|I manage expenses for my company on an AMEX card. People I work with that want to expense something over X amount come get my card, make the purchase, return the card and forward the invoice. Each invoice is a unique snowflake. Some contain data that can be scraped, others direct to you a website which may or may not be able to be scraped. Design changes break the scrapers. They may or may not support a billing email and if not, things get even more muddled.|
The same fragility problem that REST solved remains running rampant in how businesses invoice each other.
What if each business allowed you to provide an end point to which they would POST when an invoice dropped, using a free and open standard? Wouldn't this cut an accounting departments' head count down significantly?
The lack of adoption to take seems like the answer to my question...
As a SaaS business, why would I build an end point when I can sign up for recurly or similar and just auto email invoices?
As a small business receiving invoices, this is something that takes 20 minutes a week to type in.
As a medium to large business, it gets to the point where I have 50 invoice scraping scripts and am feeling the pain. I guess at this point the answer is to "hiring another book keeper" but it bugs me that an open standard and a simple POST would automate the whole shooting match.
Are other businesses doing this "right" in a way I've missed? Is there an opportunity here for software to eat a bit more of the world? Perhaps simply publish an open source standard and see if people run with it?
[EDIT: Tried to use less words to explain the problem]