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10.12.2010

The EDITEL Special on electronic invoicing

The spectrum of electronic invoicing is broad, ranging from faxes to scanned PDFs to XML or EDI invoices: all of these fall under the category of e-invoicing. However, the requirements that the different forms of electronic invoicing have to meet vary greatly. While it may be sufficient for a private cell phone user to look at an invoice online without printing or archiving the invoice, an entrepreneur entitled to input tax deduction must comply with the legal requirements regarding electronic invoicing. (See on page 4: The future of e-invoicing, expert opinion of Dr. Gerhard Laga, WKÖ). The benefits lie not only in sending and receiving invoices electronically, i.e. without using paper, but especially in the automatic processing and integration of all contents of an invoice. 

Who benefits most
Electronic invoicing enables mass providers such as energy suppliers or mobile phone operators to save the cost of printing and sending hundreds of thousands of invoices per month. In the FMCG segment the focus is placed on the automation of invoice processing and thus on the EDI invoice. All data from headers, item and total lines are compared with the existing master data. If a match is found, the invoice will be automatically released for payment. This leads to increased efficiency and a long-term cost reduction in the entire invoicing process between suppliers and customers. The higher the frequency of turnover of the line of goods, and thus the number of invoices, the earlier the implementation of an e-invoicing system makes sense. Companies from the food sector were the first to discover this method for themselves and implement it. One of them is REWE International AG, which our lead story on page 1 is dedicated to. 

Improving information deficits
Related industries – such as DIY stores, perfumery and drugstore chains, goods logistics companies, electronics and furniture retailers, the healthcare system, gastronomy and the public sector – are also highly interested in the introduction of electronic business processes. However, to accomplish long-term implementation throughout the industry it is necessary to increasingly raise awareness on this topic. The wish of many customers for an automation of electronic business processes is still often met with rejection by suppliers. On page 3 we would therefore like to show you some examples from the supplier’s point of view – from multinational groups to SMEs – and a practical guideline on this topic. Enjoy reading your EDITEL Journal!

EDITEL Partner Network