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.
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 304 members from 32 countries, with 199 Access Points in 23 countries in Europe and North America, that serve to connect over 160 thousand entities. PEPPOL conducted over 85 million e-invoices in 2018. Please visit PEPPOL’s website for more details.
IMDA has joined OpenPEPPOL 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.
How PEPPOL e-invoicing works
Companies who wish to adopt e-invoicing must subscribe to an AP provider or third parties (eg. Accounting Platforms) who are connected to the Access Points. Companies then send their e-invoices to their AP provider, which checks and verifies the receiving company’s PEPPOL address through the SMP (the SMP service is offered as a free service in Singapore by Singapore Network Information Centre, or SGNIC). The AP provider then sends the document to the relevant receiving AP provider, and then onward to the receiving party.
Sample of sending an e-invoice on the PEPPOL network
Senders/Receivers can either connect directly to an Access Point or through third parties (eg. Accounting platforms) who are connected to Access Points.
Government Agencies Leading E-Invoicing
IMDA is working with several key government agencies, such as Accountant General’s Department (AGD), to drive the adoption of e-invoicing.
AGD is joining the nationwide e-invoicing framework to provide government vendors with greater options when transacting with the Government, in addition to the current Vendors@Gov system. AGD will be sourcing for a service provider in the coming months.
The Singapore Government is committed to coming onboard the nationwide e-invoicing network and more details will be provided later in the year.
Certified Access Points Providers
As Singapore’s PEPPOL Authority, IMDA has certified the following Access Point providers to offer services for businesses to connect to the e-invoicing network.
|Access Point |
(registered business name)
|Brief Description |
registered under Consumer Cloud Technology Service Pte Ltd
|OnPEPPOL.Sg: Singapore based certified access point provider, running on a highly secured PEPPOL gateway which hosts more than 40% of PEPPOL messaging worldwide, with an unmatched support and integration capabilities, based on freemium model with Singaporean SMEs/Enterprises in focus. |
|DataPost Pte Ltd||E-invoicing software as a service (SaaS), with value added services such as SG QR Code and generation of IS020022 Payment file; supported by major banks in the region.|
With over 20 years of experience, DataPost is the region’s market leader in Secured Data Handling.
|Esker Document Automation Asia Pte Ltd||Esker is a cloud-based global leader in AI-driven process automation software helping companies improve their order-to-cash, purchase-to-pay and document delivery performance providing efficiency, visibility, accuracy and cost-savings with the processing and exchange of information.|
|IBM Singapore Pte Ltd||IBM is a global provider of PEPPOL solutions, offering integration to ERP, Accounting Systems, and is interoperable with many other global trade networks. IBM can support and onboard SMEs or Enterprises at any level of maturity, and we provide and support a wide diversity of integration solutions and standards.|
Pagero is committed to making e-business and global compliance easy. We help companies digitalize, automate, capture and interpret data so that they can connect and engage with any business partner accurately and reliably through a single connection to our cloud-based network.
|PracBiz Pte Ltd|
PracBiz enables a smart and thinking supply chain with digitised trade documents and automated processes.
E-payment and financing facilitation it provides with partner banks enable optimal cashflow for stronger business growth. Solutions are always simple, intuitive and practical.
registered under Singapore E-Business Pte Ltd
EzyProcure and EzyPayment is an integrated cloud-based platform bringing intelligent procurement and payment solutions to market that help maximise Productivity, Cash flow and Profitability.
|SMECEN Pte Ltd||SMECEN is a cloud-based integrated software solution across Accounting, Human Resource as well as Compliance Modules. Its aim is to increase SMEs’ productivity by leveraging on technology to kickstart their digitalisation journey and build up their digital capabilities. SMECEN optimises business functions starting with Accounting and HR, and integration with other business tools in the future.|
|StarHub Ltd||StarHub is the first Singapore-based certified PEPPOL AP Provider, that provides digital document exchange services to connect private and public sector organisations to the PEPPOL network for efficient management of procurement activities within Singapore and around the world.|
|Tradeshift ApS||Tradeshift provides solutions to help businesses connect with all their suppliers digitally, remove paper and manual processes across procure-to-pay, seize early payment discounts to save money, and buy what they need faster and manage supplier risk.|
registered under Workflow Management & Document Consulting Asia Pte Ltd
| Boutique Consultancy with specialization in the area of Finance Automation within the SAP and Non-SAP Eco-system. Certified Access Point for both Enterprise and SMEs.|
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.
For more information, please refer to imda.gov.sg/einvoice or email email@example.com