Corporates and Public Administrations Look at E-Invoicing to Cut Costsby Fintechnews Switzerland August 26, 2016
Companies are looking at e-invoicing as a way of saving costs, according to a new survey by Vereon AG, a Swiss conferences, congresses and professional training courses organizer.
An online survey conducted by Vereon found that 65% of businesses believe that the saving potential of e-invoicing is high. 27% see it as a driver for other projects aiming to optimize business processes.
Respondents believe that the biggest challenges in implementing e-invoicing in their organizations are internal resistance (21%), compatibility issues (20%) and lack of information (15%).
Electronic invoicing, also referred to as e-invoicing, is a form of electronic billing often used by trading partners, such as customers and their suppliers, to present and monitor transactional documents between one another and ensure the terms of their trading agreements are being met. These documents include invoices, purchase orders, debit notes, credit notes, payment terms and instructions, and remittance slips.
As corporate enterprises and public administrations seek to automate business processes, e-invoicing allows has numerous benefits such as reducing costs, errors and time spent on administration.
Vereon will be hosting the Exchange Summit in Barcelona on October 10 and 11, 2016. The event will provide attendees with the opportunity to learn and share their experiences on a global level. They will also get the chance to meet and connect with experts, thought leaders and professionals in e-invoicing, purchase to pay, e-procurement, supply chain finance, and accounts receivable/accounts payable (AR/AP).
Among the topics that will be discussed, experts will tackle the potential of blockchain technology to disrupt the peer-to-peer process, the state of Public Procurement in the EU, as well as the region’s regulatory framework for e-invoicing.
E-Invoicing regulation in Switzerland
In Switzerland, e-invoicing is subject to certain legal requirements under commercial and tax law. The rules require for instance that all VAT relevant e-invoices are digitally signed by one of the four Swiss-admitted digital signature providers.
That said, the Swiss Federal Tax Administration (SFTA) has moved closer to the general EU rules recently and has approved different ways of accepting e-invoices, according to Deloitte Switzerland.
The authority requires that the integrity and authenticity of the e-invoices are assured, and that companies establish an internal control system that allows a constant and reliable audit trail between procurement process, e-invoice and payment. Businesses are also required to establish a new procedure-to-pay internal control process, which is regularly audited.
Many governmental initiatives are currently being implemented, notably by the European Commission. By the end of 2018, public administrations in all EU member states will be required to support e-invoicing and to automatize public procurement processes as stipulated in Directive 2014/55/EU.
Separately, EDICOM’s R+D+i initiative, driven by the European Commission as well, aims at fostering implementation of the European e-invoicing schema between hospitals and laboratories.
The initiative is open to healthcare suppliers and public agencies belonging to any of the EU member states.
In Europe, Finnish fintech startup Zervant is one of the leading e-invoicing solution providers. Earlier this month, the startup announced a new €4 million funding round to fuel global expansion. This brought the total amount of capital raised to more than €8 million.
Zervant is used by tens of thousands of entrepreneurs all over Europe. Its core markets are Finland, Sweden, Germany, France and the UK. The company’s revenue is expected to grow by 200% this year, according to EU-Startups.
According to Mattias Hansson, Zervant co-founder and CEO:
“There is going to be a tremendous shift towards electronic invoicing in the next 5 years and more accessible financial products for micro enterprises. We want to lead the way in this segment.
“This investment will help us expand significantly and strengthen our position as the leading invoicing service for small businesses in Europe. We will accelerate growth in our current markets as well as expand into new countries.”
Featured image: Online invoicing concept by Bakhtiar Zein, via Shutterstock.