E-Invoicing digitises the entire invoicing process, from generation to the issuing and receipt of invoices, and through to their storage for 10 years, in accordance with the law. But what savings does it engender in Italy? Here is an outline of the benefits for businesses.
From 1 January 2019, all Italian private entities (excluding small taxpayers on a flat-rate tax regime and foreign suppliers) will be obliged to issue and receive e-invoices, and to preserve them for 10 years. This obligation, we hope, will encourage many companies to move towards digitisation: not only e-Invoicing, therefore, but also digital management of all business documents, information and processes. But why move in this direction? First and foremost, there’s the savings!
If we look at the figures, according to the Electronic Invoicing and B2B eCommerce Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano, the invoices issued every year in Italy to private entities are approximately 1.3 billion, and these come in addition to a further billion issued to consumers. That’s around two and a half billion documents! But what happens in terms of revenues and costs with the introduction of compulsory B2B e-Invoicing?
Let us look at out-of-pocket expenses. The average cost per document for traditional invoices is estimated to range between € 1.80 and € 3.70. This difference in price depends above all on the method of invoice shipment and delivery. The cost of managing the same documents digitally ranges between € 0.90 and € 1.80 per invoice.
Take, for example, a medium-sized company with more than 3,000 invoices receivable and payable: e-Invoicing would offer savings of between € 7.50 and € 11.50 per document issued.
Where do all of these savings come from? Mostly from the reduced need for manpower and management. Because, as well all know, “time is money”, and e-Invoicing saves time: by abolishing the need to print documents, put them in an envelope and send them; by removing the need to manage multiple physical archives; by making away with endless call or emails to customers to ensure the invoice has arrived, has been processed, will be paid, and so on.
With invoices receivable, digitisation has a standard format – the same used for Public Administrations – which facilitates recording, accounting and bank reconciliation, thus significantly shortening management times.
We can say goodbye to those bulky binders and messy archives. We can put a stop to the expenses linked with printers, envelopes and stamps. We can say “enough!” to chasing payments, issuing invoice duplicates, etc.
In short, you’ll have more time, while spending less! All very true! But what is the real added value of e-Invoicing? For Namirial, it is undoubtedly the move towards digital document management.
If we look at Italy as a whole, a hypothetical move – triggered by e-invoicing – towards the digitisation of all the documents of the order cycle between companies and Public Administrations, could result in savings of EUR 6.5 billion per year! A figure, say the analysts, that would help to achieve the savings sought by Italy’s stability laws.
But how was this value calculated and what does it refer to? The estimate represents the sum of the costs for raw materials, space and manpower with a low added value. If businesses really embraced the digital revolution in terms of document and business process management, these savings could potentially help to restore Italy’s competitiveness.
The hope is for electronic invoicing to become the trigger for the creation of a country-wide digital culture. The ideal solution would be to create a single digital process for all incoming, circulating and outgoing documents, based on operational, traceable and storable workflows.
In short, the digital revolution should not be limited to digitising the invoicing cycle, but extended to delivery notes, orders, and so on and so forth. The future is in our hands and the benefits range from alignment with current legislation to optimising the efficiency of business processes.
Our commitment is a promise! Every day, we strive to develop this market by devising increasingly advanced, customisable and comprehensive solutions for our partners and customers.