Consumer friendly & cost savings for corporations
An important advantage of e-invoicing for companies is that it enables them to avoid the retyping of data given that such data is received in electronic form. As issuers they are able to enjoy savings with regard to the distribution and reconciliation of payments received on the basis of issued invoices, and at the same time obtain required data together with the payments. Savings are also seen with regard to the archiving of issued and received invoices. According to the Billetins March report (www.billetins.com), the introduction of e-invoices can cut down costs incurred by companies using paper invoices by about 60 percent.
Consumers prefer e-bills especially since they can be received, reviewed and paid anywhere and at anytime (they receive e-bills through their Internet or mobile bank wherever they may be), and because such bills can be tracked more easily and payments implemented in a simpler manner (e-bills only require confirmation).
"For already a decade now Slovenia has been among the top countries in terms of the share of companies using the Internet for banking transactions. Once such a ramified and reliable network of companies exists, it is only natural to use such a safe infrastructure for other things as well. E-invoices are a natural complement to electronic payments, where safety is paramount," says Matic Grobelšek, director of Halcom's electronic banking and electronic invoicing department. Halcom, together with banks and the Bankart processing centre, has developed a system for exchanging e-invoices and e-bills through e-banking channels. "Our experience has definitely been valuable, and we are now ready to offer a proven concept to foreign markets and are already discussing this with foreign partners, says Grobelšek.
What do customers have to say about e-invoices?
Savings for issuers and recipients
The number of recipients of e-invoices and e-bills at Si.mobil is increasing steadily. "The growing demand for electronic transactions is one of the main reasons why we decided to enable our clients the option to receive bills in Internet bank," says Andreja Kanižar from Si.mobil, adding that: "An e-invoice also allows users to monitor, compare and analyse costs." As Mitja Prešeren from Elektra Maribor points out: "The introduction of e-invoices and e-bills means a decrease in the cost of preparing and distributing bills. The time window from the preparation to the delivery is shortened and allows the long-term electronic storage of and access to invoices and bills." It is also important that large issuers be able to obtain consent for receiving e-invoices through an e-bank, thereby enabling issuers to receive feedback on the delivery of each e-invoice and e-bill sent through an Internet bank. On the other hand, the implementation of payments and closing of e-invoices by the recipient's accounting department is carried out more smoothly. There are no typos, and payment orders are prepared with a single mouse click. Mira Šetina of Adria Mobil, which receives half of its bills in electronic form, says that they help her company achieve greater productivity.
Automating payment transactions and reducing paperwork
Progressive companies are opting for e-commerce, and e-invoices are an important intermediate element of such communication, which no longer needs to be interrupted with the paper form of information transfer. Mitja Kastelic from e-Študentski servis says that her organisation is aiming for full electronic commerce, with the automation of payments a logical step in that direction: "On the initiative of some of our business partners (such as Telekom), we decided to include support for the receipt and issue of e-invoices in our back-office system. The two main objectives are to transition the preparation and receipt of e-invoices to electronic form and thus, reduce costs. We believe in the long-term effects of our decision and expect more growth once all banks have enabled the receipt of e-invoices in their Internet banking applications for the general public." An e-invoice provides the issuer with a basis for automating the process from the issue of invoices from the back office to their delivery to recipients, while offering recipients the options of directly entering e-invoices in the electronic information system and electronic liquidation. Both dispose of the need for paper.
The government also joins the trend
Today companies from all branches of industry are joining the exchange. "The two main motives are to keep abreast of the modernisation of financial management and to simplify operations for our customers," says Mojca Poklukar from Komunala Radovljica. As David Plošinjak from Probanka points out: "The turning point will be the entry of the Public Payments Administration of the Republic of Slovenia in the exchange of e-invoices, which will definitely lead to a massive shift of companies and individuals towards this method of conducting business." People at Adria Mobil say that this is a safe infrastructure: "What is safe enough for money is safe enough for e-invoices."
Tržaška cesta 118,
1000 Ljubljana, Slovenija