To promote digitalisation, one of the goals of the Real-Time Economy project is to increase the number of e-invoices between organisations to 90 percent by the end of 2023. At the same time, the goal of Sanna Marin’s government platform for the widespread adoption of e-invoices is also being promoted. The progress of the goal is described in the E-invoice metrics.
What is an e-invoice?
An e-invoice is a machine-readable (structured) invoice that is sent directly to a financial administration program or an online bank. E-invoice is a quick, easy and secure way to transmit invoices to customers. E-invoice provides a basis for real-time and automated financial administration. By automating your company’s financial administration, you can make your financial processes more efficient, improve data quality, reduce errors and eliminate costly manual work.
A service is always needed to process e-invoices. Companies usually receive e-invoices via their electronic recycling and archiving programs for purchase invoices. Consumers usually receive e-invoices via their own online banks.
An e-invoice can also be displayed on the computer screen as a document resembling a paper invoice. E-invoices are usually sent via the invoicer company’s financial administration program, but an enterprise resource planning system or an e-invoicing website can also be used.
Invoices sent as email attachments in pdf or image format are not e-invoices.
Why start using e-invoices?
Benefits of sending e-invoices:
- The time spent on processing payments is reduced, because the recipient of the e-invoice can automatically transfer the payment reference and account number to the payment order.
- Required statutory invoice elements can always be found on the invoice.
- You can sell products and services also to organisations that require e-invoicing.
Benefits of receiving e-invoices:
- Save time and effort: unnecessary work steps are eliminated, freeing up time for the company’s core business.
- The number of errors from invoice processing is reduced.
The E-invoice Act obliges the use of e-invoicing in public procurement
E-invoicing is regulated in the act on electronic invoicing of procurement entities and entrepreneurs (241/2019, E-invoice Act). The purpose of the act is to make the financial administration of public sector and private sector actors more efficient by creating a framework for automated invoice processing. Under the Electronic Invoicing Act, contracting entities must accept and process e-invoices in public contracts if the invoices comply with the European standard.