Additional e-invoicing channel for businesses available in Singapore

Since 20 January 2020, suppliers to the Singapore Government gained an additional channel to submit e-invoices via the Nationwide E-invoicing Network. Suppliers are encouraged to submit e-invoices to the Government agencies via this network.

The Nationwide E-invoicing Network, initially launched in January 2019, aims to digitalize the economy and attain the benefits that that e-invoicing brings to enterprises, including efficiency improvement, cost reduction and faster payment cycles.

According to the Accountant-General’s Department’s guide to the network, it is an extension of the International PEPPOL (Pan European Public Procurement On-Line) EDelivery Network. Enterprises connected to the network can transact internationally with other connected enterprises, enabling business process interoperability where business documents can be exchanged automatically without manual intervention.

A statement from the SBF agreed that the nationwide e-invoicing network benefits businesses in multiple ways, including cost reduction achieved through greater efficiencies in payment processes, a lower risk of errors and disputes in payments, receiving payments faster, as well as increased access to financial services and transparency, among others.

With the integration of Vendors@Gov into the nationwide e-invoicing framework, SBF anticipates higher industry and business adoption of e-invoicing as this enables more timely receipt of payments and therefore greater business sustainability.

SBF CEO Mr Ho Meng Kit said, “SBF supports the push for e-invoicing, especially for SMEs, many of whom have reported facing a credit crunch. The SBF National Business Survey 2019/2020 found that almost 50 per cent of the late payments experienced by companies were above 30 days past due, on top of the two months credit term offered. This caused seven in 10 businesses to face moderate to severe cash flow issues.”

“With this in mind, it is positive to hear that our Government is now also on the nationwide e-invoicing network. We hope that our SMEs can benefit from this,” he continued.

“To encourage more parties to join the network and proliferate the use of e-invoicing, our Government can consider shorter payment timelines for companies that use e-invoicing, and introduce incentive schemes for larger enterprises to onboard their SMEs suppliers onto e-invoicing platforms,” he recommended.