Frequently asked questions

 

Your Questions Answered

What is electronic invoicing?

Electronic invoicing is the exchange of electronic invoice data from the supplier's computer to their customers' computer - with no requirement for supporting paper documentation. The electronic invoice acts as the VAT, tax and accounting document as well as the request for payment.

With electronic invoicing, or e-Invoicing, human intervention or manual document processing is dramatically reduced. The data is taken from the supplier's accounting system and submitted directly to their customers' accounting system.

Tungsten, built on OB10 e-Invoicing, manages the integration between the accounting systems and the Tungsten Network. Suppliers send invoice data in their preferred format. It is then translated, enriched, validated and digitally signed before being sent to the buyers accounting system, in their preferred data format. There is no need for any additional hardware or software to be implemented.

For smaller suppliers, or those that send a low number of invoices, the Web Form can be used - all that is required is an internet connection and a standard browser.

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Who is Tungsten?

Tungsten joined forces with OB10, the global e-Invoicing network, in October 2013. Tungsten accelerates global trade for customers through:

  • Tungsten Network: Electronic invoicing for connected supply chains
  • Tungsten Network Analytics: Real-time information for better buying decisions
  • Tungsten Network Finance: Supply chain finance for business growth

Established in 2000, OB10 has been pioneer of electronic invoicing, and connects the world’s largest companies and government agencies to their thousands of suppliers around the globe.

OB10 has changed its name to Tungsten Network.

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How is electronic invoicing from Tungsten different to OCR and scanning?

True electronic invoicing, or e-Invoicing, enables any supplier to send data from their accounting system to their buyers accounting system. Electronic invoicing removes the manual processing required with paper invoices.

Scanning and OCR does help to remove some of the manual processing, but in essence a computer creates an invoice, prints it on paper which is then processed to get the data back in to a computer. 

As paper invoices vary greatly in format, design and layout, some can be hard to read, this makes it difficult for the OCR system to recognise and input legible data into the buyers computer - leading to manual checking and at times additional manual input.

With e-Invoicing from the Tungsten Network, the suppliers invoice data is used to automatically populate the buyers' accounting system and generate a digitally signed PDF invoice image. This is the tax compliant invoice. Tungsten sends the image to the buyer so that it can be stored locally or used for workflow purposes. In addition, Tungsten stores all invoice images in the invoice archive. This is accessible to both the supplier and the buyer via the Portal.

See how electronic invoicing from Tungsten works.

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How is electronic invoicing from Tungsten different to EDI?

Some of your customers or suppliers may already use EDI to send or receive invoice data. EDI provides a fast and secure format, but; it is heavily reliant on standards (that the supplier may not support), requires mapping by the supplier (which is difficult and expensive) and is not accessible for all companies to use.

EDI is also a 'point to point' connection technology (the buyer must communicate separately with each supplier). In contrast, the Tungsten Network is a 'many to many' e-Invoicing network (for example, the buyer connects once with Tungsten to receive invoices from all of its suppliers).

With electronic invoicing from Tungsten, suppliers don't have to purchase expensive mapping software. They can generate an invoice file from their accounting system using their systems existing data format. Once they join Tungsten, suppliers can send invoices to multiple customers on the network without having to make any further buyer-specific modifications - as the network converts all of the data between both suppliers and their customers.

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What are the business benefits of electronic invoicing to buyers?

Electronic invoicing provides many benefits:

  • Completely removes paper processing (there is no paper)
  • Dramatically increases data quality (there is no manual data entry / OCR)
  • No lost invoices (all invoices delivered directly in to the Accounts Payable or workflow system)
  • Better reporting and visibility
  • Greater opportunity to take early payment discounts
  • Better supplier relationships

In addition, members of the Tungsten Network benefit from our best practice advice and expertise:

  • Only truly global network vendor
  • Best practice supplier enrolment - we proactively enrol suppliers on to the network
  • Best in class Programme and Account Management - ensuring success from implementation through the life of the programme
  • Bespoke implementation and mapping to ensure that both buyers and suppliers existing systems integrate with the Tungsten Network
  • No need to install any additional hardware or software, Tungsten provides a fully managed service

Following best practice advice, customers have achieved;

  • 50% supplier enrollment of the targeted supplier base within 6 months
  • ROI within 6 months, typically would be achieved within one year
  • Reduced costs by typically 60%

Contact us to find out more on the business benefits of e-Invoicing with Tungsten, built on OB10 e-Invoicing.

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What are the business benefits of electronic invoicing to suppliers?

Electronic invoicing provides many benefits:

  • Completely removes paper processing, printing, envelopes, mail
  • Invoices are delivered directly into the buyers systems
  • Faster invoice processing and approvals offer opportunities for faster payments
  • No lost invoices
  • Better reporting and visibility
  • Better customer relationships 

Members of the Tungsten Network benefit from our best practice advice and expertise:

  • Only truly global network vendor
  • Best in class Account Management - ensuring success from implementation through the life of the programme
  • Bespoke implementation and mapping to ensure that both buyers and suppliers existing systems integrate with the Tungsten Network
  • No need to install any additional hardware or software, Tungsten provides a fully managed service

Contact us to find out more on the business benefits of e-Invoicing with Tungsten, built on OB10 e-Invoicing. 

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How can I use electronic invoicing to streamline processes?

e-Invoicing through the Tungsten Network streamlines the complex invoice process. Enabling suppliers to send invoice data quickly and easily, using their existing systems and data formats. The Buyer receives the data directly into the accounting system, removing the need for manual input. In addition, as Tungsten can set business rules, such as mandate a purchase order number, time is not wasted on chasing missing information.

As the invoice can be processed more quickly, faster payment can be made to the supplier. This not only improves business relationships, and enables companies to manage cash flow, but also enables early payment negotiations too.

Following best practice advice, customers have achieved;

  • 50% supplier enrollment of the targeted supplier base within 6 months
  • ROI within 6 months, typically would be achieved within one year
  • Reduced costs by typically 60%

Contact us to find out how we can streamline your processes 

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Can e-Invoices be sent to different countries?

Yes, the Tungsten Network is global and enables members to exchange invoices across the world. Tungsten, built on OB10 e-Invoicing, complies with local tax regulations easing your compliance burdens. Working with PwC, we ensure that we meet fiscal and invoice regulations across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Contact us to discuss our global compliance in more detail.

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Are electronic invoices compliant with VAT and tax regulations?

Yes, e-Invoicing from the Tungsten Network is compliant with local VAT and tax regulations. We work with PwC to ensure that local fiscal and e-Invoicing regulations are met.

Buyers and suppliers on the Tungsten Network receive a digitally signed PDF image of the invoice. This is the tax compliant invoice image. The buyer can use this for workflow and audit purposes.

Members of the Tungsten Network are able to store the digitally signed PDF on their own electronic archive, or can access it 24/7 from the Tungsten invoice archive.

Contact us to discuss our global compliance in more detail.

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What is P2P?

P2P is the abbreviation for Purchase to Pay (or Procure to Pay). This follows the complete process from the purchase of goods by a buyer to the payment received by the supplier.

Many solutions assist in streamlining this process including online purchasing tools, purchase order delivery, electronic invoicing, workflow solutions and electronic payments.

Tungsten partners with many leading organisations to offer the best in breed solutions to meet all clients needs.

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What is EIPP?

EIPP stands for Electronic Invoice Presentment and Payment. It is simply the process where suppliers and buyers exchange and manage invoices using solutions such as the Tungsten Network.

Other terms used to define EIPP can be electronic invoicing or e-Invoicing. These terms usually relate to the buyer being the main initiator of the service. Receiving their invoices from many of their suppliers, via the same process.

EIPP solutions allow suppliers and buyers to exchange financial documents electronically (not only invoices, but purchase orders, remittance advice etc.) and manage the processing of these documents quickly and securely online. The benefits of using an EIPP system such as the Tungsten Network for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable include removal of manual processing, improved cash-flow visibility, ability to pay on time, and access to a secure archive. 

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What is EBPP?

EBPP stands for 'Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment'. It is simply the integrated transmission of bills (invoices), for presentment and to fulfil the payment process.

Other terms used to define EBPP can be electronic billing or e-Billing. These terms usually relate to the 'supplier' being the main initiator of the service. Sending their invoices to many of their customers (buyers) using the same process.

EBPP solutions enable suppliers and buyers to exchange invoice data electronically, in order for them to be presented and processed for payment. The benefits of using an EBPP system such as the Tungsten Network for Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable include removal of manual processing, improved cash-flow visibility, ability to pay on time and access to a secure archive.

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What is different about e-Invoicing with the Tungsten Network?

Tungsten, built on OB10 e-Invoicing, is a service provider not just a technology company. Our service encompasses:

A global solution: Tungsten Network enables organizations around the world to exchange invoices electronically. Organizations benefit from a truly global solution, cross-border invoicing, international supplier enrolment and customer support.

"We conducted an exhaustive analysis of the e-Invoicing solutions providers and found that OB10 was best positioned to support us in our global needs, and offered a process that made sense. It understands the business and the details, and they demonstrated a dedication to assuring we meet our goals." Manager of Central Processing for Greif

Expert implementation: It is essential that any solution can be easy to implement and to manage. Via the Tungsten Network, companies can leverage existing processes and technology. Existing data formats can be used and there is no need to implement any new hardware or software.

The Tungsten implementation and mapping team will manage the integration with you and your customers' or suppliers' accounting systems. Working with several thousand different formats, Tungsten works with all the major ERP and accounting systems.

Best-practice supplier enrolment: To ensure that an e-Invoicing project is a success, it is essential that a high number of suppliers participate in the scheme. This enables the buyers to realise their business objectives. 

Tungsten works with buyers to manage their supplier enrolment campaigns. Using best practice expertise, Tungsten has a dedicated team that actively enrols suppliers. This multinational team ensures customers can be supported in their local language and business culture.

"Supplier adoption was always going to be a critical issue for us. Clearly without a critical mass of our suppliers on the network the initiative would be hard to justify. But we've enjoyed high levels of suppliers sign up, exceeding our expectations" Computacenter.

Consultative program and account management: The best practice expertise continues throughout the life of your e-Invoicing project. Tungsten's dedicated Program Management team will manage the set-up of the program, ensuring a successful launch. Once the project is established the Account Management team works with you to ensure new targets are reached and new services offered optimize efficiency and cost savings.

Environmentally beneficial solution: Tungsten clients are increasingly focused on CSR targets. With the removal of paper, e-Invoicing through the Tungsten Network offers a financially sustainable and environmentally beneficial solution. Customers can measure a direct comparison to the amount of paper removed. In addition to the energy wasted in distributing and storing paper invoices, not forgetting the landfill waste once the invoices are disposed after the minimum requirement.

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Do I need to implement new hardware or software to use electronic invoicing?

No. Not if you use the Tungsten Network as there's no need to invest in additional software or hardware. Also the implementation and mapping teams manage the integration for you. They work with you and your suppliers' or customers' existing accounting system and data files to ensure a smooth transition.

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How do Accounts Payable benefit from electronic invoicing?

The Accounts Payable team benefits from the removal of paper invoices. Data is sent electronically, directly into the accounting system - removing the need for manual input:

  • Invoice data is verified against the business rules. No need to chase missing PO numbers
  • Digitally signed invoice images are received that can be used for workflow and audit purposes
  • Guaranteed delivery, and invoice status available via the Portal - no requirement to manage calls from suppliers chasing their invoice
  • Enables the team to concentrate on more value added tasks
  • Reduces invoice processing costs, typically by 60%
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How do Accounts Receivable benefit from electronic invoicing?

The Accounts Receivable team benefit from fast and guaranteed invoice delivery;

  • Enables your customers to process invoices for payment more quickly
  • No time wasted on chasing 'lost' invoices
  • Can track the invoice status via the Portal. Invoice validation ensures that all the invoice data required is submitted first time
  • Use of the invoice archive to access invoices submitted for reporting and audit purposes

"At the simplest level, sending an invoice electronically costs us less than sending invoices by post - but other benefits are more compelling. Our invoices get guaranteed and speedy delivery and queries are registered more swiftly, which has the knock-on effect that we get paid without delay." Financial Controller, Poulten & Graf

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How can small suppliers also use electronic invoicing?

With e-Invoicing from Tungsten, built on the OB10 network, small suppliers can also send electronic invoices. Suppliers who do not have a billing system or do not send enough invoices to justify an integrated solution, can use the Web Form. Accessible 24/7 via the Tungsten Portal, suppliers simply log on to their account and create their e-invoice on-line. The data is submitted to their customers via the Tungsten Network, undergoing the same checks as with the Integrated Solution.

Customers that use the Web Form, still benefit from reporting, support and access to the invoice archive via the secure online portal.

"As a small business, it is crucial for us to be paid promptly, something that OB10 facilitates, letting us know that our invoices have been successfully delivered and are being processed by our customer. Submitting invoices online using OB10 is simple and secure and crucially it offers the added bonus of helping us keep one of our valued clients happy." Founder Glenammer Engineering Ltd. 

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Can I send or receive Purchase Orders via the Tungsten Network?

In addition to electronic invoicing, Tungsten also facilitates the exchange of purchase order data. Buyers are able to send their purchase orders via Tungsten to their suppliers. On receipt, the supplier is able to accept or reject the purchase order and convert it directly into an invoice.

In addition a buyer can opt for invoice validation. This ensures that the invoice data matches the data on the purchase order submitted via the Tungsten Network.

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How does e-Invoicing benefit the environment and my CSR targets?

As e-Invoicing with Tungsten replaces paper, the environmental benefits are instant.

In addition to the reduction in paper, energy is no longer wasted from the distribution, storage and disposal of paper invoices. Based on the number of invoices exchanged in Europe alone, it's estimated that 762,383 tonnes of paper (almost 13 million trees) would be saved if they were sent electronically. Also saved would be enough fuel to run 381,000 homes for one year and over 1.8 million cubic metres of landfill space.

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Is there a requirement to print or store paper invoice copies?

With e-Invoicing from Tungsten, built on the OB10 network, there is no requirement to print or store paper copies of your invoices. Tungsten not only sends the invoice data to the buyer's accounting system, but will also send a digitally signed PDF that can be used for workflow and tax audit purposes. This is the tax compliant invoice.

Tungsten stores every invoice that is submitted across the e-Invoicing network in the invoice archive. All members of the network are able to access this archive 24/7 via the Portal.

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