Belgium officials are pushing for the nation to adopt digital invoicing practices, and now one policymaker says the nation could be ready for widespread e-invoicing adoption within just five years.
According to reports, Belgium’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Digital Agenda Alexander De Croo announced plans to implement e-invoicing and digital procurement practices within the government in the coming years. De Croo said he will work with State Secretary in charge of administrative simplification Theo Francken to make the e-invoicing shift happen.
Reports say De Croo will aim to make the practice mandatory within five years.
The plan evolved from a recent government study by the Department for Administrative Simplification; the research found that an e-invoice is between $5.71 and $10.27 cheaper than its paper counterpart, meaning Belgium could save big from the digital shift. Overall, the study found that mandatory e-invoicing could lead to $3.85 billion in taxpayer savings every year.
De Croo’s remarks follow reports late last year that B2B solutions provider Basware is set to become the first in the industry to integrate itself within Belgium’s federal e-invoicing platform Mercurius.
The case for shifting to digital invoicing has garnered massive support across the globe in recent years. According to research, government e-invoicing practices prove beneficial to companies working with federal officials, and that proof contributes to private businesses – especially SMEs – to digitize their own procurement practices.
In Europe, Switzerland, Norway, Spain, Ireland and Portugal are all considering their own e-invoicing requirements, a trend experts say promotes a similar digital migration in the B2B sector. Reports say the European Central Bank hopes to make e-invoicing the norm by 2020.