More than thirty countries around the world are involved in the rollout of electronic invoicing. Among them Chile, where from next November the largest companies will be required to issue the Electronic Tax Document (DTE). Other Latin American states such as Argentina or Guatemala are also moving forward in the migration to this system during 2014. In general, reports consulting agency Billentis, this year international growth of electronic billing could reach 20 %.
There can be no doubt that one of the main reasons for this spread of e-invoicing is the cost savings involved, both for businesses and administrations. Over a decade ago, when Chile rolled out the DTE voluntarily, a study by the Santiago Chamber of Commerce predicted that implementing this system would generate savings of between 40% and 80%, depending on the type of company and the technological system used.
The latest reports amplify these savings up to a minimum of 60% compared to the traditional process. However, thanks to new technological systems, the most common figure is more likely to be around 80%. In Mexico, for example, where the Digital Tax Invoice via Internet (CFDI) is now fully ensconced, the country's largest businesses cut their billing costs by up to 90%, as announced by AMEXIPAC Chairman Jesus Pastrán. Whereas a printed invoice or receipt can cost up to 120 Mexican pesos (9$), the average for an electronic invoice is around 10 12 pesos.
Why does DTE boost the saving?
With the rollout of DTE, companies and the Public Sector almost totally automate the procedure. This way, they manage to streamline the issuing of invoices and boost the productivity of their admin departments, which see their workloads significantly reduced. The use of DTE and its electronic storage also cuts infrastructure costs. Moreover, the chances of error or misplacing the invoice are much lower than with paper documents.
Nevertheless, the biggest cost cutting occurs in sending documents, paper and printing. The benefit is not only economic, but also environmental. A study carried out by EDICOM in 2012 calculated that, thanks to electronic solutions, the company's customers no longer needed to print out 800,000,000 sheets. This means avoiding cutting down 56,889 trees.