E-invoicing and E-procurement in Europe | rising requirements
The upcoming e-invoicing development in Europe
Corporations must pay attention to the upcoming e-invoicing development in Europe. The requirement for e-invoicing is rising in Europe, which is relevant for corporations operating in both Business-to-Government (B2G) or Business-to-Business (B2B).
E-invoicing in Business-to-Government (B2G)
Companies selling to government institutions both nationally and internationally are subject to the requirement to send electronic invoices. For instance, the EU Public Administration made it a requirement for all federal levels to become e-invoicing and e-procurement ready in April 2020.
The following countries have made B2G e-invoicing a requirement:
- France: From 2020 all B2G transactions must be conducted using e-invoice.
- Croatia and Estonia: From July 2019 e-invoicing became mandatory for transactions involving suppliers to the public sector.
- Portugal: From 1. January 2021 all large corporations must use e-invoice. From 1. July 2021 all small and medium sized corporations must use e-invoice. For micro businesses, the deadline is 1. January 2022.
- Germany: From November 2020 all suppliers to the federal administration must use e-invoice.
E-invoicing in Business-to-Business (B2B)
Companies selling to other companies are prevalent in the computer, facility service, and retailing industries. In Serbia, B2B e-invoicing is expected to be a requirement from 2022 and in France from 2023.
E-invoicing within both B2B, B2G, and G2B segments is common in Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Estonia, and Italy, where more than 40% of the total invoicing/billing volume is electronic. Middle- and South Europe also have a high volume with between 20-40% of the invoices/bills being processed electronically.
Predicted Market Adaption 2020, Billentis
Italy is taking the front on e-invoicing
In 2019, Italy made it a requirement for all corporations to use e-invoicing within B2B and B2C transactions in a format that is compliant with a standardized XML structure. That is why Italy is one of the leading countries in e-invoice volume in Europe outside of Scandinavia. Read more about this development here.
Is the PDF format an e-invoice?
Most people would probably say no since a PDF file is not a structured format and cannot be processed automatically. However, with a standard software for Document Management, such as Lasernet, corporations will be able to process a PDF file and convert it into an electronic format.
In Germany, they use the format ZUGFeRD where the XML file is sent as a PDF file. The Lasernet software can take the PDF file and convert it into a standard XML text file for further processing. It can also do this process in reverse, i.e., taking an XML file and converting it into a PDF file.
Due to Lasernet's ability to convert files to and from PDF and XML formats you can use the PDF format for e-invoicing if you are operating in Europe
With a standard Output Management software like Lasernet provided by Tabellae, e-invoicing becomes easy regardless of the segment operating in.
Want to know more about e-invoicing in Europe?
International E-invoicing Market 2020, Billentis