EC Pushes Adoption of E-invoicing by 2020
The European Commission (EC) wants to see electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) become the predominant method of invoicing in Europe. In its communication ‘Reaping the benefits of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) for Europe’, it identifies a set of tangible actions to make the uptake of e-invoices in Europe easier.
Providing invoice data electronically and in a format could allow businesses to benefit from shorter payment delays, fewer errors, reduced printing and postage costs. Most importantly, structured e-invoices facilitate business process integration from purchase to payment, meaning that invoices could be sent, received and processed without manual intervention. Currently, exchanging e-invoices is often complex and costly, in particular across borders and for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The EC communication addresses these obstacles and is complemented by a commission decision to set-up a European multi-stakeholder forum on e-invoicing.
Michel Barnier, commissioner for the internal market and services, said: “E-invoicing has the potential to make a big difference, for businesses, consumers, and European trade as a whole. The benefits in terms of saving time and money are fully in line with our Europe 2020 strategy and with the Digital Agenda for Europe in particular.”
The four key priorities on e-invoicing are:
For each of these priorities, the EC sets out a number of specific actions, for example: