Paper Invoicing: Is e-Invoicing Fraud Enough Reason to Return to It?


According to BBC news, e-invoicing fraud is on the rise. Many fraudsters pose as company suppliers and send invoices as normal text or spreadsheet. When opened, the invoices contain malicious software that log financial data and steal funds. Should you return to paper invoicing? With many con artists seating in front of their laptops, this issue makes it uneasy for individuals and companies to transfer another business process into digital space. But before you reject all emails containing e-invoices, keep in mind that e-invoicing remains safer and more reliable that paper invoicing. Here are a few realities you should remember before you switch:

  • Paper invoices get lost. Unlike paper invoicing, e-invoicing allows you to track your invoices and provides evidence that they were sent and delivered. It also costs cheaper. On the other hand, paper invoices has many lost issues. They end up somewhere, leading to other people reading them.
  • Paper invoices can be read by anybody. If you are lucky, your paper invoices will end up in the real recipient’s mailbox at the right time. But what if they end up with the wrong hands? While you can assume that information in your paper invoices cannot be used for detrimental activities, an address, account number or any other financial and personal data can be used for invoice fraud. On the other hand, e-invoicing provides greater protection since all interaction can be tracked and can be accessed by accredited employees only.
  • Paper invoices can be destroyed. Most countries impose that invoices be kept for up to 7 years. Aside from the fact that they take up too much space, they are also difficult to index. This complicate your ability to track payments. As a result, you waste your valuable time. On the other hand, e-invoicing provides secure archiving. It backs up documents to protect them against the risk of destruction.

Is e-invoicing fraud enough reason to turn back to paper invoicing? We don’t think so. Paper invoicing costs far more than electronic invoicing. It can easily get lost, can be read by anyone and can be destroyed. It is also bad for the environment. Using paper invoices kills trees. Thus, e-invoicing remains a better option. Sign up for our weekly blog summary and newsletter!  

Charlie Alsmiller

Throughout his career, Charlie Alsmiller has focused on customer problems in difficult industries such as Energy and Telecommunications. Prior to starting Appterra in 2005, Alsmiller was VP of Global Operations for Allegro Development, a leading provider of software for the energy sector. He has also served as president of OmniSpace Technologies, a leading SaaS provider that he founded in 1999. He spent over 10 years in the consulting world with Price Waterhouse and Deloitte Consulting, where he participated in a wide variety of projects for very high profile clients. Mr. Alsmiller holds a BBA from Baylor University in Management and Information Systems and a MBA from the University of Dallas in International Business. Specialties: Technology ventures, Enterprise Software, Contract Negotiation, International Operations, Private Equity, Product Management, Strategic Alliances, Software Implementation, Software Development

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