As in the years before, the EXPP Summit offered an exciting programme of top-flight speeches, practical reports, panel discussions and roundtables.
The practical forum of the EXPP Summit provided all of the relevant answers regarding E-Invoicing and E-Billing.
With more than 300 E-Invoicing experts and practitioners from 35 countries and 24 sponsors this year's summit was a huge success.
The impressive mix of delegates from around the world took the chance to get an update about legal changes, best practice methods and the latest market trends.
Some highlights, conclusions and controversially discussed topics
- Out of at least 350 billion invoices sent throughout the world, only 5% are estimated to be electronic invoices. While this proportion increased in the European B2B landscape (18% of Europe's 16 billion B2B invoices in 2012 were electronic from end-to-end in a tax compliant manner), these figures are still relatively low when you consider that more governments are introducing E-Invoicing mandates.
- Admittedly, the public sector only represents around 10% of the total volume of invoices. However, in many countries, over half of all companies are suppliers to the public sector (national government, states, municipalities, cities), and probably all companies and households receive invoices from the public sector. Public sector invoicing is thus acquiring great significance.
- In Europe, the public sector is now indeed pushing ahead with E-Invoicing and E-Procurement. The European Commission as well as national governments are putting a great deal of energy and resources into sponsoring the application of best practices in purchase to pay, including E-Invoicing, in order to support and stimulate the European economy.
- In Chile and Mexico, E-Invoicing primarily constitutes an instrument for reducing tax evasion. E-Invoicing therefore is strongly pushed by the government (e.g. Chile) or already mandatory for most companies (Mexico).
- E-Invoicing in Russia still is at an early stage, as just in April 2012 all parts of the legislation became valid and paved the way to replace up to 12 billion paper invoices in the country.
- A bank focussed market analyst of Celent presented his view on why banks should revisit E-Invoicing; there is not necessarily a good business case for them, but being active in this field makes sense if the larger context is considered. Bruno Koch of Billentis sees a more appropriate strategy for banks in adopting a completely complementary role to Non-Bank service providers. Trade Finance/ Supply Chain Finance would much better fit into the core business of banks than E-Invoicing transaction businesses. Except some very successful banks in Nordic countries, European banks or bank related service providers are not able to keep pace with the average E-Invoicing market development.
- Legislation in transition - the appropriate methods to ensure tax compliant E-Invoices
- Roundtable: Is there any downside to sending PDF invoices? The common understanding in the market is that PDF invoices are being used as a 1:1 substitute to the use of paper invoices, but are not providing any value. Nevertheless, PDF invoices are quite popular and (correctly treated) fulfil the legal requirements regarding tax compliance. Solution providers argued that PDFs can also be used as a container for structured invoice data (XML) and therefore support automated processing. Actively supporting PDF invoices or opposing them remains a controversy between two religions.
- Now that most large European companies are already using E-Invoicing and many medium-sized as well as small commercial partners are also supporting this, growing numbers of companies are moving on to the next step of the process: they are optimizing not only the processing of invoices, but are also automating the whole process chain 'order-to-cash' and 'procure-to-pay' (such as KONE corporation, Petroleos Mexicanos, Roche Diagnostics, Siemens, Unilever Polska etc.).
- Standardizing the E-Invoice infrastructure across some 500.000 companies in the Nordics
- User Forum with DHL Express, IATA, John Deere, Wärtsilä Shared Service Center and numerous active end-users in the audience
- It has been shown that E-Invoicing is growing very sustainably independent from economic cycles at an annual rate of 25-30%. This suggests that next year's EXPP Summit may also be a great success.
What delegates think of the EXPP Summit
- 'It is the only place to get a full perspective of the E-Invoicing market worldwide.'
- 'THE E-Invoicing event.'
- 'If you are involved with E-Invoicing, you must attend EXPP.'
- 'Excellent networking opportunitites.'
- 'Learning form others is a main factor for success in deploying an E-Invoicing solution. And this is the place to meet experts.'
- 'Really complete, helpful and informative.'
- 'Very interesting discussions to open your mind for new ideas.'
- 'Great platform to learn from others' experiences.'
Impressions of the EXPP Summit 2012