Return on Investment

The ROI of B2B e-Invoicing Automation

There are three main methods to handle mandatory B2B e-invoicing and e-reporting:

  • in-house
  • outsourced (standard packages or EDI connection)
  • end-to-end in-SAP solutions.

Due to the lower initial cost and ability to have control over their own system, many companies decide to build an in-house solution as their first choice.

  • However, it turns out that this is the costliest option in the long-term perspective.
  • Third party solutions eliminate multiple time consuming, error-prone manual processes and paper-based documentation.

Below calculation reveals that third-party end-to-end solutions can make the company save up to 80% of costs with the additional employees. Instead of assigning people to the e-Invoicing project, they can focus on the more important tasks that cannot be yet replaced by an automated solution.

Development, Regulation Monitoring & All Daily Work

When evaluating the potential ROI (return on investment) of e-Invoicing automation companies should first think about how that would affect their daily work. According to our calculation companies which decide to build an in-house solution should hire on average 8 employees responsible for the development, regulation monitoring, and all daily work.

This group includes 3 SAP Super Users who are the internal experts on the SAP system and its implementation. They are responsible for the SAP adoption within the company’s organization and are the first support-line. This is why they are necessary to maintain country-specific SAP-processes.

Secondly, the company should dedicate at least 1 middleware expert who would manage the integration, vendor collection, and distribution, and 1 dedicated person who will monitor the processes in specific countries to keep their business compliant with all the local regulations. If deciding on the in-house solution approximately 3 reporting extractors are also needed to assist the controllers.

The above roles are significantly reduced by third party outsourced solutions. In most cases, just 1 super user and 1 reporting extractor are needed to cover the daily workload. The third-party vendor provides support to the business user, eliminating the need for in-house changes and problem-solving.

  • This means that several in-house employees can be replaced by a single business user with one SAP monitor.

Maintenance & Change Management

The other aspect that needs to be considered when choosing the e-Invoicing solution is maintenance and change management. With an in-house solution, it is necessary to hire 1 person who can manage the functional SAP OSS note updates, the next employee should be responsible for change management. The end-to-end solution eliminates this need in total, as they handle the full process.

Secondly, the required corrections for bugs and issues found in standard SAP programs needs to be handled in-house when a company decided on its own solution. All the functional updates can be handled by the third-party platform. This means there is less need for participation by in-house employees via configuration tables that are pre-defined per market. Also, a local developer and reporting extractor are needed when there is no automated change management.


To sum up, for the maintenance and change management approximately 5 employees are needed to maintain an in-house solution, 2 employees for an outsourced standard solution and no additional employees needed for the end-to-end in-SAP solution.

In a nutshell, even the initial development cost of an in-house solution might look low, at least 13 employees are needed to handle the daily work and maintain the product. With an outsourced standard solution, 4 employees are needed, while for the end-to-end solution just 2 employees are able to cover the whole process.

In the end, an efficient system can have an impact not only on the company’s budget but also on the customers and reputation. Despite the fact that third-party solutions might seem most costly at first glance, the above calculation shows that a fully automated end-to-end solution allows to save up to 80% in a year and guarantee full compliance with the current regulations.

Do you want to learn more on Foriba SAP Regulation Cockpit makes you in compliance with the regulation in different countries?

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