Why You Should Care About Peppol

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Sarah Fane
Apr 22, 2024

Peppol is a global network that establishes common standards for the exchange of e-documents among organizations, connecting organizations through service access points. While Peppol can be used to transmit e-documents of many types such as e-orders or e-waybills, using Peppol for e-invoicing is the most popular business activity on Peppol.

We produced a report explaining the evolution and future of Peppol in more detail here.

Peppol enables interoperability. Peppol’s aim is to make e-invoicing seamless between organizations. It enables the trading of compliant electronic invoices, purchase orders, and other business documents, without all parties having to use the same e-invoicing provider, just as you don’t need to be on the same phone carrier network as the person you’re phoning. You don’t have to join the proprietary, individual networks of your trading partners if they are connected to the Peppol Network. Companies and organizations can choose a service access point (for example, an e-invoicing provider or network). The Peppol-certified service access point provider ensures e-invoices are in a common, standard, compliant format. These compliant e-invoices (or other electronic documents) can be sent to and received by any other service access point on the network. This means traders (Suppliers and Buyers) just need to connect once to a service access point provider to then enjoy a much broader trading connection to all other Suppliers and Buyers using Peppol-certified service access points. This also works when trading internationally if the companies are connected to Peppol. Following Peppol standards also ensures their electronic invoice is compliant with local country requirements.

Why should you care about Peppol?

e-Invoicing is increasingly becoming a requirement when running a business. e-Invoicing is not only more efficient and secure, it is mandated by governments across a growing number of countries. Paper and PDF invoices are being phased out. Peppol is a global and trusted standard for e-invoicing. By using an e-invoicing service provider that is Peppol-certified, you are not just enabling an electronic trading relationship with Buyers connected to that one e-invoicing service provider, you are connecting once and opening an opportunity to compliantly trade with all the Buyers and Suppliers connected to all Peppol-certified service providers - in-country and abroad. e-Invoicing across borders with complex requirements and legislation is not straightforward. Without a framework of definitions and standards, there is no guarantee that the electronic files sent can be read or processed by the receiver. Peppol is a standard that ensures that ‘what is sent is what is understood,’ both technically and legally, for electronic documents and e-invoices. Peppol guarantees compliance.

Peppol enables interoperability on a previously unseen, massive scale. Without interoperability, buyers or suppliers may have to sign up to multiple different e-invoicing providers and manage multiple log-ins. Within the Peppol Network, the 300+ service access points (for example accredited e-invoicing providers) must be able to send invoices to and receive invoices from each other. Peppol’s mission is to ‘connect once to connect all’. A connection to a single Peppol-certified service provider is all you need to reach hundreds of thousands of public and private organizations set up to send or receive electronic invoices globally. It is not the only method of interoperability, and it won’t cover every global transaction, but as the Peppol Network grows its role on the global scale, the resulting furthering the number of electronic invoices globally is game-changing.

Peppol standards are being used for real-time reporting to tax authorities. As governments look for ways to collect more tax and VAT owed to them, many are implementing real-time or live reporting requirements, giving the tax authority visibility of invoices in real time. Countries are starting to use the Peppol Network to provide tax authorities with real-time visibility of invoices and tax information. There has been huge growth and global adoption of the Peppol model. While originally designed for European document exchange, the largest area of growth in Peppol adoption recently has been in Asia-Pacific. And the United States are launching an exchange framework that is similar to Peppol. While Peppol has been dominant in European B2G transactions, it is seeing significant adoption in Business to Business (B2B) transactions globally.

To download our full report, click here

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