Today was a landmark day for Celtrino and for Ireland. I had the privilege of meeting Minister Brian Hayes and other interested parties to formally launch the first Government and public sector e-Invoicing project. The objective of the pilot is to establish a proven interoperable network of trusted service providers capable to accepting, routing and delivering e-Invoices on behalf of selected current suppliers.
Ken Halpin, MD Celtrino presents ‘Ireland is About to Become a Whole Lot Smarter’ white paper to Brian Hayes TD, Minister of State at e-Invoicing Launch
e-Invoicing isn’t new to Ireland. Celtrino has been helping Irish companies do it for more than 20 years. Last year alone, we routed more than 7.5 million e-Invoices worth more than €4 billion. What is relatively new is that the entire Irish public sector, being the largest buyer in Ireland, is now ready to revolutionise how Irish companies do business with the State. This initiative will impact on every Irish company selling goods and services to the State.
Irish companies are about to become more competitive and Irish tax payers are going to see more done with less tax. Celtrino estimates that e-Invoicing alone can reduce the costs of doing business in Ireland by €250 million annually.
Besides reducing the transactional cost of doing business for Irish companies (it’s a well-established fact that an e-Invoice is cheaper than its paper equivalent – and greener as well), the process that Irish industry is about to engage with goes far beyond the Accounts Receivable Department and fall beyond our shores.
To substantiate these assertions, I need to share some separate but related information and join up the dots.
Accounts Receivable is a critical function within any company but it’s not an isolated activity. As every business person knows, billing is part of an integrated process that starts with procurement and ends with getting paid promptly for the combination of raw material inputs and unique added value that every successful company brings to the table. So before signing-up with the first service provider that knocks on your door, have a think about the long–term value that it can bring to you across your entire supply chain.
eInvoicing Launch 09 Feb 2012
What makes this particularly relevant is that the Minister and his team in the OPW appreciate this. The public sector has been taking costs out of public procurement for several years by using successful sites such as e-tenders as a vehicle for identifying and selecting suppliers. Having agreed the supply contracts (big and small), the next push is to take the paper and manual effort out of the supporting transactions from ordering to delivery and on to invoicing and payment. The good news is that today is e-day!
There’s even better news coming down the track for Irish suppliers as the standards on which these initiatives are based are pan European. All the Governments within the EU have agreed to ensure commonality across the entire EU. They’ve done this under the umbrella of a project called PEPPOL. If you haven’t heard of it yet, don’t worry, it’s been a well-kept secret. PEPPOL stands for Pan European Public Procurement Online. Celtrino got involved back in October 2009 when 3 of us visited a chilly Copenhagen to hear first-hand what was happening internationally. We’ve been preaching the gospel ever since to every public body we could get an audience with.
Irish suppliers that engage with PEPPOL will have a huge export growth opportunity opening up to them – the biggest in the World. The Irish PEPPOL infrastructure will help them leverage their ability to win export business. The engine of growth in Ireland is export led. It is estimated that e-procurement can save the EU €50 billion per year. This translates into fewer taxes for everyone across Europe.
It might take a while but in this case, you can believe the hype! Get e-ready.