IMDA became a PEPPOL authority in Singapore in May 2018, making it the Singapore Government statutory board tasked with approving supplier certification as access points to the Pan-European Public Procurement Online (PEPPOL) network. Singapore has become the first Asian country and the first outside of Europe to implement PEPPOL.
It has chosen the PEPPOL infrastructure and standards network to make the leap to the implementation of electronic invoicing. IMDA put the national e-invoicing network into operation in January 2019, enabling certified access points and service providers, including EDICOM, to offer companies network connectivity and e-invoicing solutions.
By enabling the e-invoicing network, the government aims to help enterprises boost their competitiveness, open the doors to a global market, and scale up digitization in the B2B environment. Although the use of e-invoices is not mandatory for now, IMDA recommends its use.
What should a company do to start to use electronic invoicing in Singapore?
The first step is to choose an e-invoicing solutions provider that can also support you in the process of integrating the solution with your ERP or internal management system to enable the sending and receiving of electronic invoices automatically in the PEPPOL standard.
Have a PEPPOL Access Point provider. The communication and exchange of PEPPOL messages can only be established from one access point (AP) to another. This means that issuers and recipients both need an AP to operate in the PEPPOL network.
Obtain the PEPPOL ID number. In Singapore’s case the PEPPOL Access Point is tasked with signing its customers up to the Service Metadata Publisher (SMP). The PEPPOL ID format is disclosed to all the access points in Singapore, where the local SMP service is provided by IMDA subsidiary SGNIC.
E-invoicing advantages are measured in two areas. On the one hand, in the operational area it provides multiple day-to-day improvements for a company and, on the other hand, its mass rollout encourages trade relations in a local and global context. The e-invoicing network in the country is an extension of the international e-delivery network that enables Singaporean firms to engage in international transactions with other related enterprises. It means that, with electronic invoices, firms can open up to new markets and boost their competitiveness.
Operationally, the core advantage of e-invoicing is the efficiency that ultimately impacts cost reductions and corporate competitiveness. That is why investing in technology that requires system uptake is good for business.
The many improvements e-invoicing brings to the table include:
Heightened administrative efficiency thanks to process automation.
Elimination of human error in relation both to automation and a fully integrated treatment. E-invoices can be generated and transmitted from provider to recipient automatically. Most of the financial benefits are due not to savings on printed material and mailing costs but to full process automation and integration between trading partners, from order placement to payment.
Shorter delivery and invoice collection times. The efficiency of the issue and receipt processes, their immediacy, and the near total elimination of errors in generating and posting invoices help bring down invoice collection times.
Enhanced commercial transaction security. Invoices are issued using private networks and dedicated protocols. The use of systems like digital signatures ensures invoice integrity, source, and authenticity.
Invoices are received and integrated automatically. The document's electronic origin means it can be integrated in the system automatically and so posted automatically as well, leaving it ready for payment with practically no human intervention.
Elimination of paper from daily administrative tasks.
EDICOM is also a benchmark provider of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and e-invoicing solutions, so it can bring all its expertise to bear in international projects in Singapore. This makes it a key Access Point partner and e-invoicing solutions provider.
Access points are responsible for transforming documents into PEPPOL regulations and standards and ensuring they reach the recipient correctly. The EDICOM e-invoicing international platform makes it possible to issue, send, and receive electronic invoices tailored to the laws of each country.
The EDICOM e-invoicing international platform secures interconnection and interoperability in a global context.
Its scalable solutions facilitate a service adapted to the customer's needs and growth, whatever country it operates in.