In the past, one billion was an unimaginably large sum. While the word has a nice ring to it, the ‘billion’ has become an oft-cited unit in today’s age of globalization, economic crises and bailouts.
Nonetheless, you might rub your eyes in surprise or rummage the reading glasses out of their case when reading the following number and suspecting that it has been misread. For it really is true: the public sector in Europe alone can save EUR 40 billion by switching to electronic invoicing. This has been determined recently by the annual study “Billentis Report”.
You can. But you don’t have to yet.
A 40 billion savings potential with a total EU spending budget of 145 billion? Wow. If you had the opportunity to reduce your private spending at one stroke by almost 30 percent, what would you do? Probably you would go into action and finance a luxury holiday with the amount saved. Or finally get that new roof. Or purchase a new car. Or, or, or – there are so many possibilities, but they usually do not seem financially viable.
In Germany alone, EUR 6.5 billion potential
By the way, a disproportionate part of savings could be achieved in Germany. As a gauge, the study places as much as 16 percent of the presumed astronomical sum in municipalities. In figures: 6.5 billion euros.
Therefore, it is even more comprehensible to reassess the hesitation regarding e-invoicing. How can you credibly complain about a lack of resources for schools, kindergartens and road infrastructure, if you simultaneously spend money where it is really unnecessary?
Waste for lack of time
The authors of Billentis Reports have found that to date only eight per cent of municipalities have switched to electronic invoicing. 90 percent of the municipalities that have not yet converted don’t know what to do with e-invoicing. And more than 70 percent do not want to convert before 2017; often lack of time is listed as the main reason in the field.
Good thing the EU has defined clear rules – administrations will simply have to save and take part in digitalisation by at least 2018.