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E-invoicing in 2020 no longer refers to the sending of invoices from one email to another. It is the automated creation, exchange and processing of requests for payment between customers and suppliers using a structured digital format that is readable from an organisation’s own accounting system.
Invoice formats such as PDF, Word Document and paper scans are not considered e-invoices as data entry is still required.
Singapore's Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has implemented the Nationwide E-Invoicing network via PEPPOL. Starting from May 2020, IMDA's E-Invoicing Registration Grant will provide companies with a one-time payment of S$200 per UEN upon their first registration to the E-Invoicing Network until 31 December 2020.
As businesses look for digital solutions to allow their staff to work remotely, this grant will directly assist in enabling e-invoicing features on their existing or new solutions.
Suppliers who provide services and products to government bodies are strongly encouraged to submit e-invoices to the various government agencies via this network.
Benefits of e-invoicing in Singapore
Improves efficiency by eliminating manual data-entry.
Reduces cost by reducing hardcopy printing and postage fees.
Payments can be received faster as e-invoicing accelerates the processing of invoices and payment durations.
Send e-invoices seamlessly to overseas and local partners who are on the PEPPOL Network.
Reduce carbon footprint because hardcopy prints would become a thing of the past.
How to connect to the PEPPOL Network?
If the business is using an Accounting/ERP software that is PEPPOL Ready, it would only need to activate the feature on the solution.
If the business is using an in-house ERP software, it can get itself connected to the PEPPOL Network through certified Access Point providers or PEPPOL Ready Service Providers, who already have solutions connected to the network.
Once you have identified your business needs, it is important to keep these considerations in mind when sourcing for a suitable accounting software. Here is a quick comparison of some of the popular PEPPOL ready accounting software that would best fit Singapore-based businesses:
Xero has integration with many applications and is suitable for businesses that require additional add-on applications such as Comprehensive Warehouse Management.
Financio Premium has links to Corporate PayNow and is simple to use for start-up businesses.
SMECEN DashBod comes with built-in cloud human resource functions for an unlimited number of employees, with support for ACRA and IRAS submissions.
Due to the number of benefits that e-invoicing provides, more and more companies are switching to e-invoicing in Singapore.
As outlined above, e-invoicing helps to reduce costs, provides more efficiency and efficacy, and is better for the environment when compared to paper and digital invoicing methods. Beyond that, e-invoices streamline directly into an organisation’s account books, saving the business a lot of time and money when it comes to keeping financial records in order and up to date.
This article originally appeared in the Entrepreneur's Digest print edition #92 and has been edited for clarity, brevity and for the relevance of this website.
About the Author
Elisha Yap | Founder | EBOS Cloud Accountants & ProKakis
In a span of two decades, Elisha’s wealth of experiences as a Chartered Accountant has helped business owners achieve their next level of growth through cloud accounting, restructuring and digitisation. She leads ProKakis by protecting business owners against corporate scams, dubious business ventures and questionable business partners that arise from a lack of business intelligence. She has advised more than 300 business owners to embrace AML regulation as a strategy to increase corporate revenue.