Businesses can’t simply switch from paper to digital overnight

In his original publication, Martin Hurley (Vice President and General Manager, Outsourcing Services Ricoh Europe) reviews the impacts of one element of the European Union Digital Agenda for European Businesses: e-invoicing. Below you can find a collection of his most relevant thoughts on the subject.

The EU is driving the initiative to harmonise invoicing standards across Europe by next year. By 2020, the Commission wants e-invoicing to be the predominant form of invoicing in Europe.

Not quite prepared for paperless invoicing

Today however, most European businesses are far from prepared. Despite the wide availability of the technology, consulting company Billentis estimates that just 15 per cent of organisations in Europe have an e-invoicing process in place. The reality is that a shift to electronic invoicing must be done in several stages and therefore a business will need a process to manage both paper and electronic invoices in tandem as the business, its customers, and its suppliers, make the transition to a digital way of working. This can be challenging for many organisations no matter what volume of invoices are being processed.

Get ready now!

The Digital Agenda is on track for taking invoicing to the digital age. In less than one year, EU member states will have introduced harmonised standards, and will thereby lift a crucial barrier for businesses seeking to benefit from technology’s enormous cost saving potential. As the countdown begins, European businesses, big and small, must get ready now and embrace technology to save billions of euros every year.

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