Ricoh UK, an office solutions specialist, is urging public sector bodies across Europe to adopt electronic invoicing (e-invoicing), with new research revealing that European governments could save at least €40bn annually, by further embracing the digital economy and moving to e-invoicing. In the UK alone the saving is €4.400bn. The figures are included in a new report from Billentis and sponsored by Ricoh, which identifies the public sector as one of the largest sectors in terms of invoice volume, estimating that 45-65% of all companies supply goods or services to the sector.
The report also states that while the proportion of business and government invoices sent electronically this year is predicted to be around 30% higher than in 2011, penetration is still low, with only around 18% of all invoices in Europe likely to be sent in this way. This is despite the European Commission’s (EC) aim for e-invoicing to be the predominant method of invoicing by 2020 and actions being implemented through the European Union’s Digital Agenda to remove the barriers to widespread adoption of e-invoicing.
“With the European economy still in recovery mode, and governments constantly looking for new ways to make savings, adopting electronic invoicing is an obvious choice,” said Chas Moloney, director, Ricoh UK. “But we know one of the biggest barriers to widespread adoption is managing the switch from a predominantly paper-based system to an electronic one. For the public sector, doing business with thousands of suppliers and residents, it’s crucial any changes are well planned, communicated, and managed. They need to work with a partner who can support the transition from paper to digital and help them meet the aims of the Digital Agenda and benefit from a smarter way of working.”
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