Digital Invoicing

The A to Z of Electronic Invoicing, Invoice Rendering, and Automation

June 25, 2020
Author
Inkit Team

In 2019, around 55 billion invoices were exchanged paperlessly. This volume is expected to quadruple by 2035. There are two main reasons behind such a rapid growth of electronic invoicing.

First, the volume of business operations steadily increases. In the era of consumerism, people buy more and sell more. A lot of these transactions happen online. Secondly, electronic invoicing enables companies to better manage their accounts payable and store digital copies of all transactions. It helps to achieve regulatory compliance and enhance customer relationships.

bill invoice

If you have never dealt with electronic invoicing, it may seem challenging. How do I send an invoice in PDF format? What is PDF rendering and how to use it? – many wonder. Find out everything you need to know about electronic invoicing in today’s article.

  • Electronic invoicing: How does it work and what is PDF rendering?
  • Why you should digitize the invoicing process
  • How to send an invoice in PDF format (PDF invoice templates, online invoicing solutions, and creating invoices automatically)
  • Inkit’s Renderer as a service for automatic rendering of PDF documents

Electronic Invoicing: How Does it Work and What is PDF Rendering?

Electronic invoicing is the use of software to generate digital invoices, usually as a PDF. Since PDF files can be viewed on any device, don’t take a lot of space, and are easily converted, they are a globally accepted standard for invoicing systems. Even though you can create them manually, to effortlessly generate a large volume of documents, PDF rendering software is an optimum choice.

What is PDF rendering?

PDF rendering is the translation of web data into a PDF document that can be further printed, saved, or forwarded to another user. This technology is mainly used to generate standard documents, such as PDF invoices or bills.

You should also know that electronic invoicing is one of the electronic billing stages that enables business owners to optimize the accounts payable process. Despite being used interchangeably, the two concepts have different applications. Whereas electronic billing allows companies to fully manage the payment cycle within one system, electronic invoicing is limited to the creation and storage of invoices.

online payment

For example, electronic invoicing may be used to create copies of print documents delivered to customers. Let’s say a company has agreed (or is legally obliged) to send bills by mail but wants to keep an electronic record of the same documents. Then invoicing may be enough to meet the needs of such business, and the full e-billing capabilities are unnecessary. PDF invoices will become effective audit logs in case of any disputes with customers or regulatory checks.

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Why You Should Digitize the Invoicing Process

Electronic invoicing enables businesses to streamline the processing of financial information. With the right software, you can automatically obtain data from PDF documents to record it in the system. It eliminates the need for manual retyping of billing details, minimizes the risk of mistakes, double transactions, and other payment issues.

Here are some other reasons to switch from traditional ways to create and send invoices to more advanced electronic invoicing:

  • Your team can focus on more critical business processes since PDF rendering software handles repetitive tasks and data processing
  • You can store all electronic invoices in a cloud-based hub to ensure top-notch security and reduce the risk of data leakage
  • You get a chance to analyze the volume of transactions and get a bird’s eye view on the cash flow and other business processes
  • You unify the format of invoices and billing documents across your company to maintain a more professional image
  • You get the record of all communications with customers that can get you covered in case of disputes
  • You can promptly access any document to view its details or reprint it
  • You store digital copies of all the delivered invoices in case they are lost or damaged
  • You facilitate the collaboration within your organization and among your business partners

If these benefits haven’t convinced you, there is one more reason to digitize your invoicing process:  in the long run, you will have no choice. Despite the obvious value of print documents, paperless solutions continue to gain traction. In a decade or less, the swingeing majority of businesses will keep billing documents in a digital format. Either you’re one of them or you lose this competition. Outdated approaches always hinder market success.

How to Send an Invoice in PDF Format (PDF Invoice Templates, Online Invoicing Solutions, and Creating Invoices Automatically)

The question of how to send an invoice in PDF format may sound too simple. Most would say: Just create a PDF document and deliver it, what’s the problem? Yet if you need to send thousands of invoices, the manual billing may exhaust your resources. Here are the main alternatives with different level of automation to choose from:

automation
  • PDF invoice templates from a PDF library. In case you create invoices occasionally, a nice template may be enough to cover your needs. Then, go to a website with templates of professional invoices and get the graphic design that has all the necessary fields. A standard invoice usually includes an invoice number, customer information, contact details of a business (physical address, phone number, email address, etc.), date, payment terms and conditions, description of products or services, and grand total.
  • Online invoicing services. Invoicing solutions are the next level after customizable online templates you would have to fill in manually. Such services allow companies to optimize billing with intuitive data matching, customer data import, recurring invoices for long-term customers, and other features. They facilitate invoice creating and can manage some types of online communications automatically.
  • Multi-functional automation solutions. With such software, you can fully automate invoice rendering, storage, and delivery. It integrates with your database or CRM to obtain customer data in real-time and generate invoices. Depending on the functionality of the chosen tool, you will be able to automatically send high-quality invoices through one of the communications channels. For example, Inkit supports both electronic and offline invoicing via direct mail. More about how it works in the next section.

Inkit’s Renderer as a Service for Automatic Rendering of PDF Documents

Inkit offers the perfect balance between electronic invoicing and print notifications. This platform supports direct mail automation functionality powered with the Renderer as a service feature for paperless invoices. After the integration with your database or CRM, Inkit will automatically cast data from your systems, input the information into the correct field of a custom invoice template, and generate a PDF. These PDF files will be stored in the cloud, so you could anytime view, send, or print them.

Although Inkit has the main focus on automated direct mail, thanks to easily configured integrations, you can also send the created invoices through digital channels. No need to ponder how to send an invoice in PDF format – everything is managed automatically.

Apart from simplifying your life with automation, such a solution also helps you stay regulatory compliant and make customer relationships more transparent. Every delivered communication is recorded and tracked within the system.

Ready to automate electronic invoicing and delivery? Contact Inkit to discuss the details.

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