Voice of the Industry

Jaap Jan Nienhuis, Senior Consultant, Innopay: Simplerinvoicing - a new paradigm to achieve mass adoption of e-invoicing

Friday 22 November 2013 09:35 CET | Editor: Melisande Mual | Voice of the industry

Jaap Jan Nienhuis is Senior Consultant at Innopay. He is a thought leader in the area of B2B e-commerce, including e-invoicing, e-payments and supply chain finance.
Jaap Jan has a special interest in the development of new services in 4-corner models. He is involved in a number of European collaborative e-invoicing initiatives, including the EBA E-invoicing Working Group. Jaap Jan is project leader of Simplerinvoicing, a consortium of ERP / Accounting

Mass adoption of electronic invoicing (hereafter e-invoicing) is unlikely to be realized, due to the limitations of existing paradigms.

Today, e-invoicing adoption is mainly driven by two paradigms:

1. Corporate driven: Corporates require their suppliers to deliver their e-invoices through their platforms, often operated by e-invoicing providers. This enables a high level of automation for the invoice receiver, but also forces the sender of the invoice into one or more e-invoicing platforms. SMEs are typically involved in many buyer relations, resulting in additional IT complexity and costs to establish the connections.

2. E-mail based: SMEs frequently exchange PDF invoices (occasionally accompanied with an XML file) via regular e-mail. This simple practice is widely embraced by SMEs but impedes straight through processing and undermines security requirements of their corporate relations.

The adoption of e-invoicing by SMEs is hampered, due to the limitations of these paradigms. However, in order to achieve mass adoption of e-invoicing SMEs need to be mobilized, as these companies form the backbone of many national economies. What the market needs to achieve mass adoption is a new paradigm: one that makes e-invoicing compelling to everyone, regardless of their industry, size or sector.

Simplerinvoicing is a consortium of thirteen ERP / accounting software and e-invoicing providers that share a common goal, i.e. achievement of mass adoption of e-invoicing. The mission for Simplerinvoicing is to make e-invoicing available for everyone, especially SMEs. To realize this mission, three key principles are embraced by Simplerinvoicing:

1. Inclusive: Simplerinvoicing should support all invoice flows, including SME, corporate, government and consumer flows.
2. Freedom of choice: The sender and the receiver should be able to use the software or services they already use in their Finance function. This means that Simplerinvoicing should be available in ERP / accounting software and easily integrated with the systems of billing service providers, e-invoicing service providers and banks.
3. Simplicity: Sending invoices via Simplerinvoicing should enable suppliers to book invoices directly into the system of its client based on an identifier exchanged between them (e.g. Chamber of Commerce number, GLN, VAT number). No pre-onboarding measures are required.

Service providers that want to offer that level of simplicity to their clients can choose to offer Simplerinvoicing in two different ways:

1. Simplerinvoicing LITE enables service providers to send and receive SimplerInvoicing UBL messages and exchange these (accompanied with a PDF invoice) via e-mail.
2. Simplerinvoicing FULL enables service providers to send and receive SimplerInvoicing UBL messages via a secure infrastructure, providing the tools to guarantee authenticity and integrity.

Simplerinvoicing FULL uses the PEPPOL (Pan-European Public Procurement Online) infrastructure to securely exchange Simplerinvoicing UBL messages. This ensures low barriers for parties that want to join Simplerinvoicing. Parties can participate by either implementing PEPPOL connectivity by using the Oxalis open source component or a ‘PEPPOL access point in the cloud’ as offered by, for example, Tickstar. Parties can also join via one of the existing participants that are established in the network.

With the official launch of Simplerinvoicing on November 14th, Simplerinvoicing is now offered by Anachron, Basware, E-verbinding and TIE Kinetix. Simplerinvoicing will soon be available in Exact, AFAS Moneybird and InvoiceSharing. 

Many parties are expected to join Simplerinvoicing early 2014. These participants are paving the way for mass adoption of e-invoicing. In 2014 forty percent of the Dutch market will be able to send and receive e-invoices through Simplerinvoicing. 




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Keywords: SimplerInvoicing, mass adoption of e-invoicing, Jaap Jan Nienhuis, INNOPAY
Countries: World

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