Jasper Peter Von Petersdorff-Campen

Results of the study of the implementation of electronic invoice workflow at WWU

Users rate electronic invoice processing positively

The introduction of the digital system reduced invoice turnaround times by an average of 90 percent, or ten days. © WWU

Since August 2020, all invoices received at Münster University have been processed completely electronically. Has this process proven itself? What advantages have resulted from it? Organizational and business psychologist Prof. Dr. Guido Hertel and business IT specialist Prof. Dr. Jörg Becker wanted to know exactly - they have now presented the results of a review of the introduction of "xFlow Invoice".

The most important results at a glance

  • The introduction of the digital system reduced invoice processing times by an average of 90 percent, or ten days.
  • Users gained significant confidence in the new system over time - and satisfaction grew in parallel.
  • Weak points were identified and eliminated at an early stage.

Before the changeover began, many of the respondents expressed concerns - for example, they expected problems in processing invoices and were worried about possible errors. Over time, however, there was a clear increase in ...

  • Satisfaction and trust in the new process
  • Positive assessments of the reliability, credibility, ease of use, and design of the process, and
  • Satisfaction with the support of those responsible for the process.

Nevertheless, the researchers recommend critically reviewing the information material on the intranet and continuing to offer training.

About the study

The researchers surveyed users at four different points in time, specifically from July 2020 to July 2021: before implementation, after launch, and six and twelve months after launch. This made it possible to examine possible effects on work processes and results and to optimize the process. 365 people took part in the study, representing 31 percent of all potential users.

Background to the "xFlow Invoice" project

The e-invoice law implements the EU requirements of April 16, 2014 into national law. As a result of the North Rhine-Westphalia E-Government Act of July 28, 2018, WWU must accept incoming invoices electronically, archive them in an audit-proof manner and process them accordingly. With the introduction of electronic incoming invoices, WWU also met demands from the business community. In addition, since the start of the corona pandemic, WWU employees have increasingly been working from their home offices, so replacing previously manual processes with digital ones has proved advantageous. Scientists in particular have wanted digitization for years in order to be able to work more flexibly. Furthermore, the electronic processing of invoices avoids media discontinuity, as the data once entered into the system continues to be used and no document is lost in the internal mail. This means that invoices are processed more quickly and transparently. The researchers will be happy to provide you with more detailed information on the study upon request. Please contact Lea Müller at lea.mueller@uni-muenster.de.

Further procedure

Further studies are being planned or are already being carried out with partners from the private sector.