History of PEPPOL
Launched in 2008, by the European Commission, PEPPOL is an electronic invoicing network that enables governments and companies to send and receive e-invoices across the globe safely. Early adopters of the network were Sweden, Norway, Austria, Italy, Ireland, and Denmark. Due to its success, PEPPOL was made publicly available in 2010, paving the way for other countries, including Belgium, England, France, and Singapore, to join. Now, the platform is available in 28 countries with PEPPOL Authorities stationed in 13 countries. PEPPOL is also available to individual service providers based in different parts of the world. Once connected to PEPPOL, trading partners can exchange a host of business e-documents ranging from electronic invoices to purchase orders and price lists. On top of that, the network allows organizations to carry out electronic payments, Access Point Messaging, and inventory. Users of the network identify each other through a PEPPOL ID – which brings us to the next question.
What is a PEPPOL ID?
A PEPPOL ID is a unique identification number assigned to a user when they register with PEPPOL. The ID gives you access to the network and, by extension, allows you to send and receive electronic invoices. The purpose of a PEPPOL ID is to remove confusion or doubts about who is sending or receiving an e-invoice. Further, the ID ensures an e-document goes to the intended receipt, eliminating the probability of errors or ghost invoices.
A PEPPOL ID number can be;
- A government identification number
- A VAT number
- A Chamber of Commerce number
How Does PEPPOL Work?
First, to send and receive invoices via PEPPOL, you must connect to a Peppol Access Point. The electronic invoicing happens through these access points. When you send an e-invoice, it goes to the access point, which then forwards it to the designated recipient or the access point to which the receiving organization is connected to.
How to Connect to a Peppol Access Point
You’ll need to register with a certified Peppol Access Point (AP) provider with solutions already connected to the network. You’ll then request a Peppol ID, and after validation, you can start to send and receive e-invoices. Once registered, you can reach all companies and businesses connected to PEPPOL irrespective of their access point or location.
Should you Use PEPPOL?
Yes. Here’s why.
Significant Reduction of Costs
Traditional invoicing methods are expensive. You see, it takes a lot of time and effort to create, process, and send a paper invoice. For these reasons, a single paper invoice cost as much as thirty bucks.
PEPPOL seeks to reduce costs organizations incur with paper-based billing systems. With the network, there are no expenses such as postage or shipping fees, envelopes, ink, etc.
It’s Easier and Faster to Implement
When you send a paper invoice, the recipient has to sort, rearrange and submit for payment. This process is not only time consuming but also exhausting. Besides, there’s the possibility of invoices getting lost.
PEPPOL enables trading partners to access and approve invoices faster. This, in return, translates to prompt payment and better cash flow.
Paper or PDF invoices have to be sorted and entered into the accounting system before being filed. The re-entry process is slow and prone to errors. PEPPOL e-invoicing sends data directly into the recipient’s access point, so there’s no need for manual re-entry. With a lesser workload, accounting staff can concentrate on other high-value activities.
Fewer Disputes and Rejected Invoices
As stated, a Peppol ID is unique to each user. Do you know what this means? Well, it implies a reduced number of human errors. With no invoice disputes and rejections, payments are made on time, thereby helping maintain a healthy relationship between trading partners.
How to Choose a Peppol Access Point Provider
Here’s the thing, All Peppol AP providers aren’t the same. While you’re free to choose from the many available options, you want to be sure that you’re dealing with a reliable provider. Here’s a rundown of things to consider before choosing to work with one Peppol Access Point provider over another.
An AP provider must have approval from PEPPOL to offer Access Point services. Accreditation shows that the provider has passed security and assessment tests required for operating in your country or jurisdiction.
The ideal AP provider must have the capacity to handle your business needs. At the very least, the provider must have a highly efficient infrastructure, with top-notch security, redundancy protocols, and backup. You’re better off with a service that offers translation as part of their package. Check to see if the provider can meet your international e-invoicing needs.
High-Quality Customer Support
You want a Peppol AP provider that can help you troubleshoot issues as soon as possible. Choose one that offers to take you through the implementation process and respond to inquiries quickly.
Your Access Point provider should also support your current and future electronic invoicing and receiving requirements.
Consider initial and ongoing costs. It helps to have a rough estimation of how many electronic documents you will send or receive every year. That way, you can choose the best pricing model for your needs.
Other considerations to make include;
- Connection options
- Disaster recovery
- Real-time notifications
How to Get Started with PEPPOL
Your first step to integrating PEPPOL into your invoicing system is to get in touch with an approved and reliable AP provider.
Unimaze is a certified PEPPOL Access Point provider and your reliable link to buyers and suppliers through world-class e-invoicing solutions. We will help you connect to your trading partners via PEPPOL and automatically convert your e-invoice to the format required by your recipients.
Through PEPPOL, we seek to facilitate the seamless exchange of e-invoices between trading partners securely and efficiently. We’re experts in e-business solutions with over ten years of hands-on experience.