Egypt is readying an electronic invoicing mandate for consumers to pay their taxes, an initiative that reports said will eventually expand to standardize invoicing in government procurement processes.
Reports in Zawya on Monday (Dec. 23) said Egypt's finance minister, Mohamed Maait, is capitalizing on the high penetration of smartphones in Egypt to implement eInvoice standards for the nation's tax operations. Today, the tax system processes approximately 9 million invoices, according to Maait, who spoke during the Ahram Economic Conference last weekend.
His remarks followed the finance ministry's signing of a contract with an unnamed eInvoice solutions provider, which will implement invoice capabilities next year to allow consumers to receive and pay tax invoices by mobile phone. According to government statistics, 93 percent of Egypt's population currently use mobile phones, while only 33 percent have a bank account.
The country plans to expand its eInvoicing initiative to include government procurement processes, according to reports, as the government works to modernize and digitize government contracts. That effort also aims to go live in 2020, reports said.
Electronic invoicing mandates and standardization is an increasingly common strategy for governments to promote modernization and efficiency, while also combatting fraud and errors.
The U.S. is currently developing a framework to standardize government invoices in procurement processes, with the Federal Reserve releasing a report in 2018 analyzing the challenges and opportunities of such an initiative.
“E-Invoicing is an important part of an efficient financial supply chain, optimizing the end-to-end process of B2B transactions, as it links the internal processes of enterprises to payment systems,” the Fed stated at the time. “As a result, eInvoicing is a vital component of the overall goal of making the end-to-end process (procure-to-pay and order-to-cash) more efficient.”
Europe has also recently elevated its eInvoicing efforts, with member states including Italy, Norway and Ireland having taken new measures towards standardization and digital mandates this year.