Towards electronic B2B invoicing
Mandatory B2B invoicing
"Currently, we are still in a growth phase, exploring how to make the most of the opportunities for everyone," says Wouter. The potential benefits are enormous, but there are also many stakeholders involved. A change of this magnitude must therefore be well managed. The vision must be clear to everyone and stakeholders must be convinced of the need to change. Hence, this cannot and should not be introduced half-heartedly. Moreover, coordination with the European Commission is required, because as things stand, for example, a derogation from the VAT Directive must be requested in order to be able to introduce a B2B obligation. All these things take time.
This is an important advantage especially for SMEs, as they often do not have the resources to set up customised solutions. Peppol is the agreement framework that offers the best guarantees for this, not only between sectors (cross-sector), but also across borders (cross-border). The joint statement by OpenPeppol and EESPA (the European association of service providers) is an important signal that gives the project a strong tail wind. The fact that countries outside Europe are also focusing on Peppol (Australia, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, etc.) only reinforces this claim.
Digitalisation should make things easier and more efficient, but that is not always the case now. One then tries to work out an intermediate solution by sending an unstructured PDF (electronic paper) via a unique channel (e-mail). However, these remain solutions based on a paper flow, where the real added value lies in a fully digital process, machine-to-machine. Defining and imposing a standard gives all companies in Belgium the opportunity to optimise their invoicing process, not only those with a customised ERP package.