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Nationwide E-Invoicing Framework

last updated 28 September 2018

IMDA is working with industry to implement the nationwide E-Invoicing framework to help businesses improve efficiency, reduce cost, enjoy faster payment cycles, access to new financing options and build a strong foundation for digitalisation.

Application to Become an Access Point Operator

 

Interested parties who wish to provide Access Point services may refer to the attached Singapore AP Guide.

 

To apply to become an Access Point Operator, you will need to maintain a minimum paid-up capital of SGD10,000 (or equivalent for overseas entities). If interested, please download the Transport Infrastructure Agreement (TIA) and submit a signed copy along with the other required documents. Details can be found in Part 1 of the above guide.

 

 

Invitation to Quote (ITQ) for the Provision of Service Metadata Publisher (SMP) Services

 SGNIC, the SMP Provider in Singapore, has issued an ITQ for the provision of the SMP services. Please refer to the link for more information about the ITQ.

 

What is E-Invoicing?

Electronic invoicing or E-invoicing is the automated creation, exchange and processing of request for payments between suppliers and buyers using a structured digital format.

Benefits of E-Invoicing

E-invoicing brings about benefits to businesses in the following area:

  • Cost reduction: moving from paper to electronic invoices eliminates or reduces several costs to businesses, such as invoice transportation, manpower costs and archiving. It also improves accuracy which saves in error correction costs.

  • Faster payment cycles via improved verification and validation: E-invoicing can accelerate invoice processing times by mandating that “required fields of information” are completed before e-invoices are sent. This would allow validation to be speedily completed and payment to be released. With the further application of rule-based processing (including the potential for artificial intelligence), human intervention could be further reduced and processes speed up.

  • Access to new financing options: E-invoicing allows for accurate and real time visibility of the status of payment cycles, enabling more efficient cash flow management for business sustainability and growth planning. E-invoicing also has the potential to enable supply-chain financing in near-real-time, facilitating greater efficiency and transparency that could increase working capital and liquidity.

  • Leveraging data analytics: Businesses that migrate to e-invoices can use data analytics to help identify potential fraud or human errors, and AI-enabled solution could further enhance such activities and extend benefits across large volumes of transactions quickly.

  • Business-to-Business (B2B) Benefits: While there are already significant motivations for businesses to adopt e-invoicing, e-invoicing also has the potential for wider B2B ecosystem benefits. Some of these include development of new services (e.g. advanced accounting services) and ecosystem multiplier effect.

PEPPOL

The open standard “Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL)” will be adopted to provide standards-based mechanism of exchanging invoices in structured format. The PEPPOL standard is maintained by OpenPEPPOL, a non-profit international association. It was conceived in the European Union in 2008, with OpenPEPPOL established in 2012. It has 277 members from 31 countries, with 176 Access Points in 19 European countries, Canada and the US, that serve to connect over 120,000 entities. PEPPOL conducted over 60 million e-invoices in 2017. Please visit PEPPOL’s website for more details.

IMDA has joined PEPPOL as the first PEPPOL authority outside of Europe, and the first country in Asia. As the PEPPOL Authority, the IMDA will be able to set national rules and specifications that meet Singapore’s domestic requirements, as well as appoint and certify Service Metadata Publishers (SMP) (colloquially called the address book) and Access Point (AP) providers. We will also ensure conformance to the PEPPOL technical and service standards.

Support from Government, Businesses and Technology Solution Providers

The Accountant General’s Department (AGD) will be working with IMDA to integrate Vendors@Gov into the nationwide e-invoicing framework. AGD recognises that by working with IMDA there will be a number of benefits for businesses, including:

  • Catalysing B2B transactions from the connect one, connect many effect with domestic and international benefits; and

  • Championing technological change in the business sector

AGD and IMDA will also be looking at how government procurement processes in conjunction with PEPPOL standards can be used to drive industry adoption of other common business messages.

The National Trade Platform will similarly support the nationwide e-invoicing framework as one of the key international standards for trade documents accepted on the platform, alongside other e-invoicing standards. Other agencies who will explore connecting their systems and processes include the Government Technology Agency (GovTech) and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

In the coming months, IMDA will put in place the e-invoicing framework for technology solution providers to join the network and bring on board their corporate customers. This will also include working out the details for awarding and certifying PEPPOL Access Point(s) and the Service Metadata Publisher(s). Interested parties are encouraged to refer to imda.gov.sg/einvoice or email einvoice@imda.gov.sg.

E-Invoice Industry Workshop

To build a vibrant local community for e-invoice and develop local capabilities of PEPPOL, IMDA co-organised the E-Invoice Industry Workshop with Enterprise Singapore on 3 and 4 July, 2018. International expert from Pagero, Basware, Tickstar and IBM were invited to provide a technical deep dive of the key components of PEPPOL. More than 200 participants from the public and private sectors attended the workshop and networking session.

The presentation material is available below:

Opening Speech by IMDA
Presentation by Pagero
Presentation by Basware
Presentation by Tickstar
Presentation by IBM

Interested Access Provider providers, e-invoice users may wish to contact the presenters directly. The contact details are in the “Opening Speech by IMDA” presentation slides.

You are also encouraged to contact us at einvoice@imda.gov.sg if you are interested in becoming an Access Point provider or adopting e-invoicing for your business.

Factsheet

E-Invoicing Factsheet

PEPPOL Factsheet