This year’s Billentis Report has found that businesses that use e-billing and invoicing will help achieve savings of up to 80%. The report predicts that 42-billion e-bills and invoices will be issued globally in 2015 and, by judiciously applying technology, companies can be more efficient, agile and profitable.

“Digitisation is one of the top drivers for e-invoicing,” says Jacques van Wyk, COO of Ricoh SA. “It used to be a differentiator but today it’s increasingly a requirement to be competitive. Numerous South African companies are keenly interested in the efficiencies, savings, agility and preparation for the future of business these business process services (BPS) projects achieve. Interwaste and Kanhym Estates are just two examples of local companies that cut large volumes of paper from their billing and operations environments, became more efficient and productive as a result, and simultaneously reduced costs.”

The Billentis Report is produced annually and is designed to help organisations become more informed on e-billing and invoicing by providing market data and analysis to help them understand current and future business impacts.

In a 2014 survey conducted by Coleman Parkes, sponsored by Ricoh Europe, 73% of business leaders said that achieving digital maturity would directly lead to an increase in profits, while 62% agreed that it would increase their organisation’s appeal to potential investors and new owners. The same study also revealed how 50% of business leaders felt they could not achieve digital maturity without the support of an external partner.

However, digitalisation of invoices alone is not enough for businesses to fully achieve automated invoicing. Many European businesses, for example, still experience extremely high exception handlings – personal interaction during the invoicing process. It is due to poor or inaccurate data in the invoices. Inaccurate information on B2B invoices is a major reason for payment delays – and e-invoicing directly addresses that issue.