Since a few weeks we are sending all invoices to our Exact Online customers digitally. The monthly invoices are sent from our own Exact Globe environment to the digital mailboxes in Exact Online. With some simple mouse clicks our customers can first check the invoice and then create the entry into Exact Online with the invoice linked as an attachment. Why is this so exciting? Well, at Exact we are investigating the possibilities of Electronic Invoicing not only for ourselves, but also for our customers. This is the first step in the process and it will be the start for more functionality in both Exact Online and Exact Globe for supporting electronic invoices.
Electronic Invoicing received a lot of attention in the media lately. Governments worldwide are heavily promoting electronic invoices and the Dutch government even ‘killed’ all the strict rules that made sending invoices via email not viable for a lot of companies. Since February 2009 sending an invoice via email has the same legal status as a paper invoice. Sending and receiving invoices digitally can save a company a lot of costs (labor hours, post stamps, envelopes, paper, etc) and furthermore it is environmental friendly. According to the European Commission, businesses across Europe can save up to 18 billion Euro by using a solution for Electronic Invoicing.
The disadvantage of only receiving an invoice via email (e.g. a PDF-file as attachment) is the fact that a user needs to download (and sometimes print) the invoice and enter the data in the bookkeeping system manually. A better solution is sending invoices completely electronically with the ability to import it directly in a financial administration, just like we are currently doing with Exact Online. Sending invoices electronically means that you send all the related invoice data together with the message, and that the sales invoice can be booked into the bookkeeping system as a purchase invoice by some simple mouse clicks (or even fully automated). This is the goal we are aiming for.
I am a member of the project group Electronic Invoicing within Exact and will update you frequently on this subject. If you want to share your thoughts, questions, remarks or advice about Electronic Invoicing with me, please leave a comment below.
Photo credit: miquelb
Tags: electronic invoicing