The success of a business is often tied to maintaining positive cash flow. However, that doesn't mean that everything will go to plan.
There are a number of ways businesses can solve these cash flow problems. One is to stay on top of invoicing, which becomes easier for businesses that move away from the traditional, time-consuming manual- and paper-based invoicing processes and implement more efficient invoice processing workflows like electronic invoicing (e-invoicing).
Thanks to InvoiceNow, a Singapore e-invoicing initiative that uses the Peppol framework, doing so is easier and more advantageous for businesses that adopt it.
What is E-Invoicing?
E-invoicing (or electronic invoicing) automates the process of suppliers sending buyers an invoice using an integrated electronic format. With e-invoicing, an accounting or ERP system typically generates and/or accepts electronic invoices within an accepted standard or framework like Peppol.
With governments around the world launching initiatives to drive the adoption of e-invoicing, like the adoption of the Peppol framework for e-invoicing in Singapore, there's never been a more perfect time to solve your cash flow problems by improving your invoicing process.(opens in a new tab)
Peppol E-Invoicing in Singapore
Pan-European Public Procurement On-Line or Peppol(opens in a new tab) is an international network owned and maintained by OpenPeppol(opens in a new tab) that allows registered businesses under its network to exchange electronic invoices and other documents.
In 2018, the InfoCommunications Media Development Authority (IMDA) became the first Peppol authority outside of Europe(opens in a new tab). As the Peppol authority in Singapore, the IMDA is responsible for:
- Ensuring compliance with the Peppol technical and service standards.
- Promoting the use of e-invoicing in Singapore.
- Approving and certifying a Service Metadata Publisher (SMP). The IMDA has adopted a centralised SMP model in Singapore and appointed SGNIC(opens in a new tab) as the country's SMP provider, serving as an address book for businesses who registered to receive e-invoices.
- Approving and certifying Access Point Providers(opens in a new tab), a connectivity service that links business systems to the Peppol network
- Approving and certifying Peppol-ready accounting or ERP solution providers(opens in a new tab) that allow business users to send and receive e-invoices through the Peppol network.
What is InvoiceNow?
In January 2019, the IMDA launched Singapore's nationwide e-invoicing initiative, InvoiceNow(opens in a new tab). It adopts the Peppol framework to manage the transmission of invoices across financial systems without human intervention, increasing the speed of processing invoices, which can result in faster payments.
How Does Electronic Invoicing With InvoiceNow Work?
With InvoiceNow, businesses using Peppol-ready accounting or ERP systems can send and receive e-invoices to one another through the Peppol network.
Documents are transferred on the Peppol network using a standard XML format called the BIS (Business Interoperability Specifications) Billing 3.0(opens in a new tab), allowing the exchange of invoices even if they are not using the same accounting or ERP system.
This allows you to choose your preferred accounting or ERP system to connect to all approved systems under the Peppol network.
Peppol operates based on a four-corner model that allows businesses to exchange electronic documents over the Peppol network. In the four-corner model:
- The seller sends the invoice through its accounting or ERP system.
- The seller's accounting or ERP system converts the invoice into the standard BIS format.
- The seller's accounting ERP system will utilise the global directory to identify the receiver's accounting or ERP system.
- The buyer receives the invoice through its accounting or ERP system.
The Benefits Of E-Invoicing With InvoiceNow For Your Business
Since its launch in 2019, InvoiceNow has added more than 40,000 companies in Singapore(opens in a new tab) to the Peppol network. This has allowed these businesses to transact with other Peppol-linked companies, enjoying benefits like:
- Faster invoice payments with faster receiving, capturing and processing of invoices, resulting in faster payment cycles.
- More efficient finance operations by minimising tedious and time-consuming manual processes.
- Reduced business costs by eliminating paper-based invoicing transactions.
- Sending e-invoices globally across multiple businesses connected to the Peppol network.
How To Get Started With InvoiceNow
NetSuite is now a Peppol-ready solution certified by the IMDA. That means NetSuite ERP customers from Singapore can take advantage of InvoiceNow and grants of up to SG$70,000 from IMDA* to make invoicing easier and faster. Singapore businesses that have adopted InvoiceNow can apply for:
- InvoiceNow Transaction Bonus (ITB) - a SG$200 bonus for businesses who have sent 10 e-invoices on the InvoiceNow network.
- LEAD Connect Grant - a SG$30,000 fixed grant applicable to large enterprises who have completed an integration to the InvoiceNow network within 12 months from the start of the work.
- LEAD Transact Grant - an incentive of up to SG$40,000 that applies to large enterprises with an existing finance/ERP solution connected to the InvoiceNow network and meets a minimum number of transacting business partners on the network.
For more information, talk to a NetSuite consultant today(opens in a new tab).
NetSuite cloud ERP manages core business functions, including finance and accounting, inventory management, orders and procurement, giving businesses real-time visibility into their financial and operational performance.
As a unified data platform, NetSuite connects all departments, turning your invoice management system from a tedious back-office function to a strategic differentiator by automating the receiving process. This eliminates time-consuming manual billing and collections processes, improving the collaboration between the buyer, seller and accounts payable.
With InvoiceNow, your business can send e-invoices to another business within the Peppol network anywhere in the world, providing a way to send invoices that is faster and more secure than email or postal mail.
This combination of NetSuite and InvoiceNow, improves cash flow by eliminating the lag time between order capture, fulfillment and invoicing, compressing the order-to-cash cycle and reducing days sales outstanding (DSO).
Order-to-Cash Lifecycle with NetSuite and InvoiceNow
Not yet a NetSuite customer? Follow these 3 easy steps to start e-invoicing:
Who is Eligible to Apply for InvoiceNow
Businesses can apply for InvoiceNow if they are using an accounting or ERP system registered in the Peppol network. That means all NetSuite customers in Singapore can now apply for InvoiceNow.
How to Get Connected to InvoiceNow
- If you are already using an approved accounting or ERP system like NetSuite, check with your account representative on how to get started using InvoiceNow.
- Once your system has been confirmed, get your Peppol ID from your accounting or ERP system vendor. Your Peppol ID is your unique identifier to start sending invoices in the Peppol network.
- To start sending e-invoices, you need to know the Peppol ID of the business where you'll send the e-invoice. You can find other businesses in the Peppol network by going to the SG Peppol directory(opens in a new tab).
Is InvoiceNow an electronic data interchange (EDI) e-invoice?
Yes, InvoiceNow is a type of electronic data interchange (EDI) based on the Peppol standards.
Is InvoiceNow e-invoicing different from Peppol invoicing?
No, InvoiceNow e-invoicing is based on the Peppol business document standard, allowing companies to digitally transact with other Peppol-linked companies on the network.
Who can register for InvoiceNow?
Any business in Singapore using a Peppol-ready accounting or ERP system certified by the IMDA can register for InvoiceNow.
If I'm already registered to InvoiceNow with one solution provider, may I change to another solution provider?
No, you will need to deregister with your current provider before registering to another solution provider.
How do I register for Peppol?
Check if your accounting or ERP system is a Peppol-ready solution certified by the IMDA. You can find the list of approved solutions by visiting the IMDA(opens in a new tab).
How do I send a Peppol invoice?
To send a Peppol invoice, you need to know the Peppol ID of the business you're e-invoicing. You can find other businesses in the Peppol network by going to the SG Peppol directory(opens in a new tab).
How do I get my Peppol ID?
Your Peppol ID can be obtained through your Access Point Provider (AP) or the Peppol-ready solution vendor.
If my client is not on the Peppol network, can I send them an e-invoice using InvoiceNow?
No, InvoiceNow e-invoicing is based on the Peppol business document standard and operates over the Peppol network allowing enterprises to digitally transact only with other linked companies on the network.
Can I send InvoiceNow invoices to businesses in other countries?
Yes, you can receive and send InvoiceNow e-invoices to businesses in other countries as long as they are connected to the Peppol network. Countries that have adopted Peppol as their standard are listed on the OpenPeppol website(opens in a new tab).
Is the InvoiceNow required by the Singapore government?
No, InvoiceNow is currently not required by the Singapore government.
Is the Invoice network secure?
Yes, the Invoice network is secure.
- Only certified Peppol-ready solutions are registered on the network and are authorised with a PKI certificate issued by the IMDA.
- The data being transmitted on the Peppol network is secured with an SSL transport layer to ensure that the data transmitted is encrypted.
- The data being transmitted is signed by the approved accounting or ERP system vendor using the PKI certificate to ensure that the data is genuine.
- The receiving accounting or ERP system vendor will be checking the signature of the sending accounting or ERP system to ensure that it is an authorised vendor certified by the IMDA.
How long is the processing time with InvoiceNow?
The processing time varies and depends on the accounting or ERP system vendor. You may check with a certified Peppol-ready solution vendor to get a timeline of the implementation.