Invoicing is a request for payment. E-Invoicing is a request for payment in electronic format to your trading partners (customers, buyers and suppliers).
e-Invoicing is a term often used loosely. There are various degrees of digital automation in e-Invoicing. Ideally, true ‘e-Invoiving’ does not involve any paper, not even printing, mailing or emailing as attachment. Imagine automating the creation, exchange and process of billing with your trading partners.
If you have a current business or wanting to start-up in Singapore, e-Invoicing is becoming the norm in the smart nation. Singapore is the first Asian country to roll out a nationwide e-Invoicing network called PEPPOL. The country has mandated e-Invoicing by suppliers of the Singapore government since May 2008. 32 countries across Europe, Canada, the US and Singapore have adopted this network to be future ready.
EXAMPLES OF E-INVOICING
BENEFITS OF E-INVOICING
Whether you are a freelancer, SME or MNC, the benefits are relevant for senders and receivers of invoice.
- Get paid faster
Say goodbye to admin work and manual tracking for payments. Automating your invoices would lead to faster delivery and payment. The significant benefit comes when integrating your accounting software between you & your customers. Instead of sending invoices through emails, your customers will receive automated invoices in real-time. Thus, faster payments may bring better cash flows.
- Save time
Invoicing can be tedious when there is red-tape or when invoices get rejected or re-issued due human errors. With e-Invoicing, businesses can automate process and remove the time-consuming task.
- Reduce cost
No paper and less postage fees. The major cost saving would probably be streamlining human resource on accounting work.
- Transact cross border
Collecting overseas payments from customers used to be difficult and costly with limited payment options. Today’s advancement and the competitiveness in cross-border payments would mean that you could only benefit from the various payment methods when invoicing international clients.
CONCERNS IN E-INVOICING
- Security concerns
E-Invoicing can be a double-edged sword. While it enables secure exchange of invoices through encrypted processes, uploading or downloading files on an insecure server can make you prone to data hackers. If you’re using a third party accounting software company, it is important to do your research on the credibility and if there were any past data leaks or scams involved with them. Make sure your software and apps are always up to date.
E-Invoicing often requires investing in technology (eg. subscription fee for cloud service; purchasing hardware). Most small business struggle to consider digitalising their processes because of the high premiums charged by enterprise softwares. SMEs do not require full-fledge accounting services. The good news is that there are free accounting softwares that provides simple functionality for e-Invoicing. For example, Wave Apps.
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