Brexit and the future of electronic invoicing

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Public sector organisations in Europe were set a difficult task in 2020 - following the EU directive 2014/55/EU, they had to standardise invoice content, ensuring they are all able to receive and process EU compliant e-invoices from their suppliers, making it easier and cheaper for local government and central government to process them. The deadline for this was April 18th 2020. 

Two years on, and post-Brexit, where are we with the situation now? And how has it affected the future of e-invoicing? How has EU electronic invoicing changed?

Public sector entities have embraced electronic invoices since April 2020. Scotland had already transposed this into law after consultation with various trade and government organisations, including the NHS, and it has yielded an overwhelmingly positive response. This move was long overdue in order to deliver automation and efficiencies in today's supply chains.

Much progress has already been made, with dozens of NHS organisations in the UK adopting Pan European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL), an implementation of the EU directive which relies on the 4 corner model mandated by the Department Of Health. Adoption has and continues to accelerate in the healthcare sector, with over 300 NHS Trusts now in a position to receive PEPPOL Invoices, up from only 7 at the start of 2020. You can find a full list of these organisations here.

But PEPPOL is just one implementation of the wider EU directive. In 2018, nearly £50 billion was spent on UK public sector contracts, and the number of contracts awarded has now grown significantly. The number of private companies selling to the public sector is growing and we know from case studies in other countries that when the public sector starts to mandate e-invoicing and e-trading standards, the private sector follows. So, the adoption of PEPPOL in the public sector bodes well for the automation of supply chains in the private sector.

Now that the Brexit or no-Brexit debacle has been resolved, and a deal made, the public sector organisations in the UK can continue to upgrade their e-invoicing operations. As we have seen, this was a hugely positive development for e-invoicing in the UK, compelling public sector entities to take action and join the e-invoicing revolution.

Separate to invoicing in the NHS, the directive has also spurred on businesses to embrace the digital transformation of the purchase-to-pay process across both public and private sectors.

E-invoicing has certainly evolved over the last couple of years, and now with further calls to achieve sustainability in the workplace, the appetite of businesses to rid themselves of paper and manual invoice processing is growing fast. To get a better understanding of where you stand as an organisation with regards to PEPPOL and e-invoicing, contact CloudTrade today. 

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