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e-invoicing: the questions to ask BEFORE starting a programme

Bruno Koch at Billentis has been publishing his annual report on e-invoicing for many years. The report is always full of different facts and figures and forecasts on e-billing worldwide. The 2019 report’s 176 pages are no exception, it is a huge piece of work. It contains many vital statistics on the progress of e-billing worldwide, and vital questions you should ask of your company.

e-billing worldwide  

Koch reports on the Market maturity for electronic invoices/bills worldwide in 2019:

(Koch points out that: The term ‘Laggards’ in the chart above does not mean that there was no e-invoicing activity in these countries. It just expresses that they are typically in a very early stage. ‘Developing’ means that countries have already some e-invoicing activities, typically in the B2C segment and/or EDI between larger businesses.)

The report describes the progress in each region in considerable detail and the main suppliers.

Global e-invoice/e-bill volume is expected to multiply

Koch expects the global volume of e-invoice/e-bill to increase dramatically with a major decline in paper invoices and receipts:

Implementing e-invoicing

Billentis have found that “a majority of organisations do not have a strategy to implement e-invoicing and to automate processes. Rather are they required by important trading partners or by the legislation to act. The result is typically a very heterogeneous solution, channel and format landscape. This is expensive to operate and maintain. It is in most cases also inappropriate to optimise all related processes in a holistic manner. This negative scenario can be avoided by defining a business and tax process automation strategy as soon as possible.”

They recommend that before defining an e-invoicing strategy, organisations should ask themselves:

  • What are our objectives and priorities?
  • Do we do business in countries that now or soon practise the clearance model for invoices, receipts, other fiscal documents or tax reporting?
  • Do we do business in countries that now or soon practise a B2G e-invoice mandate?
  • How can I ensure tax compliance in an international environment?
  • Do we want to automate just the invoice processes, include the purchasing, the entire procurement and even the sourcing process?
  • Is it our intention to start with the order-to-cash or purchase-to-pay automation?
  • Which corporate units, systems and processes will be affected by the project and how can former solutions be migrated?
  • How shall B2B networks and other cloud services be considered?

CTMfile take: This report is the best yet. Essential reading if you are considering or are involved in e-invoicing. Congratulations to Bruno and his team at Billentis. Download here.

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