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Invoice dematerialisation software: a complete guide to choosing the right tool

The dematerialisation of invoices is a major challenge. Let's see why it is important to get the right software and what criteria to take into account when choosing it.

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Invoice dematerialisation software: a complete guide to choosing the right tool

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The dematerialisation of invoices is a major challenge. Let's see why it is important to get the right software and what criteria to take into account when choosing it.

Why should you use dematerialisation software for your invoices?

Having a dematerialization software for invoices allows the reduction of invoice processing costs thanks to the elimination of repetitive and tedious tasks and the reduction of errors. The tool also allows you to benefit from centralized storage of documents and to stop using paper.

Moreover, equipping yourself with a dematerialisation tool makes it possible to improve the operational efficiency and productivity of the entire company. Switching to 100% digital invoices saves a considerable amount of time thanks to the automation of customer and supplier invoice processing: receipt, registration, approval, automatic reminders, etc. It also simplifies the implementation of a Reliable Audit Trail and reduces the risk of fraud. 

But beyond processing, it is the centralized storage from a single point of entry that also allows teams to gain productivity: they benefit from faster access to all documents and information related to expenses in real time.
This functionality is useful for all teams: the customer service department can more easily search for an issued invoice, the sales department can check information on an invoice with one click and the marketing or HR departments can check their costs in real time. 

The use of e-bill management software also helps you to have better visibility and therefore better financial monitoring. This is made possible by having an overview of all your processes and transactions and thus improving your expense management.

Finally, using a powerful invoice dematerialisation software (including processing automation features) will allow you to strengthen communication with your suppliers (avoiding late payments) but also to optimise your cash flow (avoiding paying before the due date).

Legal obligation to dematerialise invoices by 2024

Since 1 January 2020, companies offering products and services to the public sector or public procurement markets have been required to issue their invoices in electronic format. They are transmitted to public institutions electronically via the Chorus Pro platform.

By 1 July 2024, this obligation will also be extended to the private sector: all companies (subject to VAT and established in France) will have to accept the receipt of electronic invoices. As for the obligation to issue electronic invoices, it will be done progressively until 2026, starting with large companies, then intermediate-sized companies, followed by small and medium-sized companies and finally micro-enterprises.

It is therefore advisable to prepare your company for this paradigm shift now, to ensure that the most appropriate solution is put in place before the deadline and to avoid unpleasant surprises. 

What are the essential functionalities of an invoice dematerialisation software?

Good software does more than just manage the scanning of issued and received invoices. 

In our opinion, there are 7 other criteria to consider in making the right choice: 

A powerful OCR system

It allows you to quickly dematerialise a paper invoice from a photo or scan by converting it to digital format: all you have to do is check it before processing it. Automatic data collection saves time and reduces data entry errors. It must therefore be both fast and reliable. 

A tax compliance check of your invoices

A good software package must also ensure tax compliance, i.e. be able to check the identity of the supplier (recipient), that of the sender, as well as the compliance of the fields and compulsory information with regard to the tax authorities, such as the intra-Community VAT number or the SIREN. 

Accounting allocation: reconciliation of invoices and purchase orders

It is also important that your software can automatically reconcile a dematerialised invoice with its purchase order and their accounting and analytical allocations in order to save you time in generating entries. 

Automating the management of your approval channels

Some software packages offer the possibility of setting up and configuring your own approval circuits, depending on the type of transaction, for example. This allows you to keep control of approvals while streamlining your billing processes.

Storage and archiving of invoices and data

Invoices and data must comply with several conditions for electronic storage and archiving. First of all, they must be stored, archived and kept in a secure space. As with paper invoices, dematerialised invoices must be kept for 6 years under the general tax code and 10 years under commercial law. They must be easily accessible at any time, hence the importance of the search engine to access them. 

Payment management

By choosing a dematerialisation tool that also manages payments, you can easily pay all your suppliers on time via a single entry point. You will then have greater visibility on all your transactions (past, current or future) which will allow you to improve the monitoring of your expenses. 

Security of your data

To ensure the security of your data, each of your invoices must be time-stamped, encrypted, electronically signed in PDF or JPEG format (or processed via an EDI platform) and comply with professional standards (AFNOR NF 42-026, ISO 15489) in order to guarantee its legibility, integrity and authenticity.

The advantages of Regate: a complete dematerialisation software, for easier processing 

Based on the arrival of electronic invoicing and designed by teams of accountants, the Regate software was conceived as a 360° financial cockpit to enable end-to-end invoice processing (from scanning to generation of the entry directly in the accounts).

It has a powerful OCR tool that automates the scanning, collection and extraction of data from a photographed or scanned invoice. In addition, our team also includes a team of experts to check invoices for compliance. This service provides you with maximum reliability in addition to an already powerful tool. Manual errors are not only reduced, they are eliminated.

The Regate platform provides a secure interface for the payment of your supplier invoices (secure SEPA transfers or by Regate bank cards). It also allows you to improve your financial compliance by setting up digital approval circuits, which can be configured according to your organisation. 

Via the expense management module, Regate gives you an overview of all expenses of your employees who can issue purchase requests or virtual or physical bank cards. 

You can also automatically allocate the amounts of your transactions to the correct budget and thus benefit from complete budget monitoring in real time. The allocation can be done by project or by cost centre via analytical allocations. 

Regate automatically interfaces with your accounting software (Sage, Cegid, QuickBooks, Xero, NetSuite etc). This integration allows you to have all the data updated in real time in your accounting. It also prevents you from having to enter the same information twice. 

practical guide

Implementing effective management of expenses in SMEs

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