Impressions on the EU E-invoicing Multi Stakeholder Forum Kick-off [UPDATE2]

October 4, 2011  |  Adoption, Electronic Invoicing

To make a reality of its objective to make e-invoicing the main method for invoicing in Europe, the first meeting of the new European Multi-Stakeholder Forum met for the first meeting in Brussels on 13 September.

Composed of more or less representatives of national e-invoicing fora, both from the private and public sector, the Forum

  • consists of 52 members representing public administrations, standardisation bodies and the user and provider sides of the market. And 12 member representing the European Commission.
  • is envisioned to provide a platform to exchange experiences and best practices which can pave the way to the broad-scale adoption of e-invoicing at both national and EU level.
  • will monitor the uptake of e-invoicing in all Member States.
  • helps the Commission in identifying further measures to facilitate the mass adoption of e-invoicing across borders.
  • is expected to present and discuss their first recommendations in the first half of 2012.

Attendance list

Notules / impression
Not yet available.

[UPDATE] But we already got our hands on some feedback from UEAPME‘s Economic and Fiscal Policy Director Gerhard Huemer. His improssion of the meeting:

  • The objective is to promote a large scale adoption of electronic invoicing both at national and EU level.
  • The huge savings potential and efficiency gains linked to e-invoicing will not materialise unless other aspects such as accounting, bookkeeping and payments are also made in an electronic way and all are interconnected.
  • Moreover, as larger companies are poised to profit from e-invoicing more due to economies of scale, less expensive and simple solutions must be found to cover SMEs’ and con-sumers’ needs.
  • Finally, Mr Huemer expressed concerns about the different existing national systems, calling for an afford-able and straightforward cross-border e-invoicing tool.

[UPDATE 2] Charles Bryant shared his impression of the meeting:

  • The meeting welcomed some 55 representatives
  • Whereas most attendees were from the public sector, the UK and Germany stood out by having two private sector representatives.
  • Only 11 of 27 states have a National Forum in place.
  • There is considerable fragmentation in most dimensions across the EU:
    - There are a variety of adoption levels including a number of quite mature markets mainly in Northern Europe.
    - Sometimes the role of a proactive public sector is decisive, sometimes it is a common standard
    - The creation of a mature and interoperable e-business ecosystem is a success factor, often driven by business users who demand structured information
    - In many markets B2C electronic billing has been a catalyst
    - For governments and large buyers, waving the ‘mandatory’ stick has had an impact and the availability of one or more commonly used or imposed solutions has had successes.

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