Is paperless invoicing as elusive as the paperless office, asks Deutsche Bank Research.
No, says author Heike Mai, the electronic invoice will supersede the paper version in the long term, provided that it is accorded the same legal status as the paper document.
This supersession will not, however, be total – niches will remain for the paper invoice, for example for billing to countries outside Europe or between small companies. The process will also occur more slowly and trigger fewer modernisations than some optimists currently expect. E-invoicing only develops its full effect where the e-invoice is deeply integrated with company bookkeeping systems. Simply sending invoices electronically promises to deliver only limited efficiency gains.
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