Dutch enterprises massively embrace electronic invoicing

September 1, 2011  |  Adoption, Electronic Invoicing, Publications

More and more Dutch companies prefer sending electronic invoices, instead of the paper invoice. Last year, another 15% of the Dutch companies switched to e-invoices. Measured as the steepest growth rate in one year, e-invoicing adoption in the Netherlands soared to an impressive 39%. This became clear after analysing the responses in a survey under almost 500 companies.

Invoice Monitor 2011

For the fourth consecutive year Dutch e-invoicing specialist Factuurwijzer, conducted the National Invoice Survey, focussing on e-invoicing, e-billing and other financial innovations. Based on the comments from almost 500 large and medium-sized enterprises, it became clear that in 2014 94% of Dutch based enterprises will use e-invoicing:

  • 39% of companies already use electronic invoicing
  • Another 34% expect to get started with e-invoicing within one year from now
  • 21% of the companies said to schedule e-invoicing somewhere within 2012 and 2014

Comparative results

The results are in line with several other researches like the Dutch accounting survey by Twinfield and recent figures from the governmental body Statistics Netherlands. The result state 39% of the Dutch enterprises are using e-invoicing.

Beyond the tipping point

“It is fair to say that two years after e-invoicing liberalisation the Netherlands are now well beyond the e-invoicing tipping point”, says Friso de Jong Director of Factuurwijzer. He continues: “If we used this as a blueprint for European e-invoicing adoption, we could expect similar situations in other member states in or around 2015, two years after adopting the new EU directive.”

Replacing the mailman or improving processes?

Both the Factuurmonitor as well as the other surveys show that companies of different sizes experience electronic invoicing in different ways:

  • Freelancers and small companies focus on the use of PDF and email for e-invoicing. They experience e-invoicing as a way to replace the mailman with a low-cost alternative that allows to add a payment incentive, says 56%-68% of the respondents.
  • (Medium) large companies and public authorities focus on sending and receiving (read: exchanging) electronic invoices that can be imported into their accounting software, improving process. 31%-35% of respondents experience e-invoicing in that way.


The survey also the respondents about their attitude towards adopting other financial innovations contactless mobile payment (NFC), SEPA, e-mandates, dynamic discounting and deployin social media. On average more than half of the respondents, medium-sized and large companies in Netherlands, were not aware of these innovations. And if they were, they were to focus on these innovation around the year 2014 or later.


  1. Emailing a PDF is not e-invoicing and continuing with this charade is nonsense. Practitioners in this industry should not refer to emailing PDFs as e-Invoicing as it will enter the common lexicon of the broader business community and be taken as for real.
    It is a real challenge in introducing real e-invoicing when the business user claims he/she already does e-invoicing and all they do is replace the postman. All the serious business challenges remain and it will undermine all the European efforts to have a pan-European e-Invociing standard.
    Time for industry commentators, practitioners and vendors to call a halt and insist that this type of reporting ceases. Factuurmonitor should know better.

  2. Hello Micheal O’Brien,

    Thank you for you opinions. From looking at it, they seem to flow from the very nature of the services your company provides. Some responses:

    1 “Emailing a PDF is not e-invoicing”
    - Hey, don’t kill the messenger; this is just what these organisations provided as an answer.
    - the new EU E-invoicing says otherwise.

    2. “…continuing with this charade is nonsense”
    - Do you imply to ignore the very needs and motives of those that could become your customer?

    3. “…introducing real e-invoicing…”
    - Real e-invoicing has to start somewhere and looking at reports all over Europe (take a look at the E-business Watch survey results) it seems that organisations tend to start from a comfortable-ish user experience (killer apps like PDF and e-mail). Providers who are able to connect to that user experience and then further them on the ‘road of efficiency’, will discover a meadow of cash cows. Does who won’t…eh, don’t.

    4. “….call a halt and insist that this type of reporting ceases.”
    - How?

    5. “Factuurmonitor should know better”
    - Factuurwijzer. Factuurmonitor is the title of the survey..
    - Hey, don’t kill the messenger; this is just what these organisations provided as an answer.

  3. Interesting facts and figures about Electronic Invoicing in the Netherlands. Changes are taking place every day as Organizations and World Governments keep up with E-invoicing and how it can help Accounts Payable Departments become more profitable


  1. e-invoicing, electronic invoicing, community, web 2.0 - EEI Platform - Web 2.0
  2. "e" is in the eye of the beholder

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