To spearhead its wider use in the economy, the European Commission (EC) has proposed that all public sector buyers across Europe should be required to carry out procurement electronically by mid-2016. This is expected to save billions of pounds annually. As part of the Digital Economy section of the Single Market Act (II), the Commission proposes that, because of its proven money saving ability, e-invoicing should be the standard mode for public procurement.

Only five to 10 per cent of procurement processes are currently carried out electronically across Europe. So for all public bodies to rely on fully automated e-procurement by 2016 is a big ask and it cannot happen overnight, but it is a task that presents significant opportunities for economies seeking cost savings to fund growth. Tim Cole, EVP for Strategy, Causeway comments:

"The European Commission understands the value that eBusiness can deliver to the economy. This has resulted in a growing desire to promote its adoption. There are a number of threads within this subject, including e-Invoicing, e-Procurement and the role of governments in mandating the use of either. This often creates confusion in messaging and a lack of clarity as to which aspect is being promoted. All threads are relevant. E-invoicing is focussed on the exchange of paperless invoices and e-Procurement (or e-Commerce) is focussed on automating the buying process, typically focussed on products that can be listed within electronic catalogues."

There is a specific EU Directive addressing the e-Invoicing process and, as part of this, there is a UK e-Invoicing Forum that is recognised by the UK Government (BIS) and on which BASDA (Business Application Software Developers Association) is represented by Tim Cole. This is an area where integrated business is able to deliver clear benefits to support efficiency and sustainability. The Causeway Tradex platform is able to provide access to e-Invoicing for companies of all sizes by providing a range of connection options, from free on-line options to full back office integration. Tradex also supports the exchange of many other documents, such as orders and remittance advice without the need for paper, post or manual processing. To find out how Tradex can help you to benefit from electronic business, please contact [email protected]. Read the full European Commission (EC) proposal here.

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