Grand & Toy offers up e-invoicing service

Customers of office product supplier Grand & Toy Ltd. will now have an easier way keep track of their purchases through the company’s new e-Invoicing service.

This new service will allow commercial customers — who comprise the bulk of Grand & Toy’s clients — to receive their invoices on the Web, meaning less paperwork, fewer data entry errors and fewer lost invoices, the company said.

E-invoicing is free and customers don’t have to purchase their goods online to use it, said Dave Love, director of administration at Grand & Toy in Toronto.

The software enabling the e-Invoicing was developed for Grand & Toy by BCE Emergis, Love said.

Jennifer Cybulski, accounts payable administrator at Amico Canada Inc. in Burlington, Ont. said Amico has been testing e-Invoicing for Grand & Toy since August 2003.

Cybulski said e-Invoicing givers her access to all the company’s invoices online, which makes balancing the books at the end of the month less time consuming. One of the most helpful features is the ability to electronically register discrepancies between the invoice and the goods received, she said.

For example, if Amico had been charged for paper clips but had not received them, Cybulski could dispute this online. Before e-Invoicing, this process would have been time consuming since Cybulski would have to wait for the invoice to arrive via mail before the discrepancy could be noticed.

“Then I’d have to call somebody up and say ‘You forgot my paperclips’, and ‘Don’t forget to give me my credit,'” Cybulski explained. “If it wasn’t for the online procedure this would happen a week later.”

Grand & Toy also keeps 12 months worth of history for each customer so they can download, print, store and reference their invoices.

Another benefit of e-Invoicing is that the service uses a Web browser and doesn’t require any additional hardware or software on the user’s part, Cybulski said.

E-Invoicing can also accommodate different approval levels, Love said. For example, some users can be authorized to approve invoices, while others can be authorized to approve or make payments.

Additionally, customers can also select also choose to pay Grand & Toy over the Internet by transferring funds electronically.

Before the year is out e-Invoicing will keep track of signatures from the people who sign for shipments, something users have been asking for, Love said.

Grand & Toy already conducts almost half of its business online. In 2003, 45 per cent of its commercial transactions were conducted via the Web, up from 32 per cent in 2002 and the company aims to increase that number to 60 per cent by the end of 2004.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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