Corporates go live with RBS e-invoicing

September 2, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

Three large businesses will this month start using a service that enables them to automate the distribution and payment of invoices.

The companies have signed up to use an e-invoicing service from Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) which links into their ERP systems. The service replaces slow paper invoicing which relied on people and the postal system.

Ian Watkinson, head of e-invoicing at RBS, said the e-invoicing service will help businesses get the most out of their investments in technologies such as ERP software.

“Our customers have invested heavily in accounting systems. This type of e-invoicing service makes it easier for them to get information into these systems,” he said.

When an invoice is received it is sent to a server known as the e-invoicing hub and matched with the purchase order for the related product or service. It is checked for errors and possible fraud before being automatically dealt with by the company’s accounting system.

Watkinson said the firms going live are “very large organisations” and represent the first of a handful of customers initially using the service.

Benefits to the customers include getting discounts through paying invoices early, reducing the resources required to process invoices and reducing the amount of paper used, he said.

Separately, logistics company DHL is using the Accountis e-invoicing system across Europe, and expects to save millions of pounds by reducing billing costs by at least 15% across the region.

Watkinson said the bank has been working on the Accountis product to make it fit in which its own technology strategy.

“We have been industrialising the Accountis platform so we were happy to put our name on it,” said Watkinson. “We have been building it for the future.”

Abbey offers a similar service in partnership with e-invoicing service provider OB10.

RBS’ technology is provided by Accountis as a white label service.

Award TWIST and GE for Billing Standard

September 1, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

The Billing Standard for Bank Services (BSB) is increasingly successful. General Electric and TWIST were awarded the 2008 Adam Smith Awards in the category Bank Relationship Management.

GE and TWIST won the award for the development of the BSB standard and their role in the successful implementation by Danske Bank and Barclays Bank. These awards are sponsored by Treasury Today magazine and aim to highlight “Best Practices and Innovation” in the field of treasury management.
 
Source: Twist

Future trends in electronic invoicing

August 26, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

About one month ago, it was distributed a draft of the conclusions of the EC electronic invoice experts regarding future regulation needs to push development and disemination of electronic invoices.

I was disappointed to find that one of the conclusions implies that electronic signature is seen as a barrier for further development of the electronic invoice, and a feature that some of the members of the expert group see as superfluous feature.

In my opinion, electronic documents need ways to reinforce security to allow to tell apart fake documents from authentic documents. Ths is generally true even for informative documents with less impact on companies results.

It is also true that electronic signature is not the only way to reinforce security regarding autenticity of documents. For example, a document can be assumed to be authentic if it is retrieved from a trusted source, even if it is not completed with an electronic signature. But then we must define what are the requirements of such “trusted sources” to keep that assumption.

On the other hand, both approaches, electronic signatures and reference or trusted sources (which in turn frecuently are based in electronic signature derived schemes) need more precise definition to avoid lack of interoperability, which, in my opinion is the real barrier for electronic invoice wide deployment.

Some common authenticity mechanisms are required both for electronic invoices (those that are born electronically from the beginning) and for invoices certified scanning (invoices digital copies that become equivalente to an original, after a security mechanism has been added to a common scanning).

This approach, “certified scanning”, has been initiated in Spain with high success.

Certified scanning is a process in which an electronic signature is applied to a image file while it is scanned from a document paper. This image is stored in a secured database and the main concepts and terms of the paper document are added as metadata to the contextual fields of the image file in the database.

Once a paper document is “certifiedly scanned” the digital copy becomes equivalente to an original, and the paper source can be destroyed. The new “electronic original” can then be used for auditing purposes.

For the companies that receive thousands of invoices, “certified scanning” adoption imply benefiting from most of the advantages of the electronic invoice without dealing with the slow adoption pace that their suppliers could show.

If we want to support “certified scanning” we need a common definition of the requirements for that conversion. And they should not be very different form the requirements for “electronic invoices” .

If we accept authenticity mechanisms not based in electronic signature, they should be common for both approaches. And if electronic signature is still to be used in the future as the authenticity mechanism of the electronic invoice, the broad options in variants should be reduced and clearly defined (in my opinion, the XL definition of CAdES -TS 101 733- or XAdES -TS 101 903- should be used, including both validation and timestamping, from the signer side).

Source: ePractice

        

Basware closes Million deal in the EMEA Region

August 26, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

Basware, the leading provider of financial process automation software, today announced that one of the largest global medical products companies has chosen the Basware Enterprise Purchase to Pay (EPP) solution. The solution will be implemented in the EMEA Region, covering some twenty countries, fifteen different languages and over 3,000 employees utilizing a Shared Services Centre approach in Prague. The value of the agreement exceeds EUR 1 Million.

The end-to-end Basware Enterprise Purchase to Pay solution includes procurement, automated order matching, invoice workflow, contract matching and contract lifecycle management as the key components.

“We are pleased to deliver this comprehensive solution to support our customer’s business objectives. This is an important agreement for us in the EMEA Region and via a Shared Services approach. More and more companies are implementing end-to-end solutions from Basware to gain control, realize cost savings, and standardize best practice across disparate units. Many times, as in this case, it is part of an overall finance transformation program,” says Ilkka Sihvo, CEO, Basware Corporation.

About Basware
Basware is the global leader in purchase to pay solutions with more than 1,200 customers and 650,000 users in over 50 countries around the world. Basware solutions automate business-critical financial processes and deliver value by providing compliance and control, as well as fast return on investment. The solutions are distributed and implemented in Europe, the US, and Asia-Pacific through an extensive network of Basware offices and business partners.

In 2007, net sales reached EUR 73 million. The growth target for net sales for 2008 is 15–25%. Founded in 1985, Basware Corporation is a public company listed on the Nordic Exchange Helsinki. Headquartered in Finland, it has seven subsidiaries in Europe and one in the US. www.basware.com

More information:

Euro RSCG Bikker
Jacob-Jan Esmeijer
T (010) 277 44 44
E [email protected]
Basware Corporation
Ilkka Sihvo
Chief Executive Officer
T +358 40 501 8251

European Payment Council clears up Sepa for Cards confusion

August 22, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

 
The European Commission and the European Central Bank have welcomed a document published by the banking industry-backed European Payment Council that paves the way for a competitive single market for card payment card schemes by 2010.
The document, which takes the form of a Q&A, clarifies key aspects of compliance with the Sepa Cards Framework (SCF) for payment card schemes and banks, as well as the conditions for geographical coverage of card schemes within the Euro zone.

In particular, it rules that any national card scheme can be deemed to be compliant with the SCF if the cards it issues are technically and commercially capable of being accepted everywhere in the Sepa territory. Earlier interpretations of the Framework appeared to imply that a card scheme could only be deemed SCF-compliant if it covered all 31 Member states. 

The ECB and Commission had expressed fears that such an interpretation would create a de facto monopoly for Mastercard’s Maestro debit card system and had been encouraging banks to set up an alternative scheme in competition. The ECB had become particularly concerned about moves by some banking associations to ditch domestic schemes in favour of internationally-accepted programmes by MasterCard and Visa. 

The new guidance from the EPC clarifies the situation and makes it clear that the Sepa provisions for cards will allow many - possibly national and regional - schemes to develop into ‘SCF compliant’ schemes. 

Nonetheless, the Commission warns that work is still needed by the EPC to develop a full set of technical standards allowing any card to be used, for payments in euro, potentially anywhere in the Sepa area. 

“This is a precondition for the expansion of existing domestic debit card schemes across the Sepa countries, for the emergence of (a) new European card scheme(s), for pan-European processing and certification, and for market consolidation,” says the Commission in a statement. 

“More competition would be very welcome,” the Commission continues. “The success of new initiatives will depend crucially on banks not simply selling the national debit card scheme to the existing schemes.” 

The European Payment Council’s Q&A.

Blogpost: Paper invoices have NO future

August 17, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

Source: Bo Harald: Blogger
 
It is evident - paper invoices will disappear from the business to business and business to government sectors and then later in practise also in the business to consumer/government to citizen area.  The 5 mega-class reasons are exceptionally powerful and clear to see. Everyone will benefit - especially the consumers and tax payers.

It is only a question of time. And how this can be very short.

In the EU Expert Group work it is becoming clear that there are two domains:

1. Mindset

Once the mindset is that there is NO future for this wasteful practise things will start to happen. And it is already - public sectors in 6 countries and many progressive enterprises have declared e-invoicing mandatory (with near or already passed deadlines). 10 more EU-countries have similar plans. As these heavy duty players defacto force invoice senders to take the step and the market has come up with the needed open standards and economical tools it is inevitable that e-invoicing will be used in all directions. Paper invoices will quickly become an oddity.

Spreading the awareness that paper invoices have NO future is clearly the top priority.

2. Removing obstacles and increasing enablers for a wider unified market

Much of the progress happening now is by necessity countryspecific. Nothing wrong with that - on the contrary - efforts towards moving with the slowest should be firmly resisted. Interoperabity is not that difficult to achieve and move to the coming common mass market standard will anyway take time.

But for those who realize how much the continuos improvement in the wellbeing of European citizens is dependent on unifying European markets it is evident that firmer action should be taken also in the crossborder dimension of this omnipresent - and thus so potential document. Economic strength is both a question of scale and today even more of moving faster into the technology-enabled innovation space.

Some argue that the share of crossborder invoices out of the total number of 30 billion is so small that there is limited needs for EU efforts. Here one should remember that the very reason for both payments and invoicing being so local and fragmented has been national regulation and infrastructure. Now we are moving towards one-bank-account-being-enough for all of the €-area. What could be the reason for it not being possible to send invoices in the same way?  With the right mindset it should not be particularly difficult. But of course it takes the right attitude:

1. the e-invoicing service  must be irresistably easy to use for the 24m SMEs (just like payments are starting to be)

2. there must not - in the base case - be any  need to invest or install software - just a template in a secure environment - this makes both the knowledge and financial threshold disappear

3. all services where authenticity and integrity is on an acceptable level must be accepted - technology-neutrality (no mandatory PKI seriously adding cost and complexity)

4. electronic documents should not be treated essentially differently from paper documents - they are anyway automatically more safely transmitted and have traceability (the opportunity to fight fraud should naturally be used by creating rules for the network)

Excellent progress is being made - but there is naturally much more to do. But it all starts with the mindset - understanding the inevitability and the reasons for why it should really be speeded up and contribute to a stronger Europe sooner rather than too late.

           

eInvoicing initiatives in Finland and in the EU

August 14, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

Electronic invoicing is currently being adopted in Finnish companies and in the public sector. This paper looks at electronic invoicing and reports the latest developments in the EUarena related to electronic invoicing. In addition, the study reports the findings from the case studies conducted during autumn 2007. These case studies focused on the implementation processes of electronic invoicing in Finnish companies and the public sector.

This white paper reports the results from the FullSEPA project which concentrates on promoting and researching electronic payments and electronic  invoicing. FullSEPA is the first phase in the Real-Time Economy (RTE) program. The RTE program is a four-year program focusing on real-time technologies and business transactions. It is conducted in collaboration between the Helsinki School of Economics and TietoEnator, and it is funded by Tekes - Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation through Verso - Vertical Software Solutions programme. 

Download the white paper (pdf)

Source: Tekes

Basware amongst world's Top 100 vendors

August 14, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

Magazine Credits Basware’s Advanced Enterprise Purchase-to-Pay Solutions for Helping to Drive Supply Chain Innovation.

Basware, the leading provider of financial process automation software, announced today that it has been awarded inclusion in the seventh annual Supply & Demand Chain Executive 100, which appears in the August 2008 issue of the popular business magazine and features the top providers of supply chain services and technologies who are leading the next wave in supply chain software, solutions and services. Basware was awarded this status based on its advanced eProcurement solutions, which have enabled leading companies around the world to employ best practices in their Enterprise Purchase to Pay functions.

This year the magazine focused the criteria for its “100″ feature on the next wave innovations in the supply chain and the companies that are helping to drive the next wave  by providing their customers with unique software, solutions and services that address customers’ primary current and future supply chain challenges.

Each year Supply & Demand Chain Executive issues its Top 100 feature to make its readers aware of those enablers that are leading the way in providing cutting-edge solutions and services to help enterprises address pain points in their supply chains through the application of new technologies and new processes.

“Today, it’s more important than ever for companies to be aware of how they’re spending their money,” said Robert Cohen, marketing director, Basware, Inc.  “A major supply chain challenge of today’s enterprises is finding ways to gain this visibility and effectively manage spend.  In order to cut costs and be fiscally sound, companies must ensure that their Purchase to Pay operations – from procurement to accounts payable – are strategic and aligned with business goals.  We’re honored to be included among the world’s leading innovators in supply chain solutions by being a part of Supply & Demand Chain Executive’s 2008 Top 100 listing.”

Supply & Demand Chain Executive identified leading providers of supply chain services and technologies who are at the forefront of innovation. Based on submissions to the top 100 from end-users and solution providers, the judging committee for the top 100, including the editorial staff of the magazine, in conjunction with the editorial advisory board, has compiled a list of leading supply and demand chain innovators. Final recipients are featured in the cover story of the August 2008 issue of Supply & Demand Chain Executive, as well as online at www.SDCExec.com.

Basware helps companies tackle some of the most pressing issues in corporate finance today, including real-time visibility and control of finances; global accounting practices that address multiple currencies and languages; compliance with Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), Basel II and other U.S. and European regulations; and the need to extract key financial data from disparate ERPs and back-end systems.  The company offers robust out-of-the-box solutions to automate key financial processes within large organizations.  Basware’s technology automates the entire Purchase to Pay process, enabling companies to operate more cost-effectively and efficiently, while giving them greater control and flexibility.

Basware’s easy-to-use technology is transforming the financial value chain.  Its built-in business rules encourage widespread user adoption and results in visibility throughout Purchase to Pay.  Also as more transactions are automated, Basware gives accounts payable professionals the bandwidth to focus on more strategic issues, such as ensuring that purchasing decisions align with business goals, selecting suppliers who meet their organizations’ commitment to green issues and other corporate citizenship values; identifying and selecting the best vendors based on value, as well as cost; truly capturing volume discounts; focusing on spend management; and helping to prevent fraud.

About Supply & Demand Chain Executive
Supply & Demand Chain Executive is the executive’s user manual for successful supply and demand chain transformation, utilizing hard-hitting analysis, viewpoints and unbiased case studies to steer executives and supply management professionals through the complicated, yet critical, world of supply and demand chain enablement to gain competitive advantage. It is available on the Web at www.SDCExec.com

About Basware
Basware is the global leader in Purchase to Pay solutions with more than 1,200 customers and 650,000 users in over 50 countries around the world. Basware solutions automate business-critical financial processes and deliver value by providing compliance and control, as well as fast return on investment. The solutions are distributed and implemented in Europe, the U.S., and Asia-Pacific through an extensive network of Basware offices and business partners.

In 2007, net sales reached more than EUR 73 million. The growth target for net sales for 2008 is 15–25%. Founded in 1985, Basware Corporation is a public company listed on the OMX Nordic Exchange Helsinki (HEX:BAS). Headquartered in Finland, it has seven subsidiaries in Europe and one in the US.

Pitney Bowes launches document solutions for government market

August 13, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

Pitney Bowes Government Solutions, Inc. (PBGS), a wholly owned subsidiary of Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) has launched a specialized, bundled document processing offering targeted to the needs of federal government agencies.

Pitney Bowes Document Processing Solutions for Government (Government DPS) provides fast and cost-effective document processing for document intensive federal agency operations such as contracts management, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, benefits and grants processing, claims management and review, and other workflow-related tasks that require backfile conversion (the digital conversion of older paper files) for fast, accurate responses to constituents and other agencies.

Jon Love, president, PBGS, stated that, “every day, government agencies handle a huge amount of important and sensitive information, but few have the standardized processes, appropriate technology and trained personnel to manage the end-to-end document flow. Outsourcing the document processing solution to an experienced provider like Pitney Bowes can help fulfill their requirements for document and records management.”

Love added that Pitney Bowes Government DPS draws on the company’s extensive experience in document processing, data capture and records management, and noted that, “with the current Greening of Government initiative, Government DPS can reduce the amount of paper and storage space needed for files, reducing the government’s carbon footprint.”

Pitney Bowes Government DPS optimizes existing document processes, implementing a best-practice approach that manages every step of the document handling operation and has reporting tools to monitor processing activity against pre-set service level agreements. It is comprised of three bundles of Pitney Bowes products and services which can be used together or interchangeably to meet specific customer needs:

Inbound Document Processing – includes the management of incoming documents by digitization and delivery into an agency’s digital information structure. Through business process consulting, technology evaluations and systematic implementation methodology, Pitney Bowes Government DPS can support complex, incoming business processes that require consolidation, optimization and reduced cycle time.
Records and Information Management – agencies are concerned with regulatory and compliance needs which require managing their overall records process in a traceable and detailed manner. Pitney Bowes Government DPS includes active records management, inactive records coordination, program design, implementation and support.
Best Site – to better serve regional offices, Pitney Bowes offers the flexibility of on-site, near-site and off-site options for a customer’s document processing and records and information management needs. A nationwide network of regional and national processing centers provides transactional imaging services for backfile conversion and government blowback projects.
Love commented that Pitney Bowes Government DPS supports federal agency needs in the document management space, including: the consolidation of mail, print, imaging and records; increased digitization of inbound transactional mail; agency mail coming through multiple channels; and, increased demand for national and enterprise-wide document management solutions.

Pitney Bowes Government Solutions helps federal government agencies achieve their mission-critical objectives by delivering world-class mailstream services. Pitney Bowes is a mailstream technology company that helps organizations manage the flow of information, mail, documents and packages. Our 36,000 employees deliver technology, service and innovation to more than two million customers worldwide. The company was founded in 1920 and annual revenues now total $6.3 billion. More information is available at www.pb.com.
Pitney Bowes Inc.
Colette Cote, 203-351-6132
[email protected]
or
Pitney Bowes Management Services
Marianne Fulgenzi, 203-351-7191
[email protected]
 

TietoEnator and Seeburger partner for e-invoicing

August 12, 2008  |  Uncategorized  |  Comments Off

TietoEnator, one of the leading financial value chain and eInvoicing service providers in Europe, and Seeburger, an integration specialist from Bretten in Germany, have announced that they have embarked on a global cooperation. The partnership will focus on eInvoicing and long-term archiving, which complement Seeburger’s service offering and bring TietoEnator’s eInvoicing network new customers.

TietoEnator offers eInvoicing services to both enterprises and banks and can reach a large number of invoice issuers and receivers. Mats Wikström, Vice President of Value Networks at TietoEnator Digital Innovations says: “Together with our customers, we’ve received several international innovation awards in business integration and financial value chain services. This co-operation is an important milestone in improving services for our international customers.”

The cooperation makes TietoEnator’s on-demand services for eInvoice exchange and archiving available to Seeburger’s EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) outsourcing customers. The new joint service already has its first customer, a leading company in the packaging market.

Bernd Seeburger, founder and CEO of Seeburger says: “By using TietoEnator’s eInvoicing service with Seeburger’s EDI outsourcing services, our common customer can optimize its invoice handling processes, as well as take care of tax and legal compliance requirements. They chose this solution in order to ensure a secured exchange of invoices with all of its business partners.”

Source: Sibos Online