eInvoicing has been around for some time. Although the INVOIC document wasn’t the first EDI message, it was soon created after the ORDERS. After first introduction adoption of eInvoicing has steadily grown. Somehow lately the interest for eInvoicing picked up some steam, as we see larger corporations moving to electronic invoicing.
Obviously advantages are plenty:
- faster processing (not only physical, but also because a fewer data entry errors)
- faster invoice payment (since faster processing)
- reduced printing and postage costs
- lower storage costs
Cost has always been an issue. EDI started out as cumbersome and thus expensive. Only larger corporations could benefit from it by economy of scale.
Those time have changed. Broad adoption of EDI, the Internet (and with it, cheap means of exchanging data) and cheaper technology have brought that eInvoicing has become affordable for all: small, medium and large organizations can adapt eInvoicing at low cost. Integration into back office systems is optional as webforms allow entering of information online, printing: everything one needs to go about normal business. This in itself has led to acceptance into other industries than the ones with a historically high acceptance rate of EDI, and adoption into other geographical areas.
However, the largest game-changer is Governmental authorities. Governments start seeing the benefit, not only for the businesses, but also for themselves. Europe in particular starts to adopt eInvoicing quite rapidly. The EU has created a set of rules to promote and standardize electronic invoicing across the European Union: directive 2014/55/EU. Some states are even going so far to make adoption mandatory. (for ex. Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Spain). In France eInvoicing is mandatory for suppliers to the state (and even to local authorities)
It is only a matter of time before directive 2014/55/EU will find it’s way into legislation of the separate member states of the EU.
Though some states already have implemented their own laws, resulting in:
- wide range of formats and according to many different standards. Naturally this creates an obstacle for smooth cross-border acceptance (and therefore the cost savings that go with it)
- different ways creating validity in legal, financial and administrative terms. (again this a large problem for cross border acceptance, can lead to security and misinterpretation issues which might lead to fraud)
So not all work has been done, and the future will bring evolution. This however should not stop you from making steps today. Technology is cheap and you can start reaping the benefits of eInvoicing today. Contact us at Neksus: we would be happy to answer any questions you have!