Digitalization brings many benefits to businesses. Indeed, companies that have not implemented it have a significant loss of competitive advantage compared to other companies. Business have already modernised and automated many daily activities or tasks. One of these is as a result of Electronic Document Interchange (EDI). Its take-up is increasing and the annual volume of total EDI transactions now exceeds 20bn euros.
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Singapore pioneered the use of electronic invoicing - not just in Asia but worldwide. The country began using it in 2003, at the same time as Chile. However, it would be years later that it would become mandatory in Singapore.
One of the particular features of the Asian market is its heterogeneous nature. It is much more diverse, for example, than either the European or Latin American markets. Asia is the largest and most populous continent on Earth. It has a concentration of major economic powers alongside others that are still in the very early stages of development. In such an uneven environment, electronic invoicing is only gradually finding its place.
In Poland, 1.5 billion electronic invoices are issued every year by approximately 1.7 million companies. Although these are significant numbers, the implementation of e-invoicing in this country is far behind most other European states. In fact, regardless of how large these numbers might seem, only 3% of Polish businesses issue electronic invoices.
Electronic invoicing is nowadays used worldwide and is being increasingly implemented in all industries and for all kinds of transactions. In particular, in Germany, nearly 32,000 million e-invoices are exchanged every year. The German Government has legislated to promote their use, given the benefits they bring to both companies and the state itself. Moreover, the European Union has made them mandatory in certain transactions and the private sector makes an increasing use of them.
Electronic invoicing implementation is expanding and more and more used for transactions. It is estimated that in five years’ time this market reaches $20.529 million and becomes the invoicing method for 100% of transactions in many countries.
From 18th April, 2019, the public administrations of all EU Member States are compelled to electronically receive and process their invoices. This concerns any B2G (Business-to-Government) and G2G (Government-to-Government) trades and transactions within the European Union.
The 2014/55/EU regulation is aimed at standardise a common European e-invoicing format, so that any public or private supplier is able to work with European public administrations seamlessly. Developing cross-border trade falls under the main EU goals.
Electronic invoice or e-Invoicing is a way of proving transactions in a more reliable, convenient, and safe way. It fulfils the same role as traditional invoice and is legally equivalent although it has many more benefits, becoming an essential resource for companies.
This is why implementation of electronic invoicing systems continue growing on several economic sectors. It is a widespread fact both in Europe and Latin America. Taking Spain as an example, during 2018, 181,884,086 electronic invoices were issued, 14.92% more than in 2017. Thanks to this, Spanish companies saved more than €900,000,000 on invoice reception handling that year. Across the Atlantic, e-Invoicing has reached the US, Canada and all over South America, Central America, and the Caribbean, getting over Europe as per implementation degree.
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.
Mandatory electronic invoicing with Czech institutions was established in the country on 1 October 2016, the year in which European countries such as Switzerland and Croatia also made it mandatory.