The Obama administration is launching several initiatives before the commander-in-chief ends his term. Among them is a plan for the government to strengthen its transparency and cost-savings through electronic invoicing.
Reports last week said the White House issued a memo in mid-July that adds to the President’s Management Agenda. The notice is pushing for all government agencies to migrate to electronic invoicing by the end of FY2018.
At present, reports at FEDmanager said, of the current 19 million invoices issued every year by the government, less than half are digital. According to the memo’s authors, Acting Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget Dave Mader and Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy Anne Rung, traditional paper invoicing procedures “provide little visibility to businesses and can result in tax dollars being used for late payment fees rather than to support critical agency missions.”
Despite the low number of e-invoices, federal officials have several choices to implement a digital procurement plan. All government agencies were instructed to transition to a designated Federal Shared Service Provider and its corresponding e-invoicing solution, or to an OMB-approved e-invoicing solution.
The memo, entitled “Improving Government Efficiency and Saving Taxpayer Dollars Through Electronic Invoicing,” also provides guidance for e-invoicing service providers to integrate with government agencies.
Industry experts are largely united in the positive impact of e-invoicing. While officials in the U.S. are looking to implement government-wide e-invoicing for its reduction of waste and late payment fees, other jurisdictions across the globe have launched digital procurement strategies in their governments for other purposes, including boosting government spend transparency and saving money. Regardless of the reason, some analysts have found that government e-invoicing practices encourage the private sector to follow suit.