Daily Archives: October 15, 2012

Federalist No. 14

In Federalist No. 14, Madison returns to the helm to answer objections to the proposed constitution from extent of territory.

The first thing Madison notes is that, in a democracy, the people meet and exercise the government in person; in a
republic, they assemble and administer it by their representatives and agents. A democracy, consequently, will be confined to
a small spot. A republic may be extended over a large region
. Hence, any objections to the loss of democracy should be refuted by this statement alone as a republic can extend government by the people over a much larger territory.

Then he goes on to note that, in the first place it is to be remembered that the general government is not to be charged with the whole power of making and administering laws. Its jurisdiction is limited to certain enumerated objects, which concern all the members of the republic,
but which are not to be attained by the separate provisions of any. The subordinate governments, which can extend their care
to all those other subjects which can be separately provided for, will retain their due authority and activity
. Hence, any objections to the government amassing too much power should be dealt with as the government gets no more power than the people give it.

In addition, he notes that if some distant states should derive less benefit, therefore, from the Union in some respects than the less distant States, they will derive greater benefit from it in other respects, and thus the proper equilibrium will be maintained throughout. So while some states may have to send representatives further than others to take their seat on the government, they will benefit from the greater protection offered by the union.

So while objections can be made as to the potential strength of a union, versus a loose confederacy, they can also be countered. In this piece, Madison echoes Hamilton and again conveys the argument that united we stand and divided we fall.

PDF? PDF? You call that e-Invoicing?

Over on the TradeShift website, a recent post highlights the downsides for enterprise of PDF invoicing. I know that SI has been preaching going “e” at all costs, but, where Supply Management is concerned, PDF is not really “e”. It’s just paper being sent over the wire.

When your buyer’s organization gets a PDF invoice, the accounts payable clerk has to print it out and then manually enter the information in the accounts payable system. And yes, they typically do have to print it out as they are usually given a single monitor setup and the entire display is usually taken up by their AP program so they have to print it out. So all you’ve done is shifted the task of printing out the paper (and killing a tree) to them.

And, more importantly, you haven’t increased the speed at which they can process the invoice, or the accuracy, and have sacrificed the benefits you get when going electronic. If you use EDI, XML, or another standard, open, document format, then the buyer can import it into their AP system automatically with 100% accuracy — and you get all the benefits that go along with faster, 100%, accurate processing. These benefits could include getting in the queue in time for early payment discounts (should you want a quicker payment) and a buyer who can more quickly detect who the active, relevant, suppliers are as your transactions get in the system faster.

So don’t replace paper with PDFs that just get turned into paper. It doesn’t help anyone. And don’t trust anyone who claims they have software that can “automatically process PDF invoices”. There are so many different invoice formats that there is no software that gets, or even comes close enough to, 100% accuracy that you know, at some point, your invoice is going to get totally messed up and you are going to get 201,211.13 for that Million dollar invoice (when it thinks the date stamp, 20121113, is actually the total amount due).