Economics ministry: it’s time to go over to e-invoicing!

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At the Invoicing Congress, the Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs yesterday announced that, by the end of 2018, all government departments and agencies that buy in goods or services must be capable of receiving e-invoices. Before that, the government will this year amend its General Terms and Conditions to require all suppliers to submit e-invoices. Simplerinvoicing will be one of the three e-invoice formats that can be accepted.

Gé Linssen from the Ministry of Economic Affairs (EZ) opened the Invoicing Congress with a simple message: it’s time to go over to e-invoicing! Gé Linssen is EZ’s Deputy Director of Regulatory Pressure and ICT Policy, with special responsibility for digital government policy.

EZ sees opportunities for adding impetus to the Dutch e-invoicing movement in 2016. In recent years, e-invoicing has been increasingly in the spotlight in the Netherlands. Obstacles have been removed and more and more organisations are adopting the technology. From 2016, the process of migration is expected to gather speed. Linssen talked to the audience about how the government plans to work with trade associations and other organisations to boost momentum further.

Encouraging the mass adoption of e-invoicing
Between them, the Netherlands’ businesses submit millions of invoices a year to the government. So far, most of them have been processed manually. That costs time and money. EZ is therefore encouraging enterprises to send in electronic invoices instead. EZ believes that the Netherlands can’t afford to be behind the curve as e-invoicing gathers pace across Europe. What’s more, the EU’s e-Invoicing Directive (2014/55/EU) requires that, by the end of 2018, all government departments and agencies that buy in goods or services must be capable of receiving e-invoices.

System realisation
The Ministry of the Interior is currently setting up systems in all government departments and agencies, to enable them to receive e-invoices in the near future. Before long, new supply contracts will require suppliers to support e-invoicing. Government departments and agencies therefore soon need to have the systems capable of receiving them.

Simplerinvoicing is one of the options for submitting e-invoices to the government
Developed by a consortium of ERP service providers, bookkeeping software suppliers and e-invoicing service providers, Simplerinvoicing will be one of the three e-invoice formats that can be accepted. The Simplerinvoicing network allows enterprises to send electronic invoices from within their preferred software packages. On receipt, the invoices are read straight into the system used by the accounts department at the relevant department or agency. The other two supported invoicing options are by direct connection to the Digipoort and (as a fallback option) by submission to the national government’s Supplier Portal.

Suppliers have three options for integrating Simplerinvoicing into their ERP, accounting or e-invoicing software. If you are a service provider that mainly sends e-invoices by e-mail, you can use Simplerinvoicing LITE or Simplerinvoicing FREE. If you are looking for a single solution that enables you to send e-invoices to large companies and the government, then we recommend Simplerinvoicing FULL. The differences are explained at www.simplerinvoicing.org. Whichever version you use, you can have your say about the Simplerinvoicing standard (SI-UBL).

About Simplerinvoicing
Simplerinvoicing is a community of leading European e-invoicing and accounting software suppliers, which is working to bring about the mass adoption of e-invoicing, in line with the European standard. Simplerinvoicing is an initiative by the Dutch government, which brings together accounting software providers and other organisations involved in e-invoicing. Simplerinvoicing provides a common standard for the exchange of e-invoices by mail or by using a secure transmission protocol (PEPPOL). The standard makes it possible to send and receive electronic invoices from/to the service provider’s own system, without modification. On www. simplerinvoicing.org/nl you can read how other organisations user Simplerinvoicing to manage their costs.