Daily management

23 August 2017

E-invoicing at government level: standard procedure as from 2017

Governments are playing the digitisation card increasingly. They are currently opting for electronic invoicing, or e-invoicing, full out. The Flemish Government has done it since January 2015 and it has been standard procedure since 1 January 2017. Other government departments will follow suit. E-invoicing is breaking through full out and is also encouraged at European level. How is your company responding?

Since early 2017, the Flemish Government has adopted electronic invoicing as standard procedure. It developed a platform together with the federal government on which suppliers submit their invoices electronically. Mercurius is making business to government (B2G) completely digital.

What is e-invoicing or electronic invoicing?

An electronic invoice is sent digitally via a secured electronic channel with no manual operations. A PDF by e-mail? Not real e-invoicing. Finally some manual operations may still be involved which can cause errors.

E-invoicing is faster, more accurate and cheaper

Why is the government putting its efforts into e-invoicing? Electronic invoicing is much more economic than conventional invoicing by post or e-mail:

  • The recipient, in this case the government, processes the invoices faster and flawlessly. Processing an e-invoice is also cheaper than processing a conventional, paper invoice.
  • The senders, in this case government suppliers, also benefit from e-invoicing. They save 2 to 3 euros per invoice, are sure that their invoice arrives safely and are paid faster.
European directive on electronic invoicing

An additional incentive for setting up e-invoicing is the relevant European directive. This aims to have converted 50% of all invoices into e-invoices by 2020. The technology is now finally mature and the e-invoicing market is growing. It is not just about the Mercurius platform of the Belgian Government, but a general trend towards e-invoicing.

E-invoicing for small enterprises

Do you invoice the Flemish Government? Then you must have been doing it electronically since 1 January 2017. The federal government still accepts paper invoices at the moment, but will also switch to e-invoicing completely from 2020. You will find key information about this in the FAQ. You can also attend an information session for suppliers given by the Flemish and federal government or various professional bodies.

How do you send e-invoices?

You can use the invoicing platform provided by the government, or one of the other solutions on the market. With ING Invoice Solutions, for example, you can already manage your invoices and payments online. You can also share information more quickly with your accountant, using automated records and reports. Test the practical tool free of charge for one month.

What now?

Are you looking for a way to manage and fund your invoices easily?