E-invoicing – puts the E in expedite

The way we conduct our business post recovery signals changing times, and getting onboard the E-invoicing network will be advantageous to your business.

E-invoicing

Most business owners can attest to this – after the hard part of the project is done, comes the harder part of ensuring all the invoicing paperwork is in place, so as to expedite the payment collection process. 

Present constraints 
The issuance of an invoice to the customer is a formal request for payment and this usually happens in the traditional form of paper documents or digital formats such as Word documents and PDFs. These two methods are both cumbersome with margin of error as information needs to be entered manually. In fact, a poll conducted by Enterprise Singapore in 2017 revealed this to be a common inefficient practice of SMEs. The manual process often causes delays in the submission of invoices and is increasingly liable to fraud as the invoice goes through numerous processing along the way. 

With the Covid-19 pandemic drastically changing the way we live, we will do well to reduce physical handling of documents that has to be passed on from one person to another. 

Finding the solution in e-invoicing
A common misconception is that e-invoicing is simply sending invoices via digital formats such as Word documents or PDFs. However, this does not constitute e-invoicing. E-invoicing is defined as a network that carries out the exchange of e-invoices directly across systems, with no physical intervention.

Peter Rand, Director Business Development, Mastercard who authored the certificate programme on E-Invoicing Solutions offered by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Academy expands on this further, “E-invoicing is a change of focus on information. The value is not in the media, it’s in what is printed or written on the piece of paper. And that is why emailed PDF invoices are at best a partial answer to the problem of efficiently and accurately transferring data from one party to another.”

“For any business case, it is basically about transferring; why you want to be paid by your customer who needs to know why they have to pay you. And in a data hungry world, this is important because more and more organisations are seeking better, bigger data from their supply chain partners. In fact, it might be right down to the farm and the field from where the produce is sourced from.”

IMDA’s push towards Nationwide E-invoicing Initiative
IMDA is supporting Singapore businesses digitalise and move towards e-invoicing through the Nationwide E-invoicing Initiative. Launched in 2019, IMDA implemented the Nationwide E-invoicing network (now referred to as InvoiceNow) to enable businesses to improve efficiency, reduce cost, and enjoy faster payments while being environmentally sustainable at the same time. 
 
This network adopts the Peppol framework which allows e-invoices to be transmitted directly from one financial system to another, expediting invoice processing time and of course, faster payments. The time spent verifying invoices and chasing for payment is therefore significantly reduced!

Time for your business to get onboard 
DBS is now a certified access point provider and from Q1 2021, you will be able to generate, send and receive e-invoices via DBS IDEAL. DBS InvoiceNow allows you to pay directly through your preferred e-payment modes including PayNow Corporate for faster local and international payments. 

Simply pre-register (from now till 28 February 2021) for DBS InvoiceNow to be auto onboarded to the Peppol network. Take advantage of the early bird promotion and receive a S$200 e-invoicing registration grant from IMDA when you sign up before 31 December 2020. You’ll also be rewarded with perks such as Free IDEAL e-invoicing portal and free 30 FAST/PayNow Corporate transactions every month on payments via DBS InvoiceNow. 

If you are looking for more immediate solutions, consider registering for a business cloud accounting software compatible with Peppol, such as Financio or Xero.     

Not an online accounting software user yet? Check out the Start Digital packages available to help you get started with confidence here.

Additional support to get started
There’s no better time to get started as there are more resources and support in place to help businesses get onboard quickly. It can even be rewarding! There are also additional bonus payouts for businesses in the F&B sector under the Digital Resilience Package.

For more information, please visit
https://www.imda.gov.sg/einvoice for details on the Peppol network as well on the E-Invoicing Registration Grant
https://www.imda.gov.sg/DRBonus for details on the Digital Resilience Bonus

If you’d like to be guided on the steps necessary to adopt e-invoicing, you may wish to sign up for the programme on E-Invoicing Solutions Certificate. The programme is designed to provide a comprehensive and practical knowledge of the processes and benefits of implementing e-invoicing solutions to grow your business. More details can be found here: https://icc.academy/e-invoicing-solutions-certificate-esc/

The e-wave of doing business 
We are in unprecedented times, but this period also presents an opportunity for businesses to reflect on their current operations and examine alternatives to consolidate their core operations and create a platform which they can then build on.

Bring your business efficiency to the next level when you get onboard the Nationwide E-invoicing Initiative, especially when setting it up is a relatively simple process and the rewards (i.e. quicker and safer mode of payment) can be experienced for years to come. 


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