Invoice Collection: The First Step to Improving Your AP Process

The OneDataSource Team
December 18, 2019

You’re likely familiar with receiving invoices from vendors electronically, but how much emphasis has your organization placed on it?

Vendors across industries have already begun to move toward “paperless billing” or electronic data interchange (EDI) – a fancy way of saying they send you a file that can be uploaded directly into an accounting system. In the restaurant industry, where OneDataSource supports over 6000 units, food vendors typically invoice this way.

But what about the way other vendors invoice? Your waste management provider… your repair and maintenance vendor… your uniform supplier… or your telecom vendor? They may not have the infrastructure to send you an EDI file, but they definitively can email you invoices.

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The Benefits of Electronic Invoicing

Well, for starters, paper causes clutter, disorganization, delays and costs. In a restaurant environment, it’s unlikely all vendors send invoices to your headquarters (HQ). Some invoices will inevitably be mailed to or left at stores. Those invoices must make it to HQ somehow, right? Either managers will mail them, scan them or deliver invoices to HQ. This is highly unnecessary and costly.

Receiving Invoices Electronically & Vendor Management

So, how do you centralize the receipt of invoices and increase the percentage that are received electronically? The answer: Vendor Management and Process. At OneDataSource, we’ve designed a playbook around optimizing the flow of payables data and invoicing.

Believe it or not, many vendors these days would rather send you invoices electronically because paper carries a cost for them, too. It’s slow. It can get lost. It costs money to print and mail.

Working with Vendors to Create a More Efficient AP Process

Start with a simple vendor study to find opportunities for quick wins.

  • Find vendors offering an electronic billing signup.
  • Write a simple letter or email to a vendor requesting invoices be emailed to an AP Manager or a company email.

From there, it’s about managing the stragglers. Perfect compliance may never be attainable, but that’s to be expected. Not every vendor has the means to comply.

Yet, this kind of accounts payable improvement can drastically improve the efficiency of your payables process, reduce workloads and improve the employee experience. Going paperless doesn’t have to just be about saving trees. It’s also about saving time and money while reducing stress.

OneDataSource is all about optimizing a company’s approach to accounts payable, and it all starts with the invoice collection process.

You can also learn more about implementing a modern approach to accounts payable in our new guide! Or if you’ve started an initiative already to optimize vendor invoicing, but hit a roadblock, feel free to email us at We’d love to share our expertise.

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