Estonia, like many other European countries, has decided to implement mandatory eInvoicing for the country’s public procurement. This decision is included in the modification of the Accounting Act that was published on 27 December 2016, which established that all contracting authorities (central, regional and local) must accept and process machine-processable invoices as of 1 March 2017.
According to data from the Rahandusministeerium (Estonian Ministry of Finance), the transition to eInvoicing has been estimated to result in annual savings of approximately €2.5 million for the Estonian public sector.
Therefore, in order to achieve these savings, Estonia defined its eInvoicing model which, in contrast to countries such as Spain, Denmark and Austria where there is a central platform for sending and receiving invoices, opted instead for a decentralised e-invoice model whereby economic operators can freely choose among the various electronic invoice suppliers.
As a result, there are various private suppliers who offer document interchanges with the public administrations. Omniva AS, Telema AS, Fitek (formerly Opus Capita), Edisoft and Amphora, and there is also an operator which is owned by the Estonian Centre of Information Registries and Systems (RIK): e-Financials.
Private suppliers for the interchange of electronic invoices with the Estonian public administrations must be linked to the State through a mutual agreement, the so-called roaming agreements, which allow electronic invoices to be sent from the accounting software of one operator to the software of the other operator.
In addition, the Estonian government has defined the use of some specific e-invoice formats for any electronic invoice issued to a procuring authority as of 1 July 2017. In Estonia the national standard based on XML: the EVS 923: 2014 / AC: 2017 is accepted, as is the European standard on electronic invoicing, which will become mandatory at the end of the period established by Directive 2014/55/EU.
The implementation of electronic invoicing in public procurement has been very positive for the country to date and 71% of Estonia's public sector bodies receive electronic invoices. In turn, the public authorities use e-invoices 99% of the time, and governments and agencies do so 94% of the time. The figure for all remaining public sector bodies is 30%.
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SERES has written a White Paper on “Electronic Invoicing in Europe” which sets out in detail the progress that is expected for eInvoicing in Europe (Albania, Germany, Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Denmark, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Norway, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic, Romania, Serbia, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine).
It is the perfect guide to understand what your company is facing if it wants to use eInvoicing globally.