E-invoicing in Estonia: 50 000 senders and 96% rate in a few months

E-invoicing, News

In December 2019, Estonian public sector reports that they are receiving over 96% of their purchase invoices as e-invoices. This means real e-invoices, not pdf-s over email. The number of e-invoice senders has grown from 8000 in the beginning of the year to 50 000 at the end of  2019. 

From July 1, 2019, sending e-invoices to public sector has been mandatory in Estonia. This is the main reason why the number of e-invoice capable organizations has risen dramatically in 2019. 

There is no central database about e-invoice sending capability, but Estonian e-invoice operators share this information among themselves. The latest compilation of all e-invoice senders in the beginning of December shows the number to be more than 49 000. 

Marek Ilves from Estonian State Shared Service Center comments: “We are glad that e-invoicing was finally mandated from July 1, 2019. In little over a couple of months, we reached a 90% share of e-invoices from all purchase invoices. In December, it’s even on a 96% level.” In many countries, the initiative led by public sector has resulted in more widespread use of e-invoices also in B2B sector. Ilves adds: “We have a reason to believe that the state initiative will bring benefits and cost-savings not only to the public sector, but will spread to the private sector as well. After all, if a company has e-invoicing capability, why not send e-invoices to as many of its trade partners as possible”. 

Hele Hammer, CEO of Telema, addresses the accountants of private sector companies: “Because of the state initiative, it is now often a matter of simply asking for e-invoices from your suppliers. If you have not yet done so, why not plan this campaign towards your own suppliers in the upcoming months?”. 

Estonia mandated e-invoices to public sector (B2G) in July 2019. Lithuania did this already in July 2017. Latvia has set the deadline to March 31, 2020. As an interesting sidenote, Italy has mandated not only B2G (in 2014), but also B2B and B2C e-invoicing (in 2019).