing Advocacy Group that represents UK SMEs in Europe.

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