The message is clear - the e-invoicing revolution is inevitable – we have been saying it for a long time. Now, the latest figures from the European E-Invoicing Service Providers Association (EESPA) survey shows that in 2013 no less than 840 million e-invoices were processed by the e-invoicing service provider members – an increase of 19 per cent from 2012.
As EESPA includes some of most formidable e-invoicing providers in Europe, these figures are very significant.
The figures also show that we are only at the beginning of this revolution - currently approximately 10 per cent of all invoices are electronic. The benefits of e-invoicing speak for themselves. At a time of great need to boost the economy, build stability and trust in the financial system and erase any type of fraud, e–invoicing plays a critical role. It’s a technology that is based on the very core principles of a healthy financial system: trust, transparency and stability.
We need to grow the ecosystem of organisations using e-invoicing. We are dependent on each other to create economic stimulus. Governments, enterprises, small businesses and consumers all form part of this ecosystem and belong to a commercial network where e-invoicing forms the basis of transactions and trust. The Basware network alone connects one million companies across 100 countries. We continue to grow this network to boost cash flow and make companies more successful. Build it and they will come – but we can’t build without continued e-invoicing adoption.
Some of the other EESPA facts are very encouraging in light of this need. The majority of the e-invoices processed were B2B and B2G. Together they represent over 600 million processed invoices in 2013, an increase from nearly 17 per cent from 2012.
The fact that governments are increasingly adopting e-invoicing is key. An economic recovery most often depends on governments either directly or indirectly. As such, countries that run on innovative governments deploying e-invoicing strategies are essential. To have a national system that is based on the fundamental principles of financial stability is what we all need.
Good organisations look after their value chain and realise they have a responsibility to a wider ecosystem. They pay on time, they erase fraud and they forecast and buy accurately. To become such an organisation, processes and mindset need to change. Deploying an e-invoicing strategy is one important part. Realising that you are part of a wider ecosystem with the opportunity and responsibility to create financial stability within and outside your own walls, is just as important.