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Ten years of mandatory e-invoicing

02-03-2015 News UK

February 1st 2005 was the day when mandatory e-invoicing was introduced for all suppliers of goods and services to the Danish public sector. Denmark is celebrating the 10-year anniversary.

The shift from traditional paper invoices to e-invoicing did not happen overnight; in fact, many public authorities and institutions took several months or even years before they had made the necessary changes to their it-systems and to their ways of working.

Today they are able to handle the invoices electronically all the way from receiving to paying an invoice and this integrated process is saving them a considerable number of man hours. The most mature institutions even do “order-to-invoice” matching, in which no manual intervention is necessary when handling the invoices.

Creating a win-win situation
To begin with it was a challenge for the smaller suppliers in particular to get started with e-invoicing. Scanning agencies were used to a large extent to "convert" paper invoices, but the quality of the "converted" invoices was very poor meaning that the public institutions still had to handle manually many of the received invoices.

After the introduction of NemHandel in 2008, which is the predecessor of the European e-invoicing infrastructure PEPPOL, IT vendors were able to provide Danish businesses with cheap and off-the-shelf e-invoicing software based on the NemHandel standards. Today most Danish businesses selling goods and services to the public sector are able to send e-invoices of high quality directly from their PCs without the use of scanning agencies.

In Denmark today, neither public buyers nor their suppliers can imagine what it would be like to do business without mandatory e-invoicing.

Read more about NemHandel.