A major milestone for e-invoicing in Europe was reached on April 17, 2019: from that date forward, it has been mandatory for public administrations in Europe to receive and process invoices in a standard format electronically, called PEPPOL.
PEPPOL adoption is growing rapidly in and even outside of Europe with a PEPPOL based nationwide e-invoicing framework launched in Singapore in January, and the recent announcement by Australia and New Zealand on the transition to PEPPOL for eInvoicing by end of year 2019. In this blog, I’d like to take a deeper look at PEPPOL and what its integration into OpenText™ Business Network means for companies worldwide.
What is PEPPOL?
Emerging in 2008, the catchily titled Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line (PEPPOL) aims to harmonize and simplify electronic procurement processes between government agencies across Europe and their suppliers. It has been designed to remove the barriers to cross-border trade so that companies have a single protocol to exchange key business documents – e-orders, e-invoices, credit notes, Advanced Shipping Notices, etc – involved in the procure-to-pay process.
PEPPOL is based around four key elements:
- The eDelivery Network connects different eProcurement systems by establishing a set of common business processes and technical standards.
- The Service Metadata Locator (SML) is a central service that allows all participants on the eDelivery Network to locate and connect with each other to encourage competition across Europe and beyond.
- A Certified PEPPOL Access Point (AP) is the connection into the PEPPOL eDelivery Network. A company simply selects an AP provider to enable document transmission without the need for the company to change its internal systems.
- PEPPOL Authorities (PAs) are government entities responsible for appointing AP providers and for ensuring the trustworthiness of the PEPPOL transport infrastructure, its model and operations in their territory.
The benefits of PEPPOL
The benefits of implementing PEPPOL include improved ability to trade, faster payment cycles and reduced costs. For example, the National Health Service (NHS) in the UK estimates that, using PEPPOL, the cost of processing an order through to invoice is reduced from over $9 to $1.30. This is a major saving when you consider the average NHS Trust handles over 80,000 invoices each year.
OpenText: Your first choice for PEPPOL services
OpenText™ Business Network is already the world’s largest network to enable organizations – both private and public – to exchange business documents and automate business processes. Current and future expansion of PEPPOL services include:
PEPPOL Access Point
- All enterprises connected to the OpenText Business Network will now have an integrated PEPPOL Access Point as part of their service. You will be able to communicate with trading partners on the PEPPOL network in the same way as you would with any other B2B or EDI protocol.
Translation and Validation
- We can provide translation to/from the PEPPOL format today. In October we will add the ability to perform validations using published PEPPOL schemas.
- We are adding the capability to process PEPPOL invoice acknowledgments in early 2020.
As PEPPOL adoption continues to accelerate, you are ideally suited to take full advantage of the trading opportunities with governments and suppliers in Europe and, increasingly, worldwide.