Sunday, November 11, 2007

What can we do for Europe? Follow Italy's example...

Many things naturally - understanding that technology is really an extension of our bodies and should be embraced with enthusiasm - as it can make life and work so much better.

My mission is to promote the development of a Networked Real Time Economy - as a Vision and above all in the very concrete taking of the next step. The technology is there, the current standards situation can be handled, the support from the EU-commission, ECB, many member states and the European Association of Corporate Treasurers (EACT) is certainly strong - just to list:

February 2006 - EU Commission Consultative Paper: " e-invoicing is a major issue for the Commission", "SEPA should foster creativity by payment services through introduction of SEPA-wide payment related services, in particular e-invoicing".

Frequent statements during from ECB and EU that SEPA is not ready without value adding e-invoicing.

October 2oo6 - Something REAL for Lisbon conference (Finnish Presidency sponsored) conclusion by David Deacon (chairman - DG Market): SEPA Payments and e-invoicing fulfills criteria and saves a minimum of 100bn€ (processing costs) with more to come in supply chain management. It is here now and road tested. Anything better than €100bn - do that first! If not - what is the next one...

November 2006 - Helsinki Manifesto lists e-invoicing as number 2 priority in EU. Number one is user-centricity.December

2006 - EU e-invoicing Task Force established.

Early 2007 - EACT states that cost savings from e-invoicing in b2b only could reach $243bn on a yearly level.

July 2007 - EEI report delivered - multiparty effort arriving an unanimous roadmap

November 2007 - EU will appoint expert group with a mandate to create the EEI Framework

In the meantime at least the following has happened:
Denmark 1.2.2005! - e-invoices made mandatory by law with public sector.

Sweden - 1.7.2008 - only e-invoices will be accepted in public sector

Italy - 1.7.2008 - Finance Act proposal: "article 5, obliges all companies to send electronic invoices to state administration starting 1 July 2008, in order to be paid..

"Finland - 2007 - e-invoices mandatory element in contracts with public sector"'

15 countries in all have similar initiatives - by 2010 it is expected that e-invoicing will be mandatory in most countries" Bruno Koch 09.2007

Many invoice receivers in the private sector have declared that manual invoices are not accepted any longere

-invoicing to consumers is growing very fast (10-15%) per month for example in Finland, Norway and Sweden

So now it is up to us all to move ahead to the inevitable really fast - it is a key step which in itself produces enormous benefits to the economy and the environment. Then it is possible to move the next towards a real time economy. The public sector is of course only a part of the volume to be addressed - but can certainly make the market move by moving from producing programs on paper to real action as a model user.
If this kind of progress is not produced fast enough by a fragmented and frantic market - then it is time for us in business to ask regulators to join in and do it together with them to get a good result.

Labels: e-invoicing, EU;EACT

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