To introduce electronic invoicing

The implementation of electronic invoicing (e-invoicing) depends on the needs, goals, and size of an organisations. Here are the most common steps involved in getting started in e-invoicing.

Step 1: Defining Needs and Requirements

The first step is to determine the needs of your organisation. How many invoices do you usually send monthly? Do you need to send invoices outside of Finland? What are the current invoicing systems and processes in place?

The number of invoices sent and received can vary significantly depending on the type and size of an organisation. A small business may send only a few invoices per year, while larger companies might send tens of thousands of invoices each month. The requirements and outcomes of adopting e-invoicing can vary greatly according to this.

Step 2: Ensure Technical Capability for Sending and Receiving E-Invoices

If your organisation has its own financial management software or enterprise resource planning system, it is best to ensure this can send and receiving e-invoices. The adoption of e-invoicing requires software that supports this functionality.

Alternatively, many small businesses outsource their invoicing and invoice reception to external parties such as accounting firms. In such cases, it is important to verify that the accounting firm has software capable of handling e-invoices. For housing co-operatives, it is advisable to ensure that the property management company has a system in place for sending and receiving e-invoices.

Companies should also ensure that their software is capable of processing e-invoices in compliance with European standards. TIEKE’s website provides information about financial management software that supports this requirement.

Step 3: Managing Costs

E-invoicing incurs costs during both during its implementation and in day-to-day usage.

During implementation, initial costs may occur, depending on whether or not system integration or customization is required with the existing financial management system.

Sending e-invoices requires an e-invoice service provider. These providers often charge monthly fees or fees per invoice sent. Costs can vary significantly depending on the service provider and the volume of invoices used.

If a business sends only a few invoices per month or year, it may be wise to consider options where the service costs are based solely on the number of invoices sent and received.

We have collected information on e-invoice providers without monthly fees.

Some businesses receiving e-invoices offer a service to their own business partners, where the partners can send e-invoices to only this business. These sorts of services are usually free, but they limit sending invoices to only the designated service provider.

Step 4: Choosing an E-Invoice Service Provider

The next step is to research and select a suitable e-invoice service provider, usually a teleoperator or bank, that transmits the invoices to the recipients.

It is important to compare costs, additional services offered, customer support, and support features provided by different service providers.

It is crucial to choose an e-invoice service provider that fits your business needs. If an organisation sends e-invoices outside of Finland, it is important to ensure that the e-invoice service provider is capable of facilitating this.

You can find a list of e-invoice service providers operating in Finland and their contact information on the E-invoice Address Service’s website.

Step 5: Setting up a Contract and Service Definition

Once a suitable service provider has been selected, it is time to enter into a contract with them. At this stage, the service’s details are defined more precisely, such as billing volumes and additional features.

Step 6: Adding Your Company’s E-Invoice Address to the E-Invoice Address Service

After a contract is signed with the e-invoice service provider, the provider will ensure that your company’s information is updated in the E-Invoice Address Service.

Step 7: Inform business partners and update the Customer Register

It is important to inform your business partners that your organisation is capable of sending and accepting e-invoices. If necessary, provide them with instructions on how to send and receive e-invoices.

Similarly, it is important to update your company’s own customer and supplier register. The information can be updated individually in the E-Invoice Address Service. If the customer register is large, it is possible to download (subject to a charge) all the necessary information from the E-Invoice Address Service.

Step 8: New Processes and System Integration

Implementing e-invoicing may require changes to your company’s financial management processes. Ensure that a plan is in place for making these changes and that all necessary members of staff are aware of the changes.

Financial management automation or streamlining often requires integrating e-invoice processing into existing software, such as to a financial management or customer relationship management system. This may require collaboration with the service provider and possibly an IT consultant.

Step 9: Train Your Staff

The adoption of e-invoicing sometimes requires training and instructing staff. This ensures that e-invoicing runs smoothly and that invoices are sent and received correctly.

Things to Remember when Sending E-Invoices

The sender of e-invoices must ensure that all necessary information is included in the invoice and that it is accurate. Common mistakes include incorrect calculation of the invoice amount or value-added tax and incorrect contact information of the invoice issuer or reference numbers.

Make sure to verify the recipient’s address in the E-Invoice Address Service.

If there is a need to attach additional documents to the invoice, it is important to ensure that the e-invoice service provider is capable of handling attachments.

Ensure that the customer is capable of receiving e-invoices and knows how to receive them.

The organisation should keep track of sending and receiving e-invoices and know how to correct any errors in the invoices.