E-invoicing in the EU public and private sector – removing obstacles for the economy’s benefit

In 2010, as part of the Digital Agenda for Europe, the European Commission set the ambitious goal of making e-invoicing the main method of invoicing in Europe by 2020. E-invoicing allows both public sector organisations and businesses across the continent to reduce errors and time spent on administrative tasks. Savings on production costs are also significant. A Ricoh sponsored report shows that to receive a paper invoice costs the company €17.60 to process each time, versus €6.70 for an electronic version. To issue a paper invoice can cost €11.10 each time, whereas it costs €4.70 to manage the process digitally.

Removing the barriers for the uptake of e-invoicing is an important step towards a more competitive European economy. Addressing the lack of education on e-invoicing and tackling regulatory red tape are the first steps. These actions will ensure this much needed initiative creates opportunities for greater efficiency and significant savings for the public sector and private sector. Failing to act to implement e-invoicing would mean not only a waste of billions of euros, but crucially a missed opportunity to enhance the efficiency of Europe’s public and private sector.

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