The role of e-invoicing in the recession

September 14, 2011  |  Electronic Invoicing

Clear Invoices 230x200 The role of e invoicing in the recessionSince December 2007 we have been told that economies worldwide are facing a recession. The evidence close to home such as the steady increases in VAT, escalating spending cuts and the unemployment statistics we seem to always be bombarded with certainly do point in that direction. However the signs are not only visible within the UK, but can be seen across Europe most notably in Greece, Ireland and most recently Spain and Portugal.

Over the last couple of years, there has been something which has caught the eye of the European Commission and that is the broad-scale implementation of e-invoicing by 2020. The plans have long been drawn up, and the process already begun with the technological revolution ready to sweep across Europe. The justification for this is varied. There are the environmental aspects and of course the time savings ones, but at the root of it is an extraordinary figure; E-invoicing could save the European economy €238 billion a year.

You may ask how this is possible. It is not only money saved from posting invoices (and re-posting those ‘lost’ ones), but from 25% lower administrative costs and the saving of 13 working days, a huge saving for SMEs, some of whom have definitely felt the sting of the economic crisis. It is amazing that something as simple as the adoption of e-invoicing could save so much money across the continent, not only for public sector bodies, but also for private companies. The big question which remains to be seen is how well received this shift actually is.

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  1. The elephant in the room is the amount of B2B paper that is circulating in the corridors of state and government departments. The thinking is that a reduction in paper = reduction in head count. I think the e-invoicing industry has to demonstrate the benefits will not only save money but create jobs by providing a more efficient business transactions platform that lends itself to job creation.

    Countries that mandate government departments are leading the way and the fact that €238 billion could still be realised is a shocking endorsement of the political system in Europe. The figure of €238 may overstate the case but even if it were half that amount, it should still propel Europe to forge ahead with e-Invoicing.

  2. Now USA, Greece, Norway and others are mandating Electronic Invoicing in their systems. By 2013 these countries and others will be experiencing the full benefits of E-invoicing. Then other countries will follow along with other corporations in the world