For a while I've been hoping to meet in person with Bruno Koch, the brain behind Billentis (known most for its annual e-invoicing report). My plans to attend and speak at his event last year in Europe did not work out, but I hope to do so at some point in the future. Bruno’s annual compendium is an encyclopedia of e-invoicing activity that explores trends and growth on a global basis. One area that caught my attention in this year’s edition was the evolution of country-specific activity.
Take China for instance. Here Bruno observes that to combat tax evasion, “China launched a major fiscal reform project called the ‘Golden Tax Project’ (GTP), which mandates the use of specific sophisticated information technologies to improve compliance with China’s VAT laws. In 2013, China introduced further regulations for its online invoice management system in a bid to standardize the industry and curb tax evasion.” Bruno explores the approach in more detail in his analysis, but concludes that “the author would still not describe the Chinese system as e-invoicing in the sense as practised in Europe, the US or Latin America.”
Spend Matters coverage of e-invoicing tends to be as concerned with the broader downstream benefits it can bring (e.g., trade financing enablement, working capital management strategies, compliance strategies) rather than all of the core regulatory compliance elements it addresses in regions such as the Nordics, South and Central America. Here, Bruno is quite deep in his coverage. Beyond keeping up with trends, adoption patterns, and the rest, the global angle (and his world chart on adoption) continue to make the report required reading.
I'll touch on a few more highlights from the report in the coming weeks, but I'd encourage you to download it directly from the Billentis site as well.