Electronic invoicing in Germany: moving forward

Experts agree: electronic invoicing leads to cost reductions. Nevertheless, it still hasn’t been universally accepted by the business world. But there is something happening – lots of small steps and initiatives make that clear.

Fall 2015 seems to be the season of electronic invoicing. Act one: at the end of September, Computerwoche magazine put on a webinar dealing with electronic invoicing to inform readers and participants. Only 40 billion of the 500 billion invoices in Germany are sent electronically – even though electronic invoicing can save up to 80 percent over conventional methods.

 

6,000 ZUGFeRD informational package downloads

Act two: The second FeRD Conference took place recently. Up to the time of the conference, users had downloaded the ZUGFeRD informational package a total of around 6,000 times. To encourage the exchange of ideas, zugferd-community.net also went online as a network for users and experts in the field of electronic invoicing.

 

Successful roadshow

Act three, also in the last weeks: The eBusiness-Lotse Ostbayern (Eastern Bavarian e-business guide), contracted by the German Federal Ministry for Economics and Energy, informed companies about electronic invoicing and the opportunities and challenges it entails through a nation-wide Roadshow. Their report: the informational tour reached around 1,000 participants over seven months and nine cities, receiving a very high level of interest.

These are just three snapshots, but they’re snapshots that prove electronic invoicing is on the right path. We’ll admit, things can always be better. More than 6,000 ZUGFeRD downloads would be better, as well as more participants at Roadshows, or a clearer, quicker increase in the proportion of electronic invoices to conventional methods.

But change takes time. Companies are often sceptical of new technologies, after all, and wait to find out what “early adopters” will think. That makes it even more important that the process and discourse are moderated and supported. And they will be – by EASY.