By John Webster, VP Global Product Marketing
Basware and Billentis, the independent experts in e-invoicing have estimated that the number of B2B e-invoices sent increased by 20% worldwide in 2011.
This increase can be attributed in part to the governmental and legislative changes which have meant that e-invoicing is now mandated in many regions, such as Finland and Mexico. This governmental advocacy of e-invoicing shows that globally, there is a wider awareness and high-level support for a system which can be more efficient, and accurate, than paper-based accounting systems.
In one of the key legislations, Mexico has defined new legal requirements mandating enterprises to exchange invoices electronically if the value of the transaction exceeds a certain amount or if the enterprise generates revenues of at least 4 million pesos ($340 thousand approximately).
In Europe, Germany, the Nordic countries and the Benelux region all introduced moderate legislation to encourage the use of e-invoicing. In addition, the Finish State Treasury introduced a requirement in 2010 that state agencies and institutions may only receive electronic, rather than paper, invoices from their suppliers.
Similarly, the US Department of the Treasury announced that by the end of the fiscal year 2012, all Treasury Bureaus will implement an electronic invoice processing solution as part of President Obama’s “Campaign to Cut Waste” to improve government efficiency and cut costs for taxpayers.
Further to that, throughout 2012 countries such as Greece, Kazakhstan, Norway and Spain will be enforcing mandatory regulations for e-invoicing.
Our recent 2011 Cost of Control Fuzzy Finance report, found that investing in e-invoicing was an activity that 52% of businesses are more likely to do now than a year ago, indicating that we can expect a continued rise in the uptake of e-invoicing in 2012. E-invoicing also supports businesses’ priorities for 2012, such as cashflow management and financial accuracy, lending further support to the business case for implementation.
It’s an exciting time for e-invoicing, and it’ll be interesting to see how the adoption curve looks at the start of 2013 as the trend in uptake continues.