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One step before e-invoice

Everyone agrees that e-invoice saves money, makes things easier and it is good for environment. But if we think situation for SME, this makes sense but still it is hard to adjust business for this.

Good examples comes from own experience and I share my own for you. I like e-invoices but still struggle to send one. There are several reasons for this; 

  1. There is no standard way to send it for domestic customers and
  2. There is no standard way to send it for crossborder customers.
  3. There is no one solution for sending e-invoices.

Let's tackle first issue. When I send in my case e-invoices from my ledger system, it is managed by my book keeping company. I ask e-invoice address from my customer and add it to our system. Most of the cases our system knows our customers e-invoice address and it goes with no problem. But in few cases system itself doesn't understand e-invoice address of my customer and refuses to send it. My book keeping company says that it is up to customer first to go and register them to one common e-invoice catalogue organized by state authority and then system would be updated and know this address. But before that I have an option either send it as e-mail attachment or by snail mail.

Second issue is when I send invoices to another country. Our system knows only domestic solution. If customer is on another country, then only options are snail mail or email attachment. 

Thirdly, there is no one solution how to make invoices and not to roll a dice and wonder if this e-invoice goes thru or not. Or how to check if my customer even got invoice on time. Sometimes they tend to disappear on a way to customer. When you are SME, you don't have too much money to spend for different options or spend too much time for several e-invoice projects.

When big market makers are planning on how e-invoice should be implemented, it would be wise to think one step closer how to send invoices for customers.  





Comments: (2)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 22 September, 2011, 18:30Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

So, what are your thoughts concerning SWIFT working to create an e-Invoice Central Utility similar to what they have just piloted for eBAM?

Having SWIFT create an international standard, using their identification processing (RMA w/BICs for registering), and securing with 3SKey.

Do you feel that SWIFT's "step" would resolve the issues you've outlined?

And do you feel that SWIFT should be the banner holder?


A Finextra member
A Finextra member 23 September, 2011, 07:24Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

I totally agree, SWIFT or similar orgamization should take a lead. Otherwise is more market driven and it takes too many years to create standards. 

Same time developers should think usability while creating services. We small business owners and individuals have similar patience as flies, it has to work first time or it is not adopted.

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Payments strategies 2015-2020-2030

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